Thursday, January 21, 2010
Battle in the Bayou: Harvin and migraines
By Kevin Seifert
A few of you thought I was being dramatic last month when I suggested that Percy Harvin’s ongoing battle with migraine headaches presented an “ominous” sign for the future. To me, the incurable and unpredictable nature of the affliction made it one of Minnesota’s top obstacles in making a Super Bowl run.
Why? For the potential of the exact circumstance the Vikings encountered Thursday. Four days before the NFC Championship Game, Harvin -- the Vikings’ second-leading receiver and top third-down target -- was at home dealing with a sudden onset of migraines. Coach Brad Childress said the Vikings are trying to “slow the onsets” but acknowledged that nothing but time will cure this or any other round.
Harvin has dealt with the issue throughout his rookie season and missed one game, a Dec. 13 victory over Cincinnati. He visited the Mayo Clinic for help, but Childress said it was unrealistic to expect the problem could be so quickly solved.
It’s no one’s fault and there are no easy answers. Those who suffer from migraines know there aren’t many (legal) options for symptom relief. The Vikings will simply have to wait for this episode to run its course -- and hope it does so before Sunday.
If Harvin can’t play, the Vikings will lose one of quarterback Brett Favre’s favorite targets -- his 60 receptions trailed only Sidney Rice among Vikings receivers -- and a Pro Bowl kickoff returner.
You could expect Darius Reynaud to replace him on kickoffs, while veteran Greg Lewis likely would see more time in Harvin’s slot receiver position. Stay tuned. This situation might not be resolved until Sunday afternoon.