Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin (ankle) won’t play Sunday against the Lions, which means Minnesota will have to rely on its B squad receivers.
Unfortunately for the Vikings, D squad might be a little more accurate — as in deficient.
Harvin’s 62 receptions are second in the NFL (Indy’s Reggie Wayne passed him Thursday), and he’s taken those receptions for 677 yards (10th in the league) and three touchdowns.
He has more than twice as many receptions and receiving yards as any other player on the Vikings. Harvin also leads the NFL with a 35.9-yard average on kickoff returns, and he has 22 carries for 96 yards and a touchdown this season.
The Vikings will start Michael Jenkins in Harvin’s place, but Jenkins has just 26 catches for 295 yards this season. They also have wide receivers Devin Aromashodu (10 catches for 151 yards), Jerome Simpson (eight catches for 109 yards) and rookie Jarius Wright, who is active for the first time.
In fact, their best pass catcher without Harvin is probably tight end Kyle Rudolph (27 catches for 242 yards and five touchdowns), but he has just two catches for 17 yards in the past three games.
Yes, the Lions are starting reserves Erik Coleman and Ricardo Silva as their safeties with Louis Delmas (knee) and Amari Spievey (concussion) out, but they have to like their matchup.
Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder has thrown eight interceptions his past five games and posted quarterback ratings of 37.3, 74.8 and 35.5 the past three — and that was with Harvin playing.
The game plan for the Lions is pretty simple: Don’t let Adrian Peterson beat you.