Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 11/8/12
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Reeling from two losses in their past three games, the Minnesota Vikings went into Thursday's practice without their two biggest stars: running back Adrian Peterson and receiver Percy Harvin.Peterson, who leads the NFL with 957 rushing yards, was missing with an undisclosed illness. Meanwhile, Harvin, who has a league-high 62 receptions, is still dealing with a badly injured ankle. Harvin limped very slowly through the locker room Thursday but was without crutches after suffering sprains in three places during last week's 30-20 loss at Seattle.For an offense that has struggled to sustain drives and score points, missing its top two offensive playmakers heading into Sunday's game against NFC North foe Detroit would be damaging.Peterson, who's averaging a career-best 5.7 yards per carry after having major knee surgery in December, has rushed for at least 123 yards in each of the past three games, including a season-high 182 last week. But even with Peterson's elite rushing totals, the team's passing offense has faltered and tallied less than 100 net yards in two of the past three games.Harvin, also the league's leading kickoff returner with a 35.9-yard average, has more than double the receptions of the next closest Vikings player, tight end Kyle Rudolph (27 catches). Harvin has 677 receiving yards and three touchdowns and was the catalyst of the team's short, efficient passing game that powered Minnesota to a surprising 4-1 start.He had just two catches for 10 yards in last week's loss and injured his ankle while being tackled on a run during the third quarter. He had the ankle re-taped and returned but didn't have his usual explosiveness.Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said he is hopeful Harvin will return to practice by Friday and play Sunday, but even the tough, competitive Harvin noted Monday that was a "long shot."Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
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