Vikings hopeful, but Harvin has bad sprain


Vikings hopeful, but Harvin has bad sprain

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin was using crutches the day after suffering what a badly sprained left ankle, sounding pessimistic about his ability to play this Sunday.

Coach Leslie Frazier said Monday the Vikings were ``hoping to have him'' against Detroit but that ``it's too early to tell.'' Two hours later, Harvin entered the locker room and acknowledged he's a ``long shot'' to face the Lions, though he refused to rule out the possibility.

``I'm just going to go day by day. Like I said, I'm in a lot of pain. There's a lot of swelling right now,'' Harvin said. ``My whole ankle, all the way around, is swollen. So we've got a lot of work to do.''

Harvin has missed only three games in his four-year career, all due to migraine headaches. He's one of the toughest players in the league, pound for pound, but this might be too much for him to overcome.

Harvin already had a strained right hamstring, an injury that's been bugging him for the last three-plus weeks. He sat out briefly in Sunday's loss at Seattle because of it. Then when Harvin was brought down for a 3-yard loss on a run around the end later in the third quarter, he rolled the ankle. After writhing around on the ground for a bit and hobbling off, Harvin returned to the game once he felt a little better, but he was limping.

Then when he boarded the plane for the flight home, the pain worsened and he was no longer able to put pressure on his foot. By the morning, the swelling had increased. Tests revealed no broken bones and he doesn't have a high sprain, which takes longer to heal, but there's damage in three different spots around the joint.

``I'll be in treatment 24 hours and see if I can bounce back,'' Harvin said.

The Vikings have their bye week after hosting Detroit, which might make a decision to hold him out easy if he doesn't significantly improve in the next three or four days. That way, he could have two full weeks to recover but miss only one game. The Vikings have two matchups apiece against NFC North rivals Chicago and Green Bay, plus a visit to AFC-leading Houston on the final six weeks of the schedule.

``Does it make sense? To me, no. But if that's what has to happen, then that's what has to happen,'' Harvin said. ``I'm shooting to try to play and get everything I can. If I can't, then I'll have to rest it. But I'm not ruling myself out.''

Harvin said he wasn't sure if returning to the game against the Seahawks made the injury worse or not.

``But I'm here for this team. I was able to run or jog so I went back in,'' Harvin said.

Nose tackle Letroy Guion is the other player ``most in jeopardy'' of missing Sunday's game. Guion has a turf toe injury. Tight end John Carlson, however, is expected to return to practice this week after missing the last two games due to a concussion.


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Bradley Beal makes most of his opportunity in first All-Star Game

Associated Press

Bradley Beal makes most of his opportunity in first All-Star Game

Bradley Beal may have had a slow start in the three-point contest on Saturday night, but in Sunday's All-Star Game he worked quickly to make the most of his relatively small window of playing time.

Beal checked in for the first time with 5:45 left in the first quarter and less than 25 seconds later had his first points on a two-handed dunk assisted by LeBron James.

In his All-Star debut, Beal helped lead Team LeBron to a 148-145 victory over Team Stephen as the league utilizied a new format for the annual showcase.


Beal finished with 14 points and a steal in a productive night. He shot 5-for-10 from the field and an impressive 4-for-8 from long range. 

Beal also tried to get a travelling call from the refs on Karl-Anthony Towns. Yeah, that's not likely to happen in an All-Star Game:

Beal more than held his own and only played 16 minutes, which was good considering he has logged the fifth-most minutes of any player so far this season. A realistic best-case scenario was a strong showing and a short night and that's exactly what he got.

Not only does Beal play a lot of minutes, the Wizards need him now more than ever with John Wall's injury. He needs whatever rest he can get during this All-Star break.

Speaking of Wall, he was in the house despite being in the middle of his rehab from left knee surgery. Per usual, Wall was shining bright:


The All-Star Game wasn't all about Beal, of course. Here are some other things that stood out...

*The new format and increased financial incentive were intended to make the game more competitive and that's what happened late in the fourth quarter. Usually, that's how these things go where the players will start trying at the end. But this time it seemed to be up a few levels and it was fun to watch. 

Both teams scored in the 140s, so it wasn't exactly a defensive battle. No matter what the league does, the players will only try so hard for so long. The main goal of everyone's is to not get injured in a game that ultimately doesn't count for anything. Still, this was different and appears to have been a success.

*While everyone was focusing on the reunion of LeBron and Kyrie Irving the best beef was Joel Embiid vs. Russell Westbrook. Those two have traded waves to taunt each other at the end of wins in head-to-head matchups and it was clear on Sunday they still don't like each other. Westbrook tried to dunk all over Embiid in the first half, only to get blocked at the rim.

Westbrook's determination to dunk on Embiid was out of the ordinary for an All-Star Game. It was obvious what was on his mind:

*Irving's handles are simply ridiculous. Check out this fake behind-the-back move he pulled with Giannis Antetkounmpo guarding him. Yes, it didn't fool the defender but it was impressive nonetheless:

*LeBron is 33 years old, yet he was still running up and down the court faster than anyone and leaping above the rim to thrown down alley-oop after alley-oop. It is truly amazing and everyone should enjoy watching him while they can, regardless of whether they like the guy or not.

This was one of his dunks:

LeBron took home MVP with a game-high 29 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and a steal.

*The pregame show was quite bad. It was anchored by comedians Kevin Hart and Rob Riggle and, though they had some funny jokes, it lasted nearly 30 minutes. The whole thing was pretty much universally panned on social media. Fergie's national anthem was also roasted by the masses.

*The halftime show was much better. It began with N.E.R.D taking it back to their older days with 'Lapdance,' went to Migos performing 'Stir Fry' and swung back to N.E.R.D. who did their latest hit 'Lemon.' 


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The NBA All-Star pregame introductions were, uh, something

The NBA All-Star pregame introductions were, uh, something

Whoever put together the NBA All-Star Game player introductions has some 'splainin to do. 

The NBA introduced a kinda-full Staples Center to their 2018 All-Stars about an hour ago, and boy was it weird. There were a lot of dancers in different themed costumes. Kevin Hart was screaming. Rob Riggle was screaming. Ludacris showed up? Hey! Did you know that the Barenaked Ladies are still a band? The NBA would like you to know they're still around.  The whole thing was like when you're at an art museum and you're told that abstract piece in the corner is actually really meaningful but you gotta be honest, you don't get it. 

Anyways, the internet hated it. Here are some highlights from the internet hating it:

The lesson here is that you never need Kevin Hart and Rob Riggle. One will do.