Minnesota Vikings: Player Watch – Tuesday 20 Dec 11

DTs Fred Evans and Letroy Guion have had a knack for committing stupid penalties at the worst of times, even though they’re backup players. It started with the season opener, when they jumped offsides a combined three times in the Chargers’ final drive. Two of them produced first downs, allowing San Diego to run out the clock in a 24-17 win. Sunday, Evans was flagged for hands to the facemask. It came on third-and-20 as Brees was throwing one of his rare incompletions. The Saints went on to score a touchdown.

WR Percy Harvin and the Vikings’ ability to use him was no match for Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Harvin, who came into the game averaging 121 yards from scrimmage with five touchdowns the past four games, had just four touches for seven yards. Harvin had excelled in the three-plus games that RB Adrian Peterson missed because of a high left ankle sprain. Peterson’s return on Sunday was supposed to make Harvin more of a weapon, but the Vikings weren’t able to execute their game plan.

QB Christian Ponder deserves credit for positive thinking and expressing his determination to become a great quarterback in the NFL. But it still sounded strange after Sunday’s game when he said his goal is to be better than Drew Brees one day.

LB E.J. Henderson is in the final year of his contract and unlikely to return. He’ll be 32 and doesn’t appear to have much, if anything, left. He can’t cover the amount of ground the team requires from the middle linebacker in a Tampa 2 scheme.

LG Steve Hutchinson missed most of the second half because of a lip laceration. He should be fine for Saturday’s game at Washington. Hutchinson isn’t the consistently dominant player he once was. He’ll probably have to restructure his contract or face being released before next season.