Originally expected to return in time for the Bears game in Chicago last Sunday, Percy Harvin now looks like he might not make it back until the next Bears game at the Metrodome a week from Sunday.
Harvin tested the ankle in practice on Wednesday. It failed miserably. So he was shut down and spent Thursday doing nothing but looking on from the sideline as his teammates continued preparing for Sunday's key NFC North game at Green Bay.
"It'd be hard to put him out there in a game without seeing him run around a little bit more than what he did on Wednesday," coach Leslie Frazier said.
Harvin looked awful trying to run on Thursday. He was slow. He was tentative in and out of his breaks. He limped after each route that was witnessed by reporters during the open portion of practice. And he was visibly upset that he still can't run up to his lofty standards following an injury that occurred on Nov. 4 in Seattle.
Frazier isn't giving up hope that Harvin will play. Frazier never gives up hope on anything. Of course, you'd hold out hope, too, if your next leading wideout was 30-year-old Michael Jenkins, who has only 30 catches for 324 yards and one touchdown.
Harvin was leading the league in receptions (62) and was garnering MVP chatter at the time he was injured. Now, he's just trying to find a way to get back on the field, even if it's in a decoy role against the Packers.
"We'll see what he can do (in Friday's practice), if he can do anything," Frazier said. "He's got to work through it. Pain tolerance is the key."
Frazier isn't doubting Harvin's ability to play with pain. In fact, it's that ability that might be part of the reason he's slow to recover.
Harvin was playing through a hamstring issue when he had the ankle rolled. He left the field, but returned. It was clear the ankle was unstable when it gave out on him on an incompletion later in the game.
It's hard to quantify what further damage if any that did. But it's a good bet it didn't help the healing process.