Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Still no timetable on Harvin's return

Posted by: under Vikings, Brad Childress, Adrian Peterson, Brad Childress, Brett Favre, Cedric Griffin, John Sullivan, Percy Harvin, Sage Rosenfels, Sidney Rice, Tarvaris Jackson, Visanthe Shiancoe, Vikings training camp Updated: August 11, 2010 - 5:52 PM

MANKATO -- Vikings coach Brad Childress said he communicated with Percy Harvin on Wednesday morning but does not know when the wide receiver will return to the team. Harvin hasn't practiced since July 31 and has been dealing with migraine headaches after the death of his grandmother. He is believed to still be in the Twin Cities.

With training camp breaking on Friday morning -- Thursday will mark the Vikings' final two practices -- it's pretty clear that Harvin won't be returning to Mankato. It also seems highly unlikely he will be in St. Louis on Saturday night for the Vikings' preseason opener.

"It doesn't make any sense because I don't have a magic bean or anything like that for the migraines," Childress said when asked if it would be logical for Harvin to try to join the team in Mankato. "I think that the path he's taking right now is what he needs to be taking."

Harvin missed nearly all of the Vikings' installation periods at training camp. That is an issue because Harvin has the ability to play tailback as well as split wide or play in the slot at receiver. Clearly, the Vikings have some plays designed for Harvin that will have to be shelved until he is back.

"I will say this," Childress said. "Just as you guys saw him at our very first minicamp. He has an 'A' football IQ. He did a bunch of those things at Florida, so it wasn't completely foreign to him. Every game plan that we have we have kind of boutique plays that may be his, where he's touching the football. So it's not as if they are not going to be reinstalled.

"I am happy that he's been around the block one time so that he knows some of the types of things that we are trying to do. I'd love to be having him take all the reps. I'd love to have him being taking all the reps of our base offense and then the ones that we were going to try to put the ball in his hands. Hopefully, we still have time to do that."

Childress also made it clear the Vikings won't stop working on all trick plays just because Harvin is gone. "Whether it's Darius Reynaud or Jaymar Johnson that you just saw servicing our defense in the wildcat stuff," during the afternoon practice on Wednesday, he said. "We have different athletes that are going to be back there."

Other notes from the afternoon:

  • Childress said he has not communicated with Brett Favre of late and doesn't know if the quarterback has paid a visit to Dr. James Andrews yet to have his surgically repaired left ankle examined. Favre was scheduled to see Andrews this week.
  • Remember that cloud cover and fog that I said made the first practice quite comfortable. Well it was long gone by the afternoon and that caused some big-time heat as the Vikings conducted what amounted to a walk-through practice in shells and shorts inside Blakeslee Stadium. Not practicing were Harvin, Sidney Rice (hip), Cedric Griffin (knee), J Leman (toe), John Sullivan (calf) and Visanthe Shiancoe (strain). Shiancoe did some work in individual drills in the morning but not in the afternoon.
  • Running back Adrian Peterson, who battled hamstring tightness last week, also did not have a helmet for the second practice and did no work.
  • Childress on how the Vikings will approach the first preseason game: "We are going to intentionally make it as vanilla as it can be because you can say whatever you want but guys that might be playing for the first time in the NFL across different jerseys are going to be excitable. Hopefully, there's not a ton of thinking involved. Now do they have to make checks, do they have to convert routes yet? They have to do that in our offense. So, vanilla, with a premium on guys playing fast so you don't see a lot of thinking and gears grinding. They can just play football and if they're making a mistake they are making a full-speed mistake that you can see their football playing prowess."
  • Childress confirmed Tarvaris Jackson will start at quarterback Saturday and will be pulled quickly along with the rest of the first team. Look for Sage Rosenfels to play through the third quarter and then for Joe Webb to take over in the fourth.
  • A day after the Vikings issued a depth chart that had Asher Allen listed ahead of Lito Sheppard as the starting right corner, Childress downplayed giving that any meaning. "I had to get the depth chart straight that I saw last night in meetings," he said.
  • As Childress mentioned, the Vikings did some work on the Wildcat in the second practice with Johnson and Reynaud working with the third-team offense.

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