By Kent Youngblood
A day after leaving practice early, wide receiver Percy Harvin was held out of Wednesday’s practice at Winter Park because of sore ribs, a problem that has bothered him in the past.
“It was a little sore a couple days ago,” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said after the workout ended. “We just felt it would be wise to hold him back, let him completely heal, as opposed to getting bumped or hit. We don’t want any setbacks.”
Frazier said if Harvin is unable to practice Thursday, he would probably miss Saturday’s preseason game in Seattle.
Harvin first left practice early on Aug. 8 in Mankato because he was winded and had sore ribs.
The wide receiver spot, which has been very competitive for the final roster slots, should get a little clearer after Saturday’s game. Especially if Greg Camarillo can’t play. Camarillo also missed Wednesday’s practice, sitting with a sore groin muscle. His status for Saturday should be clear Thursday. If neither Harvin nor Camarillo play, it would give the other players hustling for a spot a number of reps against the Seahawks.
Others who did not practice today included tight end Visanthe Shiancoe (hamstring), linebackers Heath Farwell (hamstring) and Kenny Onatolu (foot), defensive end D'Aundre Reed (calf) and cornerback Simeon Castille (hamstring).
Frazier said starting quarterback Donovan McNabb would play as much as a quarter and a half Saturday.
Frazier said he didn’t know anything about a report that said Seattle general manager John Schneider had called to apologize for comments made regarding Tarvaris Jackson's time in Minnesota: “I’m not familiar with that part of it,” said Frazier, who referred the question to Rick Spielman.
A special guest
Frazier had former NFL great Aeneas Williams speak to the team after practice. Williams, a Pro Bowl cornerback in his day, also conducted a post-practice life skills lesson for the rookies.
“As you know he was a great player in our league, a future hall of famer,” Frazier said. “He did a great job. It was good for our veterans to hear him, and they all have great respect for him.”
Williams speaks all over the country, Frazier said. Williams is also a pastor in a Missouri church.
Frazier met Williams while serving as an intern coach with the Arizona Cardinals when Buddy Ryan was the coach and Williams was a young defensive back. “I worked with him there, then just stayed in touch,” Frazier said. “He went to Southern University, and I went to Alcorn State. So we had a side going about which was the best school.”
Getting his chance
Frazier said he’s looking forward to watching Mistral Raymond play some safety, saying Raymond has practiced well and adds length and athletic ability to the position.
Not having OTAs and minicamps has made it difficult for the coaches to evaluate the undrafted free agents, Frazier said. Those guys probably will get more time in the preseason games going forward because of that, he said. “You don’t want to turn loose a potentially good player because he hasn’t picked up the system or you haven’t see him enough,” Frazier said. “We have to see them play.”
Raymond did not play last Saturday in the preseason opener after suffering a pulled hamstring in practice.
- The Vikings ended today's practice with a two-minute drill that ended up favoring the defense. Donovan McNabb's pass to the far sideline for Michael Jenkins was intercepted by Marcus Sherels. Christian Ponder then led the second-team offense against the first-team defense. On third down, Ponder looked to the near sideline for Jaymar Johnson but cornerback Cedric Griffin jumped the route and intercepted the ball to end the practice.
- Cornerback Asher Allen only took part in individual drills today but otherwise was given a rest. That enabled Chris Cook to work at the left corner in the nickel, as Antoine Winfield slid inside. Sherels also got extra work with the second team in nickel with Allen watching.
- Anthony Herrera (ACL) again got work with the first-team at right guard. Scott Kooistra also got reps. Left guard Steve Hutchinson was rested and replaced by Seth Olsen.
- Rookie linebacker Jonathan Gilmore, who left practice early Tuesday, said he was checked for an irregular heart beat but tests proved normal. He returned to the field Wednesday.