It's official: Percy Harvin will not play Sunday in Green Bay.
After declaring Harvin doubtful on Friday's injury report, the Vikings have now downgraded their top receiver to out, leaving them short-handed once again heading into a key divisional game on the road.
Harvin hasn't played since spraining his left ankle during a 30-20 loss in Seattle on Nov. 4. He has practiced just once since, a limited effort Wednesday that did not produce the positive signs the Vikings wanted to see. Harvin is still having difficulty pushing off and cutting and has not made the recovery progress that was hoped for.
Harvin, who has 62 catches for 677 yards and three touchdowns this season, missed only three game in his first three NFL seasons -- one as a rookie in 2009 and two more the following year. Now he will miss his third consecutive game with the Vikings in the middle of a treacherous schedule.
Sunday's road game against the Packers will be the Vikings' third of four consecutive NFC North games. They beat Detroit 34-24 at home on Nov. 11, then absorbed a 28-10 beating in Chicago last Sunday.
At 6-5, the Vikings are still alive in the chase for an NFC playoff berth. But trying to steal a road win without their top receiver will be a major challenge. Since the start of the 2010 season, the Vikings are 5-16 in true road games.
Harvin's absence will open up additional opportunity for rookie receiver Jarius Wright. A fourth-round pick out of Arkansas, Wright has contributed 10 catches for 114 yards and a touchdown the last two weeks, earning additional trust from the coaching staff to become a bigger part of the offensive attack.
Said Leslie Frazier: "You can see it in practice. We’re relying on him a little bit more in some of the things we’re doing. We’re actually putting in some plays directly for him because of the confidence he’s shown and the confidence we’ve developed in him.”