MANKATO, Minn. -- Mother Nature saved its steamiest effort for our final day at Minnesota State University, Mankato. It was 90 degrees with a heat index approaching 100 for the Minnesota Vikings' 75-minute afternoon practice. A few notes and thoughts before we return to NFC North blog headquarters:
HarvinCoach Brad Childress said he was in contact Wednesday morning with receiver Percy Harvin, but it appears Harvin won't re-join the team until next Monday at the earliest. The Vikings' final training camp practice is Thursday morning and they depart Friday for their preseason opener at St. Louis. Harvin has missed all but two practices of camp because of his grandmother's death and migraine headaches. "It doesn't make any sense [to return this week] because I don't have a magic beamer or anything like that for the migraines," Childress said. "So I think that the path that he's taking right now is the path that he needs to be taking."
Tailback Adrian Peterson (hamstring) participated in the morning session but sat out the afternoon practice, and it's unclear if he'll play Saturday against the Rams. It's also hard to imagine that center John Sullivan, tight end Visanthe Shiancoe or receiver Sidney Rice will play, either.
Wednesday brought a somewhat surprising admission from special teams coordinator Brian Murphy: The team has decided to rotate preseason halves between place-kicker Ryan Longwell and kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd. Saturday, Longwell will handle all placekicks and kickoffs in the first half; Lloyd will handle all of the duties in the second half. I still don't think there is a true competition here, but Murphy said: "This is the time when you find out who has got what in their bag. That's not a reflection of anybody. That's just this time of year. You want to see where everyone is at. You want to see everyone at their best. We'll figure it out from there."
Wednesday was the first day of reserve safety Husain Abdullah's annual observance of Ramadan, during which he neither eats nor drinks between dawn and dusk. Working with a nutritionist, Abdullah has a plan to eat a big breakfast at 5 a.m., a big dinner and then a protein shake at 2 a.m. "Everything is going fine," Abdullah said Wednesday. "I've been doing this since I was seven years old."
Left guard Anthony Herrera returned after sitting out four practices, leaving Sullivan as the only member of the starting offensive line on the sidelines. Sullivan has missed most of training camp because of a calf injury.
In the morning session, rookie cornerback Chris Cook made another play on a deep ball, catching up to receiver Bernard Berrian on the right sideline and helping knock away a pass from Tarvaris Jackson.
And that's a wrap from Mankato. Our formal Vikings Camp Confidential will post Saturday. Today also marks the end of our 2010 training camp tour. We spent three days in each NFC North camp over the past two weeks, and I'll have a handy-dandy review at some point Thursday. Until then....