EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- So as it turned out, receiver Percy Harvin did participate in a portion of the Minnesota Vikings' first full minicamp practice Tuesday. Adding to what has been a confusing set of messages from him, Harvin said that "nothing's changed" since both he and coach Leslie Frazier said Harvin would not participate in on-field work during this camp.
Harvin said there is "no question" he stands by his earlier statement, which included a threat to hold out from training camp if several unspecified issues are not resolved before then. He eventually said during his second media session that he only wanted to answer football questions, so I asked him about Frazier's plan to get him on the field more often than he was last season -- when he participated in 58 percent of the Vikings' snaps.
Harvin rolled his eyes, shook his head and said: "We'll see. We'll see."
So did Harvin not like the question, or was his body language an indication that the playing-time issue has contributed heavily into his current state of unhappiness? I'm not sure how to read it, but if you're convinced he is simply angling for a new contract, I can tell you that from what I understand, the Vikings' decision-makers were blindsided by his comments and had no inkling that he was upset about anything of substance.
This one will be continued, for sure.
Here are a few thoughts and observations from the first day of minicamp:
The first uh-oh moment of spring arrived came when new middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley was unable to practice. Brinkley acknowledged afterward that his sore groin is related to the hip injury that caused him to miss the entire 2011 season. Brinkley needs every offseason snap he can get if he is to replace free agent E.J. Henderson, and it's concerning that the hip is causing residual effects 10 months after surgery. This will be an area of concern for the Vikings all summer. Meanwhile, second-year player Tyrone McKenzie worked Tuesday in his spot.
Free-agent acquisition Chris Carr worked as the third cornerback. Carr played outside when the Vikings went to the nickel, with Antoine Winfield moving inside to play the slot receiver and Chris Cook holding down the other outside spot. My guess is that's the way the Vikings will go into training camp as well.
Winfield grabbed an easy interception during team drills when quarterback Christian Ponder seemed to think twice about throwing a pass. Ponder couldn't pull back his arm in time, and Winfield snatched the soft toss from the air.
The offensive play of the day was a red zone pass from Ponder to tight end John Carlson, who got free between two defenders and then dunked the ball over the goal post for good measure.