No Percy Harvin seems to be no problem as Vikings focus on postseason
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Percy Harvin's locker at Winter Park still has a few personal items in it, but other than that the wide receiver is out of sight and out of mind around the team's headquarters.
Harvin, who was placed on season-ending injured reserve on Dec. 5 because of a complete ligament tear in his left ankle, remains in Florida while his team prepares for its first-round playoff game on Saturday night against Green Bay at Lambeau Field.
The fact Harvin has elected to rehab the injury away from Minnesota seems to be just fine with coach Leslie Frazier.
"It's purely up to him," Frazier said Wednesday. "If he wanted to be around, he can be around. But the guys are working hard, doing everything they can. I know he wants our team to do well and that's important. But we've got some other guys that are on IR that aren't around as well. It doesn't concern us."
Frazier said that Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman is involved in monitoring Harvin's rehab from the injury suffered on Nov. 4 in a loss at Seattle. Frazier added that he has not talked to Harvin of late.
"Not lately, not lately," Frazier said.
In the same game Harvin was injured, television cameras caught the volatile receiver waving his arms and screaming at Frazier on the sideline over his frustration with the Vikings' struggling offense.
According to four NFL sources, Harvin and Frazier had another heated exchange weeks later in front of some players and staff members, fueling speculation about a deteriorating relationship that could spell the end of Harvin's four seasons in Minnesota.
Harvin also demanded a trade during the Vikings' minicamp in June because he was unhappy for reasons he did not disclose at the time. Harvin admitted in early October he had issues with the offense.
Harvin will be entering the last season of his rookie contract next year and is due to make $1.55 million, plus a modest workout bonus of $27,500. Harvin almost certainly will be looking for a long-term extension this offseason and there is no guarantee the Vikings will want to reward him with one.
There is no denying Harvin's on-the-field talents.
He finished the regular season as the Vikings' leading receiver with 62 catches for 677 yards with three touchdowns in nine games. He also rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.
The Vikings, though, have gone 5-2 without Harvin and won their final four games to get into the playoffs with a 10-6 mark.
Frazier said it's not a big deal for a player on injured reserve to return home to continue his rehab.
"I know he's supportive of his teammates and any of the guys that are on IR who don't travel with us or don't participate in what we're doing, it's nothing that upsets their teammates or gets them concerned," Frazier said. "These guys are so focused on Green Bay and getting ready for that game and that's what is most important."