Percy Harvin (Andy Lyons/Getty)
Percy Harvin is scheduled to return to Winter Park soon to have his ankle evaluated, at which time he and head coach Leslie Frazier will talk. Frazier declined to get into specifics about Harvin’s situation, but he did confirm outside interest in some of the Vikings’ assistant coaches and announced surgeries for a couple of players.
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier defended Percy Harvin’s absence from Winter Park after the receiver was placed on season-ending injured reserve Dec. 5.
Harvin suffered an ankle injury on Nov. 4 against the Seattle Seahawks that was slower to heal than expected. After hoping that the ankle would respond enough to get him on the practice field and eventually back into game, the Vikings decided to place Harvin on injured reserve one month and one day after the injury occurred.
Most players spend the season rehabilitating their injuries with the Vikings’ medical staff at their Winter Park practice facility, but Harvin chose to go to Florida after he was placed on injured reserve. Frazier has defended that decision in the past, but he was asked about it again Tuesday at his season-ending press conference.
“We had some other guys who were on injured reserve and weren’t around as much either. And there will be guys that will be injured this offseason and will do their rehab in other places as well, so it’s not unusual in that regard,” Frazier said. “I know he’s very supportive of his teammates.”
The three other players on season-ending injured reserve this season – WR Greg Childs, CB Nick Taylor and T DeMarcus Love – were all seen regularly at Winter Park, but Harvin hasn’t been seen by reporters since he was placed on injured reserve. However, Adrian Peterson split time between Minnesota and Houston last offseason while recovering from surgery to repair torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligament tears.
Safety Jamarca Sanford and Peterson said they have had some communication with Harvin, and Frazier said athletic trainer Eric Sugarman has also been in contact regarding Harvin’s progress.
“He’s going to be coming through for his exit physical,” Frazier said. “So he and I will get a chance to chat and talk a little bit. But he is enthused about what has happened with our football team.”
Harvin isn’t among the Vikings expected to have surgery in the offseason, and Frazier said the ankle is “headed in the right direction” as far as he has been told.
Television cameras caught Harvin yelling at Frazier on the sideline during the Seahawks game and there have been reports of another altercation between Frazier and Harvin at Winter Park.
“I don’t know if there is anything that needs to be done,” Frazier said when asked what it would take for Harvin to coexist peacefully. “I mean, he’ll coexist peacefully. He exists peacefully now. Just get back, get healthy, get back on the football field.
“… It will just be more reconnecting as opposed to getting on the same page.”
Harvin is in the final year of his rookie contract and likely will be looking for an extension if the Vikings don’t trade him in the coming months. Frazier declined to give details on the organization’s outlook with Harvin on that front.
“I try to separate the two between being head coach and staying out of contract negotiations,” Frazier said. “So his agent will have those discussions and they’ll figure out what needs to be done.”
Despite missing six games, Harvin still led the Vikings with 62 catches, 677 yards receiving and a 35.9-yard average on kickoff returns.
He is scheduled to make $1.55 million in base salary in 2013.
COACHING STAFF UPDATE
Frazier confirmed reports that Mike Priefer, the special teams coordinator, and Mike Singletary, a linebackers coach and special assistant to the head coach, have been asked to interview for the head coaching vacancy with the Chicago Bears.
“I’m hoping that we’ll keep our guys intact. I mentioned earlier that our coaches did a great job getting our players ready to play every week,” Frazier said. “Barring someone getting a promotion, I’m hoping all our guys are back. They did a terrific job throughout the season.”
Defensive end Jared Allen said he would delay having surgery on the torn labrum in his left shoulder, but he isn’t the Vikings’ only surgical candidate this offseason.
Punter Chris Kluwe will also have surgery on his left knee to repair meniscus damage, Frazier said.
Adrian Peterson will have his abdominal muscle examined after the Pro Bowl, but several others injured players aren’t expected to need surgery, including QB Christian Ponder (triceps), Tyrone McKenzie (shoulder) and CB Antoine Winfield (hand).
“Other than that, we have some minor things that guys are dealing with, nothing that should hinder anyone when we open training camp,” Frazier said after conducting exit interviews with players.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.