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Something In The Water? (Part 2)

August 13, 2010

The Minnesota Vikings wide receiver corps has been missing some of its star power lately. Sidney Rice has yet to see the practice field and Percy Harvin has been away since July 31. Rice is on the PUP list for an undisclosed hip injury. Some have said “undisclosed” means “unhappy with my contract” but neither the Vikings nor Rice have chosen to air any dirty laundry.

The status of Percy Harvin, however, is something the Vikings do not seem to mind displaying publicly. And today’s disclosure of a “five-day letter” simply adds another unusual twist to an already strange situation.

Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com does a nice job of breaking down what the Vikings latest roster move means.

  • Harvin is currently on the Vikings’ “exempt/left camp” list. He does not count against the Vikings’ 80-man roster letter.
  • In order to get that exemption, Vikings coach Brad Childress told Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune, the Vikings were required to send Harvin what is known as a “five-day letter.” The letter warns a player that he must re-join the team within five days.
  • If he does not, the team has the option of placing him on a second list known as “reserve/left camp.” Once a player is put on the “reserve/left camp” list, he is ineligible to play for the entire season.
  • To be clear, however: The Vikings don’t have to place him on the “reserve/left camp” list after the five-day period expires. It is their option, and it’s hard to imagine the Vikings doing anything of the sort anytime soon.

The move opens up a roster spot for the Vikings to sign another player, but Mike Wobschall of Vikings.com says there is “No word yet on if the Vikings will add someone to the roster.”

And while the details surrounding Harvin’s absence from camp are certainly murky, I tend not to agree with the speculation that “he [Harvin] and Sidney Rice are purposely avoiding the rigors of camp as long as Brett Favre stays away.”

I think it’s more likely that Brett, Sidney, and Percy are simply trying to avoid the “overtrained athlete syndrome.”

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