MANKATO -- Vikings coach Brad Childress said Monday that he still does not know when Percy Harvin will return to the team after the death of his grandmother in late July. The wide receiver has missed the past 15 practices and was last on the field on July 31.
"I'm kind of flying in the dark a little bit," Childress said when asked about the Harvin situation. "I've talked to people up there but I'll let you know when I know something."
Harvin remains in Eden Prairie and it's believed that he again is struggling with migraine headaches, something that bothered him frequently last season and a problem that can be brought on by stress. Harvin's agent, Joel Segal, has not returned messages.
Childress finds himself in an interesting and somewhat familiar situation when it comes to Harvin. In 2007, the Vikings took major heat when they withheld wide receiver Troy Williamson's game check after he missed a week dealing with the death of his grandmother. Childess eventually changed his mind and decided not to take away the game check.
The reversal came in large part because of the concerns Childress heard on the subject when he met with the veteran players on the team's leadership committee. Childress probably would admit that given the chance two things he would do over during his tenure in Minnesota would be releasing wide receiver Marcus Robinson on Christmas Eve in 2006 and fining Williamson.
Fast forward to the Harvin situation and it's pretty clear Childress is trying to be fair. There is little question, however, he would like the player back at camp. Obviously, the migraine issue throws a curveball into the situation because there were times last season when Harvin had to completely shut it down due to the headaches.
"The thing that I've learned is that everybody grieves differently," Childress said Monday. "That's just the fact of it. You've got to be able to respect that and appreciate that."
As for concern that the time away will impact Harvin's conditioning, Childress said: "It always takes a little while to round back into shape, just like anybody at the start. He is a highly conditioned athlete. How long it will take him to get up to speed, I don't know. His legs will come to him."
Other notes from Monday afternoon.
- The Vikings conducted practice in shells, shorts and also without helmets due to the hot and humid conditions. Basically, the 10-10-10 practice turned into a walk-through, meaning there were no highlights.
- Childress plans to have the players back in full pads on Tuesday morning for goal-line and short-yardage work. Childress said the Vikings also will "scrimmage a couple of other things." That will be the Vikings' third time in pads during camp and the last live contact before the preseason opener on Saturday night in St. Louis.
- Childress said no decisions have been made about playing time for Saturday's game. He would not speculate about possibly holding out running back Adrian Peterson, who went full speed Monday after being slowed last week by tightness in his left hamstring.
- Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe missed both practices Monday. "He's going to be all right," Childress said. "He's just got a strain."
- Rookie cornerback Chris Cook, who has been playing behind Antoine Winfield at left corner, could be moved to the right side to compete for a job that is open because of Cedric Griffin's injury. Lito Sheppard, Asher Allen and Benny Sapp have gotten snaps on the right side but Cook has been impressive in camp. Asked about the possible move, Cook said: "It's just getting a feel for changing from left to right. Different footwork. It's not too different. It's still a corner." Cook said he has not been told if and when he will get reps on the right side. Last season, Cook played mostly on the right side at Virginia. His junior year he played left corner and sophomore year he played at both spots.
- Childress said he texted quarterback Brett Favre on Monday morning but does not know what day Favre is scheduled to visit with Dr. James Andrews this week. Andrews performed surgery on Favre's ankle in late May and is due to check on the veteran before the week is out. Favre continues to have pain in the ankle.