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Updated: December 2nd, 2011 3:01pm
Notebook: Percy Harvin's illness leaves Vikings out of options at WR

Notebook: Percy Harvin's illness leaves Vikings out of options at WR

by Tom Pelissero
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Leslie Frazier expects Percy Harvin to play on Sunday against the Denver Broncos, despite his absence from Friday's practice because of illness.

What's the plan for the Minnesota Vikings' already-depleted receiver group if Harvin can't go?

"Oh, man," Frazier said, shaking his head. "Please, please, please. Let's not go down that now. We need number 12 out there."

The Vikings lost one starting outside receiver when they waived Bernard Berrian on Oct. 25, then another when they placed Michael Jenkins on injured reserve on Tuesday.

That left Harvin -- who leads the Vikings with 51 receptions for 554 yards and two touchdowns -- taking first-team snaps in practice this week alongside some combination of Devin Aromashodu, Greg Camarillo and rookie Stephen Burton

Harvin called in sick on Friday and was listed as questionable on the injury report. Frazier said Harvin "should be fine" to face the Broncos but still was undergoing tests.

"They had a great week of practice," rookie quarterback Christian Ponder said of the other receivers. "I think they really understand what they're doing and (offensive coordinator Bill) Musgrave's done a great job of not putting in too much this week and so keep it easy on them."

Jenkins ranked second on the team with 38 catches before his injury. Tight ends Visanthe Shiancoe and Kyle Rudolph have 29 and 17 catches, respectively, and halfback Adrian Peterson -- who will miss a second consecutive game on Sunday with a high ankle sprain -- has 16.

Aromashodu, Camarillo and Burton have 11 receptions combined.

"It's not too crazy," Ponder said. "Really, the only person that is kind of doing more, has a bigger role is (Stephen) Burton. But other than that, we've worked in 'Camo' all the time and D.A. and all those guys that have gotten reps. So, it's not too bad."

The Vikings also have two receivers, Kerry Taylor and Emmanuel Arceneaux, on the practice squad.

Webb's role

One player who seems unlikely to get action at receiver is Joe Webb, who has played a handful of snaps there this season but was promoted to No. 2 quarterback this week, shortly before the Vikings waived veteran Donovan McNabb.

"It makes you very cautious about doing that, because if something were to happen to Christian all of a sudden and Joe gets injured, we'd have a major problem," Frazier said. "It makes you a little more cautious in even some of the things we put in the game plan, how we'd like to use him."

The Vikings still want to get Webb into games over the next five weeks, though, and Friday's waiver claim of 33-year-old Sage Rosenfels could help them do that, depending how quickly Rosenfels can get up to speed in the new offense directed by Musgrave.

It's been a busy week for Webb, who has been preparing to back up Ponder as well as playing the part of Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow on the scout team.

"It's a lot different," Webb said of being Ponder's top backup. "But it's not as much different for me from when I was playing third quarterback. I always try to treat every week as if I was a starter."

The Vikings' emergency No. 3 quarterback is Camarilo, who took some snaps in Friday's practice, Frazier said.

Falcon fined

The hit that ended long snapper Cullen Loeffler's season also was costly for Atlanta Falcons special teamer Kerry Meier.

An NFL spokesman said the league fined Meier $20,000 for "an illegal blindside block to an opponent's head or neck area."

Loeffler suffered a sacrum fracture in his lower back on the play, and punter Chris Kluwe lambasted Meier on Twitter the next day, saying he hopes someone does the same to Meier.

Meier wasn't flagged on the play.

Vikings end Jared Allen was fined $7,500 for a facemask penalty in the same game.

Von down?

Standout linebacker Von Miller returned to Broncos practice on a limited basis Friday, just three days after undergoing surgery to repair ligament damage in his right thumb.

The No. 2 overall pick in April's draft was listed as questionable on the injury report and is expected to work out on Sunday morning to determine if he's active against the Vikings.

Receiver Eddie Royal (toe) also is questionable. Halfback Willis McGahee (illnees), safety David Bruton (Achilles), tight end Daniel Fells (hand) and tackle Ryan Clady (knee) are probable.

Contract details

Receiver Stephen Burton and safety Andrew Sendejo both received non-guaranteed multiyear deals when they signed with the Vikings on Tuesday.

Burton got a four-year deal with minimum base salaries of $375,000 this season (prorated), $465,000 in 2012, $555,000 in 2013 and $645,000 in 2014. In essence, he now has signed the same deal three times, although his original contract included a $75,900 bonus as a seventh-round draft pick.

Sendejo signed a two-year deal with base salaries of $450,000 in 2011 (prorated) and $540,000 in 2012.

The other two players the Vikings signed on Tuesday, safety Jarrad Page and long snapper Matt Katula, each got a one-year deal with a prorated minimum base salary of $685,000, meaning they'll each make $201,471 if they finish the season with the team.

Quick hits

• Ponder and Webb each said they were surprised of McNabb's departure, which the veteran revealed to them on Thursday morning. "He was out having fun every day, running the scout team," Ponder said. "He looked like he was enjoying himself. I don't know. It obviously was a tough situation for him and he's trying to figure out what he wants to do with his career now."

• Frazier declined to directly address a report that McNabb asked for his release after being informed he'd be the No. 3 quarterback. "For us right now, the big thing is really focusing on the guys that are here and what we've got to get done against Denver," Frazier said. "Joe is our number two quarterback on Sunday, and we've got to determine whether or not we want to add another quarterback, because we do want to exploit Joe's talents, not only as a quarterback, but some of the other things that he does."

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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