Chris Summers (USA Today Sports)
The Vikings were considering their replacement possibilities for Percy Harvin on Friday. Plus, the Bears ruled out CB Tim Jennings, who leads the league in interceptions.
With Percy Harvin on injured reserve, the Vikings were considering a move at the receiver position Friday, according to head coach Leslie Frazier, but opted to sign tackle Troy Kropog off the practice squad instead.
The team worked out three receivers Friday – they were former Minnesota State, Mankato receiver Lamark Brown, former Vikings offseason receiver Bryan Walters and former Arkansas-Pine Bluff receiver Raymond Webber, according to 1500 ESPN – but the most likely candidate among the receivers to be considered for the 53-man roster was thought to be Chris Summers.
Summers was with the Chicago Bears during the offseason, but he was signed to the Vikings practice squad on Sept. 3 and has been there ever since.
“He’s done a real good job. He’s really improved from the time we’ve gotten him,” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. “Our coaches have talked about him in a positive way all throughout. (Receivers coach) George Stewart has raved about him (and offensive coordinator) Bill Musgrave. He’s done a good job.”
Although he’s not a fast receiver, Summers offers size on the outside. The former Liberty receiver is 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds.
“It really doesn’t matter where you put the ball. I’m just going to try to attack the ball and try to actually play basketball on the football field,” Summers said. “One of my strengths is just trying to high-point the ball and box out defenders and try to attack the ball anytime I can.”
Frazier singled out Summers' size when asked about him.
“His size is probably his biggest asset,” Frazier said. “I don’t want to talk too much about him because he is on our practice squad and guys are taking guys off our practice squad. Don’t want to build him up too much.”
The Vikings lost running back Jordan Todman off their practice squad on Nov. 27 when the Jacksonville Jaguars signed him to the 53-man roster. In his stead, the Vikings signed RB Joe Banyard that same day.
Kropog was signed to the practice squad on Sept. 18 and has spent the last 10 weeks there.
JENNINGS OUT FOR BEARS
Good news for Christian Ponder. Bears CB Tim Jennings, who leads the league with eight interceptions, was ruled out by the Bears because of a shoulder injury. That is in addition to the Bears already ruling out MLB Brian Urlacher with a hamstring injury and Earl Bennett with a concussion.
The Vikings had a positive injury report. Only CB Antoine Winfield was limited in Friday’s practice with a knee injury, and all the players listed on the injury report are probable – DE Jared Allen (shoulder/back), RB Adrian Peterson (rested earlier in the week), TE Kyle Rudolph (shoulder), LB Jasper Brinkley (shoulder), T Phil Loadholt (knee), C John Sullivan (ribs/knee) and Winfield.
“Good to have everybody out on the practice field out there today. Jared and Adrian (were) full participation,” Frazier said.
The Vikings were optimistic all week that Allen would be able to play after a magnetic resonance imaging test on his back earlier in the week came back negative.
“(The trainers) think with the treatment he got this week and the way he performed in practice he should be fine,” Frazier said. “That doesn’t mean something couldn’t happen, but they haven’t warned me that that was a possibility.”
In addition to Urlacher, Jennings and Bennett, the Bears listed RB Michael Michael Bush (ribs), DT Stephen Paea (foot) and G Chris Spencer (knee) as questionable. Those three were limited in Friday’s practice.
OL Gabe Carimi (hamstring), WR Devin Hester (concussion) and WR Alshon Jeffery (knee) are probable.
Adrian Peterson won the FedEx Ground Player of the Week for his 210-yard performance against the Packers, earning the local Junior Achievement in Minneapolis a $2,000 donation in Peterson's name.
Packers CB Tramon Williams was fined $21,000 for a hit helmet-to-helmet hit on Vikings RB Toby Gerhart.
Meanwhile, DE Everson Griffen was fined $15,750 for roughing the passer from the Packers game, but not a possible horse-collar tackle, and Jasper Brinkley fined $7,875 for a facemask.
The Vikings will continue to start Jamarca Sanford at safety and rotate Mistral Raymond with him, Frazier said.
They have the same plan at right guard, where Brandon Fusco will continue to start and Geoff Schwartz rotate with him.
Frazier reiterated a week-long mantra at Winter Park: The Vikings need to do better on first and second down against the Bears offense so they have a better chance of forcing longer throws on third down.
“They really shortened up some routes and drops as well. It’s a smart move on their part,” Frazier said of the last meeting with the Bears on Nov. 25. “I think they gave up one sack against Seattle as well. They’ve done some things to help their offensive line, so we’ve got to try to counter that in some way.”
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.