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Monday, November 11, 2013
Sanford: 'No doubt' Harvin faces Vikings

By Ben Goessling

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- There were more questions than answers surrounding Percy Harvin's departure from the Minnesota Vikings in March, largely because no one involved with the decision to trade Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks -- general manager Rick Spielman, coach Leslie Frazier, Harvin's agent Joel Segal and the receiver himself -- was terribly interested in answering them. Count safety Jamarca Sanford, who still talks with Harvin regularly, among those who didn't want to offer much clarity on whatever rift developed between Harvin and the team before the trade.

"I really don’t want to get involved in that. I’m just happy that it’s over with," Sanford said. "He's in Seattle. He's happy. We're happy here in Minnesota. So we just look forward to playing him this week."

But Sanford did say what we've assumed here for quite some time -- that there was no way Harvin was going to miss Sunday's game against the Vikings. He hasn't played in Seattle yet after hip surgery, and was unable to play the last two weeks after practicing with the team. Still, it doesn't take a sleuth to realize things didn't end on great terms between Harvin and the Vikings, and with the opportunity to make a statement against his old team in his first game with his new one, it seems like Harvin will have plenty of motivation to get off the physically-unable-to-perform list this week and play well.

"No doubt in my mind. If he had any chance to be back for a game, I knew it was going to be this," Sanford said. "I’m pretty sure he’s frustrated (with the injury), but he’s a strong guy and I’m pretty sure he’s worked and worked his tail off. We know how hard Percy works. So he busted his tail to get back for this game, so he’s back in action this week."

The Vikings will likely have Sanford back from a groin injury, and could get cornerback Chris Cook back, as well. But Minnesota knows first-hand how dangerous Harvin can be in the slot, and that could be an especially difficult matchup for the Vikings this year, when Harvin would be lining up against Josh Robinson in the slot. Robinson has been the worst slot coverage corner in the league this season, according to Pro Football Focus, and though he's played some of his better games in recent weeks, Robinson might also be facing his toughest matchup this year if Harvin is healthy.

"We saw him every day at practice so we have a pretty good feel for him," Frazier said. "That will be interesting having to go back and look at tape of us to prepare for him. I hadn’t really thought about that. He’s a very good player."