From Comcast SportsNetEDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -- The Minnesota Vikings placed ailing wide receiver Percy Harvin on injured reserve Wednesday, abruptly ending a season that began so well for one of the NFL's most versatile players.Coach Leslie Frazier answered questions about Harvin's status cryptically and vaguely at his regular news conference, when he ruled Harvin out of practice again because of the severely sprained ankle that has kept him out of the last three games. Then about six hours later, the Vikings announced the move that declared their top pass-catcher done for the year.During an outstanding first half that put him in the conversation for the league's Most Valuable Player award, Harvin's season sure deteriorated quickly. He was hurt one month ago. Now this."We'll see what happens," quarterback Christian Ponder said before the news came out. "I don't know what or when he'll be back. We're just focused on who's going to be out there, who's going to be practicing today."Even bad sprains don't normally take more than four to six weeks to fully heal, so it's possible the injury is worse than originally revealed, perhaps requiring surgery. Neither team officials nor players were available for comment on the decision.Harvin wasn't on the indoor field at Winter Park as the Vikings went through drills in preparation for another critical NFC North game, this one at home against division co-leader Chicago. He wasn't in the locker room when it was open to reporters, either.Harvin was injured Nov. 4 at Seattle, leaving briefly in the third quarter of that game but returning with an obvious limp. He has missed three games since and only taken part in practice once since the injury, a week ago as a limited participant.Harvin was favoring his right foot running routes that afternoon during the portion of the workout that was open to the media, looking far less than full strength when pushing off or planting to change direction. Ponder has struggled at times even with Harvin, by far his favorite target, so this certainly won't help the team's lagging passing attack.In nine games, Harvin finished with 677 yards and three touchdowns on 62 receptions, 22 rushes for 96 yards and one score and one kickoff return for a touchdown. Now he's headed for the final year of his rookie contract, without any promise of an extension offer from the team."I know that he wants to win like we do, and I'm sure he's going to do everything he can do to help our football team. We'll see where it goes," Frazier said when asked if there were issues with Harvin beyond the injury. The coach said he couldn't go into greater detail about Harvin's condition but said the former first-round draft pick has "done pretty much the things that the trainers have asked him to do" in his rehabilitation.Frazier said he'd probably have a better answer Thursday to the question about whether Harvin would be able to face Chicago, alluding to the injured reserve move before it became known. Frazier said "not a whole lot" has changed with Harvin's condition but alluded to "some things" he's waiting for."Just got to see what's going to happen with him," said Frazier.Harvin caused a stir this summer by expressing unspecified disappointment with the organization and issuing a trade request he quietly rescinded. Harvin's gripe, he later acknowledged, was in part because of the way the team unevenly used him in the offense.He often moved from spot to spot to maximize his versatility and sometimes was limited to certain personnel groups so the Vikings could protect his health. But that became confusing and frustrating to him at times, he said, because he didn't always know what to expect.That fuss was all but forgotten with the season he was having, leading the NFL in total rushing, receiving and returning yards until his injury.Harvin missed a total of three games over his first three seasons, enduring problems with migraine headaches, which haven't given him trouble lately.Notes: DE Jared Allen's back has caused him some discomfort over the last week. He also confirmed after last Sunday's game he's been playing with a torn labrum in one of his shoulders but downplayed any negative effect that has had on his performance. Allen was on the field with the team at the end of Wednesday's practice, but he didn't participate. Frazier said the injury is not to the extent it would keep him out of this week's game, however. ... Allen was originally given half of a sack, shared with DT Kevin Williams, for a takedown of Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers midway through the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field. According to the Vikings, the NFL changed the ruling to give Allen the full credit, bringing his season total to nine. Allen had 22 sacks last year, one-half short of the NFL record. He's tied for 10th in the league this season.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while anticpating the turkey leftovers, ready for the taking.
-- NHL referee Wes McCauley is at it again, this time going with a fun no-goal call after having some trouble with his microphone.
-- After getting humbled on Opening Night by the Bruins, the Nashville Predators are starting to get on a roll.
-- NBC Pro Hockey Talk has Kyle Turris excelling for the Predators, and Matt Duchene very much still stuck in neutral for the Ottawa Senators.
-- NHL stars go through their favorite traditions, and what they enjoy is a game that’s full of routine, superstition and tradition.
-- FOH (Friend of Haggs) Ray Ferraro says “it looks rotten” with the Edmonton Oilers as they continue to struggle out of the starting gate.
-- Larry Brooks goes through an all-time ranking of the general managers for the New York Rangers, and it’s an illustrious list.
-- The Vegas Golden Knights could make the playoffs in their very first season, and are absolutely far ahead of expectations for a new expansion team.
-- For something completely different: Wild turkeys are making a major comeback in Massachusetts after being all but extinct here.
FOXBORO -- The Patriots will see some familiar faces Sunday when they play the Dolphins and former New England interior lineman Ted Larsen.
Then again, a suddenly interesting Bill Belichick noted Friday, the Patriots are used to seeing their players of seasons past end up elsewhere. In his estimation, the Patriots see their former players stay in the league moreso than most other organizations.
“There’s 70-something guys in the league like that that have been here and are playing for somebody else, or whatever the number is,” Belichick said when asked about facing Larsen. “It’s a lot. Seventy to 90, somewhere in there, depending on how you want to count the practice-squad players and today’s waiver wire vs. yesterday’s waiver wire. There’s a lot of guys out there. It’s one of the highest numbers in the league.”
Asked to clarify, Belichick responded, “I think we have more [former] players that are playing on other teams than other teams [do], or one of them. I don’t know if we’re the highest. We’re one of the highest; I can tell you that. We’re up there pretty high, but it depends on how you want to count them: starters, roster players, IR, practice squad. You can run the list that you run and count them up how you want to count them up, but we’d be up there pretty high.”
Belichick loosely estimated that there might be an average of three former Pats per team in the NFL. Of course, the actual number varies from team to team, with the Colts’ roster essentially looking like a Patriots museum.
Interestingly enough, the question of the total number was explored this offseason by Pats Pulpit, who determined in May that there were 91 former Patriots on other rosters.