Even Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin, the league's leader in receptions, had to admit it didn't look good that he hobbled into the locker room on crutches Monday.
"Um, it's not a good sign," said Harvin, who sprained his left ankle in three places when he rolled it during an end-around run Sunday in the Vikings' 30-20 loss to the Seahawks at Seattle.
The Vikings aren't ruling Harvin out for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions at Mall of America Field. Coach Leslie Frazier said Harvin has no fractures and doesn't have a high ankle sprain.
"He's day-to-day," Frazier said. "We'll see how it goes."
If Harvin somehow manages to heal before Sunday -- a huge if -- the Vikings still would be faced with the question of whether it's wise to put him at further risk on a tender ankle.
Minnesota has a bye following the Lions game, so not playing Harvin would give him three weeks to rest the ankle before the Vikings travel to Chicago to play the Bears the week after the bye. On the other hand, the Vikings are fading fast, and they view the Detroit game as the most winnable in a four-game stretch that also has them playing the Packers in Green Bay and the Bears home and away.
Harvin is a unique case based on how determined he is to play through injuries. He returned twice from injuries Sunday. His right hamstring started bothering him in the third quarter. He took all but one play of a series off and returned. On his second play back, he rolled his ankle. It was assumed that his day was over based on how the injury looked and Harvin's reaction, but Harvin soon was jogging on the sideline, and he returned early in the fourth quarter. He was targeted twice and failed to catch either pass.
Asked if it would make sense to rest until after the bye, Harvin said, "To me, no. But if that's what has to happen, then that's what has to happen. 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. My whole ankle, all the way around, is swollen, so we've got a lot of work to do. It's a long shot, but I'm not ruling myself out."