Harvin says he'll be back 'stronger and better'

Harvin says he'll be back 'stronger and better'

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) The decision by the Minnesota Vikings to place Percy Harvin on season-ending injured reserve, coach Leslie Frazier said, was based ``purely'' on his slow-healing sprained left ankle and not any issue with a uniquely valuable player who has had clashes with the team.

Frazier declined to be more specific about the injury, which occurred in the third quarter of the Nov. 4 game at Seattle. Even severe sprains don't normally require two months to recover from, but by shelving him now the Vikings declared they wouldn't get Harvin back at full strength in time to warrant keeping him on the active roster.

``For him as well as our team, this is the best thing to do as opposed to continuing to try to make something happen that's not going to happen,'' Frazier said after practice Thursday. ``He's such a valuable commodity. You don't want to do anything that's going to create some long-term ill effects.''

Harvin hasn't been available to reporters for two weeks.

``It certainly is disappointing that I was not able to finish out this season with my teammates. As a competitor I definitely wanted to get back out on the field, but my injury has just not allowed me to progress to the point where I can help our team,'' Harvin said in a statement distributed by the Vikings. ``I appreciate the efforts of our medical staff and the support of our fans in helping me through this process and look forward to coming back stronger and better than ever.''

Frazier said Harvin shouldn't need surgery.

``At least we're hoping that. ... Got my fingers crossed that won't be the case,'' the coach said.

Frazier said Harvin never had any setbacks but only made incremental progress. He tried to practice on Nov. 28 but was favoring his right foot and having trouble changing direction when he had to push off on the injured ankle. Frazier said IR became a possibility in the last few days for the Vikings, who host Chicago on Sunday.

``You understand the situation and understand where he is. We've got other guys that are going to step up and hopefully make some plays for us in this ballgame,'' Frazier said.

Harvin had an argument with coach Brad Childress in 2010. He expressed general frustration with the Vikings this summer, asking for a trade and then withdrawing his request. He acknowledged more recently he had problems with the way his role in the offense was communicated to him. During the Seattle game last month, before he was hurt, Harvin was seen shouting at Frazier on the sideline after another stalled drive.

But Frazier said Harvin didn't fight the decision to place him on IR.

``He understood. He was frustrated, like everybody. He wants to be out there on the field. He's a great competitor, as we all know. Just unfortunate he wasn't making the progress that was necessary for him to get back out there,'' Frazier said.

Frazier said he wasn't sure yet whether Harvin would continue his rehabilitation with the team or on his own, in Florida or Virginia. With one year left on his rookie contract, given the concerns about his long-term attitude and durability, Harvin could've played his last game with the Vikings if they were to trade him instead of work out an extension or let his deal play out. He's so valuable to the offense and such a uniquely talented player, however, that the Vikings won't just give away a speedy-yet-punishing receiver, runner and returner for a less-than-fair return.

For now, Christian Ponder and the rest of the offense will have to cope without him.

``It's obviously unfortunate for Percy and for our team. He was having an unbelievable year when he was healthy, and we'd love to have him throughout the season, just with the things he can do and his abilities,'' linebacker Chad Greenway said.

Rookie Jarius Wright has filled Harvin's spot as the slot receiver. This means more playing time for him, but not the way he wanted that.

``It was kind of heartbreaking. I just wanted to get Percy back and see how we'd be on the field at the same time. I know a lot of the fans wanted a chance to see that also,'' Wright said.

Focusing on Harvin's absence won't help, of course.

``We know we have to move forward. We still have something that we're trying to accomplish this year. So just wish him the best, and hopefully he comes back healthy next year,'' running back Adrian Peterson said.

While the players don't compare, the Vikings had one positive development this week to counter the loss of Harvin.

Cornerback Chris Cook, who broke his right forearm in the Oct. 25 game against Tampa Bay and was in jeopardy of missing the rest of the year, returned to practice Thursday. Because the Vikings used their one-per-season designation to return in putting Cook on injured reserve, he is eligible to play on Dec. 23 at Houston.

``It was good to see him out here today moving around, so we have to see how progresses but that's the goal,'' Frazier said.

Defensive end Jared Allen, dealing with back and shoulder troubles, didn't practice again, but Frazier said he'll be fine for Sunday's game. Peterson was held out simply for rest, and he'll fully participate on Friday.


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How to watch Capitals vs. Sabres NHL 20 simulation

How to watch Capitals vs. Sabres NHL 20 simulation

Monday night was supposed to be another night of Capitals action with a game against the Buffalo Sabres. Unfortunately due to the NHL’s hold on the season in response to the coronavirus outbreak, the show can not go on as originally planned. 

However, with some minor adjustments to the presentation, there is still a way to keep things going. 

Monday night at 7 p.m. ET the Capitals will be taking the ice to play the Sabres as planned, only this time it will be virtual ice on an NHL 20 simulation. 

In partnership with Monumental Sports Network, NBC Sports Washington will be airing all Wizards and Capitals games in simulated NBA 2K20 and NHL 2K20 games. The format of these games includes watching the simulated versions of Caps games based on the existing schedule with the bonus of commentary from NBCSW’s experts. 

To make things even more fun, in between the simulation and the re-air of the simulation, there is a chance to relive a classic Caps game. So don’t forget to stick around and re-watch Dowd and the Capitals dominate the Penguins from earlier this season. 

Here's everything you need to know to watch. 

When: Monday, March 30 at 7 p.m. ET


  • NBC Sports Washington (channel finder
  • Any of our 24/7 authenticated streaming platforms
  • Monumental Sports Network via its website or via any of its available apps on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, and Xbox.

Broadcast schedule: 

7:00 PM: NHL 20 Simulation: Capitals @ Buffalo Sabres (P)
8:00 PM: NHL Classics: Capitals @ Pittsburgh Penguins (R) 
10:30 PM: NHL 20 Simulation: Capitals @ Buffalo Sabres (R)

Starting lineups: 

Capitals: TBD
Sabres: TBD

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.


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LeBron James scores 36, Wizards still top Lakers in NBA 2K simulation

LeBron James scores 36, Wizards still top Lakers in NBA 2K simulation

These 2K simulations certainly do agree with the Wizards. Coming off a stunning victory over the Bucks Friday, Washington turned around on the second night of a back-to-back and beat the Lakers 73-66 at virtual Capital One Arena. 

LeBron James was a one-man wrecking crew for LA, Bradley Beal led the scoring attack for the Wizards and Thomas Bryant got revenge on the team that waived him. 

Here's how the Wizards picked up their fourth-straight 2K win. 

Offensive rebounds

The Lakers are one of the biggest teams in the NBA with James, Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard playing heavy minutes, but it was the Wizards who dominated the boards in this one. 

Bryant led the way for Washington on the glass with seven of his 13 rebounds coming on the offensive end. The Lakers shot the ball significantly better than the Wizards (47% to 39%) but Washington was simply overwhelming them on the glass to create more opportunities. 

Washington grabbed 18 offensive rebounds compared to the Lakers' eight, and it ended being the major difference in the result. 

LeBron's one-man show

The real-life Lakers' biggest weakness is their lack of playmaking outside of James. In a game where James had everything working for him, the Lakers struggled to get anything going whenever he didn't have the ball. 

Rajon Rondo struggled mightily despite tallying eight assists (2-11 FG) and Davis had a bad game relative to his standards (10 points, one rebound, three blocks).

I'd be curious to see what virtual LeBron would have to say about his teammates after this particular game. 

Thomas Bryant's revenge

As we stated before, Bryant was waived by the Lakers after his rookie season and his virtual self took it all out on his former team Saturday night. 

He dominated the boards and once again protected the paint in a way that would make Elvin Hayes proud. He finished with eight points, 13 rebounds and five blocks. 

With Bryant playing the way he has been the last few simulations, the Wizards' defense has been exceptional. Outside of defensive versatility, having a strong defensive center anchoring the defense is paramount to an effective unit. 

Other parting thoughts

Jerome Robinson continues to play well as a starter, scoring 13 points in 19 minutes. The Wizards didn't get that long of a look at Robinson before the NBA suspended its season.

After acquiring him at the trade deadline in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, it'd be another steal by Tommy Sheppard if Robinson can play like this consistently in real life. 

Instead of erupting in the fourth quarter to help the Wizards secure a win, Beal went off for 14 points in the third this time. He finished with 24 points and went 12-for-30 from the field.

Markieff Morris made a return to DC in this one. The Lakers uniform looks weird on him. 

It's hard to capture just how quick Ish Smith is in a video game, but this spin move came pretty close. 

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.