Percy Harvin still hopes to play against Chicago on Sunday. But after again missing practice Thursday, the odds of the Vikings receiver giving it a go appear to be growing slimmer.
On Wednesday, coach Leslie Frazier said he would prefer to see Harvin practice some this week before clearing him to play. Friday will be Harvin's last opportunity to do so.
Harvin sprained his left ankle Nov. 4 against Seattle and missed the Vikings' 34-24 victory over Detroit the following week. He watched his team's 403-yard eruption against Detroit from home and felt encouraged by the offense's balance and the revived passing game.
"We kept [quarterback] Christian [Ponder] on his feet," Harvin said Wednesday. "Then he made the right reads, went through his progressions and delivered the ball. They looked great. It was definitely great to see that."
Harvin saw rookie receiver Jarius Wright contribute in his absence. Wright had three catches for 65 yards and a touchdown, and that puts Harvin firmly in the camp that believes there is plenty of room to have him and Wright on the field together.
"I don't see why not," he said. "But like I said, I'm not the coach. I'm just standing in line trying to do what they ask me to do. But definitely the more playmakers who are out there, I'm pretty sure [Ponder] feels more comfortable."
With Harvin not participating in the Thanksgiving Day practice, the Vikings might again be without one of their top playmakers.
Left tackle Matt Kalil is looking forward to his first game against the Bears. He knows All-Pro defensive end Julius Peppers, who played with Matt's brother, Ryan, in Carolina, and knows the other Bears defensive stars the way the rest of us do -- through television.
"It's kind of surreal seeing all these players I've watched all through high school and college and actually going against them now," Kalil said. "It's just going to be a pretty cool game."
Kalil might be matched occasionally against Peppers, who has 106 sacks in 11 NFL seasons.
"I know about Julius, especially since he was on the same team as my brother," Kalil said. "He's probably one of the greatest D-ends to play the game. He's an athletic freak, so I definitely have my hands full. He's good on run, good on pass rushing. He's a big guy, too [6-7, 287]. He's got a lot of power to him. So [I have to] just play a consistent game. Stay steady in my approach."
Punter Chris Kluwe has engaged in another Internet battle, this time in an effort to promote the Pro Football Hall of Fame candidacy of Ray Guy. Kluwe believes Guy revolutionized the position enough to merit being the first punter to enter the Hall and has engaged Sports Illustrated football writer Peter King in a e-mail/blog debate on the matter.
"Everyone knows that Ray Guy was the punter," said Kluwe. "He's in the College Football Hall of Fame. He's got an award named after him. He's in every other hall of fame except the NFL. It does a disservice to the game by not acknowledging that fact."
Guy's supporters argue that he introduced hang time and pinning opponents inside the 20, sacrificing statistics. Hall of Fame selectors are limited to five modern inductees each season, and Kluwe said he feels the Hall should change its process to allow for a special-teams selection.
Arguments against Guy used his relatively unimpressive statistics as a reason against his inclusion.
"This to me speaks to a fundamental problem in society in that people feel they can denigrate something they don't understand," said Kluwe, who was outspoken in his opposition to the recently failed marriage amendment in Minnesota in this month's election. "The Hall of Fame shouldn't be all punters ... but I think there should be at least one. It's a team sport."