Bill Musgrave: 'We're not proud' of red zone plan

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG and DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: October 18, 2012 - 10:04 PM

Asked why Percy Harvin was on the field for only four of the nine first-quarter red-zone snaps in Sunday's 38-26 loss at Washington, the offensive coordinator was honest.

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Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave

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Reporters had their first chance to ask Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave why Percy Harvin was on the field for only four of the nine first-quarter red-zone snaps in Sunday's 38-26 loss at Washington. The Vikings settled for field goals each time.

Asked if perhaps Harvin was nicked up and couldn't play, Musgrave at least got an 'A' for honesty.

"No," he said. "That was just the way the personnel groups went. That was part of our plan, which we're not proud of."

Harvin didn't touch the ball in the four plays that he did participate in.

"[Washington] did a good job [defending Harvin]," Musgrave said. "We matched him up on a linebacker one time, and we just didn't have the protection to throw it to him there on the first drive. We're hoping to use him down there both run game and play-action when he's in the backfield. We just want to make those plays work better the next time or call them at the right time."

The Vikings had seven trips to the red zone and scored just two touchdowns at Washington.

"We didn't get enough bang out of our buck, for all the work that it takes to get down into the red area seven times and not come away with sevens," Musgrave said.

Peterson sits out

Running back Adrian Peterson didn't practice Thursday because of soreness in his left ankle. Peterson tweaked the ankle in the first quarter of the Vikings' Week 5 win over Tennessee.

While he has played through the pain the past two games, he acknowledged Thursday that his soreness this week is "a little worse" than it was a week ago.

"It wasn't all the way healed to 100 percent going into the [Washington] game," Peterson said. "So when you have a nagging injury like that, you've just got to stay on top of it. Get the rest, continue to strengthen it and do the necessary things to get you through to that push to Sunday."

Peterson still expects to be ready to go Sunday and said that his ankle pain hindered him "a little bit" against the Redskins.

"It wasn't anything that kept me from breaking loose against someone," Peterson said.

"It was more so on cutting and like on downhill plays, power plays, I wasn't really being as explosive as I wanted to be up top to the hole. But I kind of figured it would be like that.''

Injury update

Safety Mistral Raymond could return to the playing field as early as Nov. 4 when the Vikings travel to Seattle for a Week 9 game. Raymond has returned to practice in a limited capacity the past two days as he works back from an ankle dislocation that he suffered Sept. 23 against San Francisco.

Coach Leslie Frazier said the Vikings hope to work him into the starting lineup as soon as he's back at 100 percent.

Frazier also gave Jerome Simpson a "so far, so good" approval rating after the past two days of practice, noting that the speedy receiver seems to be past his back injury.

Defensive end Jared Allen (groin) sat out Thursday's practice, but Frazier said there is no worry about his availability for Sunday's game with Arizona.

Not pretty

Special teams coach Mike Priefer had a plan in place just in case rookie kicker Blair Walsh, who came down with food poisoning on Saturday night, wouldn't have been healthy enough to kick on Sunday.

Punter Chris Kluwe, the holder on placekicks, would have handled all the kicking duties. And quarterback Christian Ponder would have been the holder.

"Kluwe has kicked field goals before," Priefer said. "And Christian has held before for us in practice. It wouldn't have been pretty, or as pretty as you would like. But it's been done before."

Walsh ended up 4-for-4 on field goal attempts and 7-for-7 on kickoff touchbacks. The seven touchbacks set a team record.

Etc.

• Defensive end Everson Griffen will travel back to Arizona tonight for the funeral for his mother, Sabrina Scott, who passed away in the middle of last week while visiting Griffen here in the Twin Cities.

General Manager Rick Spielman will also be at the funeral. Griffen is hoping to return to Minneapolis on Saturday night in order to be ready for Sunday's game against Arizona.

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