Percy Harvin listed as doubtful for Lions game


Percy Harvin listed as doubtful for Lions game

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) If the Minnesota Vikings are going to get their woeful passing game going on Sunday, it appears they will have to do it without star receiver Percy Harvin.

Harvin was listed as doubtful Friday for the game against Detroit after a sprained left ankle kept him out of practice all week. He is widely considered one of the toughest players on the roster, so coach Leslie Frazier said he is not ruling out Harvin entirely just yet. But the coach also made it clear some big progress will have to be made in order for Harvin to give it a go on Sunday.

``He'd have to make quite a bit of recovery tomorrow for us to say, we'll wait until Sunday to see what he can do,'' Frazier said. ``But it's possible. We've seen it happen before. So, we'll continue to treat him and see how he feels tomorrow.''

Losing Harvin would be a big blow to a Vikings passing offense ranked 30th. Christian Ponder has struggled mightily and the rest of the team's receiver corps has had difficulty creating separation in the secondary.

The Vikings (5-4) have lost three of their last four games and are desperate to get back on the winning track. Without Harvin, the rest of the nondescript receiver corps is made up of Michael Jenkins, Devin Aromashodu, Stephen Burton and rookie Jarius Wright, who will be active for the first time in his career.

Harvin was on crutches earlier in the week and still hobbling noticeably around team headquarters as the week progressed. He was unavailable for comment Friday.

Defensive tackle LeTroy Guion was listed as doubtful with a turf toe injury, but the Vikings did get Adrian Peterson back at practice Friday after he missed the previous day with an illness. The star running back fully expects to play on Sunday.

``You see we definitely get the ball in Percy's hands in the pass game. So with him being out, a lot of guys are going to have to step up,'' Peterson said. ``So when Christian drops back, his eyes are going to be really going around and seeing who's open. So, hopefully it's a blessing in disguise and we get things going.''

It's a pretty big leap of faith to say Harvin's absence could benefit Ponder. The dynamic fourth-year receiver has been the team's only consistent playmaker in the passing game. He also will take handoffs and is one of the most dangerous kick returners in the league.

Marcus Sherels will return kicks if Harvin can't go, and Ponder will have to figure out how to get the ball downfield in other ways after failing to top 65 yards passing in two of the last three games.

``It's definitely one of these games, pivotal game of the season to where you lose this one, you put yourselves far behind the 8-ball with six games left and you're going into a bye on a three-game skid,'' defensive end Jared Allen said. ``So, it's an absolute, I don't want to say must win, but it's one we've got to get.''


Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

USA Today Sports

Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Alex Cobb's comfort and familiarity with the AL East was the deciding factor in his decision to sign with the Baltimore Orioles.

"They used the AL East and the success I've had in it to their advantage," the 30-year-old right-hander said Wednesday after finalizing a $57 million, four-year contract. "They kept challenging me with it and I love the challenge of pitching in this division and they know that over the times we talked. They did a really good job of making me feel like this is where I need to be."

Cobb gets $14 million in each of the first three seasons and $15 million in 2021, and he would earn a $500,000 bonus in each year he pitches 180 innings. Baltimore will defer $6.5 million from this year's salary and $4.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He gets $2 million of the deferred money on Nov. 30, 2022, and $1.8 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2023-32. If he doesn't pitch at least 130 innings in 2020, an additional $5.25 million of the final's year salary would get deferred, payable $1.75 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2033-35.


Cobb has a full no-trade this year, then can list 10 teams from 2019-21 that he cannot be dealt to without his consent.

He had spent his entire six-season big league career with Tampa Bay and was the last big-name starting pitcher available in a slow-moving free agent market. He joined Andrew Cashner and Chris Tillman, who were signed last month, in a revamped rotation that includes holdovers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman.

Cobb was 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA in 29 starts last season. He pitched 179 1/3 innings in his first full year back after missing nearly two seasons because of Tommy John surgery.

He had turned down the Rays' $17.4 million qualifying offer in November, and Baltimore pursued him from the start of free agency.

"They didn't stop bothering me the whole offseason," Cobb said. "They were very persistent, and I think that you notice that confidence they have in you just by the way they speak to you and the questions you ask and not questioning anything that's gone on. Everyone's got flaws that they come with and potential things you could really harp on that might not be your strong suit, but they never went down that avenue. They always told me how much they like certain aspects of what I do on and off the field, and just kept repeating how well I fit in here."


Cobb is 48-35 with a 3.50 in six big league seasons. Baltimore will lose its third-highest draft pick, currently No. 51, and the Rays get an extra selection after the first round as compensation.

Jose Mesa Jr. was designated for assignment Wednesday to clear a roster spot.

Baltimore opens on March 29 at home against Minnesota, but Cobb won't be ready to pitch then. He has agreed to be optioned to a minor league affiliate to help build up innings.

"I'm going to be pushing it as quick as I can," Cobb said. "That's going to be up to them. They've invested in me for a four-year period and as much as we know how much every game matters even early in April, we're going to have to look out for the overall future of this whole thing and whole contract and whatever they determine to be the way to protect me and my feedback from the bullpens I'm going to be throwing here in the next few days will probably determine the timeline."

Quick Links

Good news Redskins fans: Jason Pierre-Paul shipped out of NFC East


Good news Redskins fans: Jason Pierre-Paul shipped out of NFC East

The Giants shipped out Jason Pierre-Paul for life as a Buccaneer, and in turn, Tampa will send a third and fourth round draft pick to New York.

Moving Pierre-Paul comes at a curious time for the Giants. The team will eat $15 million of dead money in the move, and New York also sent a fourth-round pick to Tampa as part of the transaction. 

What it definitely signals is that Big Blue looks to be moving from a 4-3 base defense to a 3-4 look. Additionally, with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft in April, maybe the Giants will seriously look at NC State defensive lineman Bradley Chubb. 


For the Redskins, seeing Pierre-Paul leave the NFC East is welcome news. He has 12.5 career sacks against Washington QBs, the same amount he has against the Eagles and Cowboys combined. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!