Focus on: Percy Harvin

Posted Jan 2, 2014

Percy Harvin was limited in the Seahawks’ bonus practice Thursday during their playoff bye week. But just the thought of getting his unlimited big-play potential back for next Saturday’s divisional playoff game has his teammates excited.

As coach Pete Carroll announced on Monday, Percy Harvin was indeed on the practice field Thursday as the Seahawks held the first of two bonus workouts during their playoff bye week.

Harvin, who had hip surgery Aug. 1 and played in only one game during the regular season, was very limited in the practice that was held on the outside fields at Virginia Mason Athletic Center on a chilly, blustery afternoon. The versatile receiver/runner/returner did not talk to the media after practice, but he was smiling in the locker room.

And his teammates also were happy to have Harvin back, even if his contributions consisted of catching a few passes on routes run not against defenders but air, and leaning into the huddle to hear the play calls in team drills.

“It’s nice,” All-Pro and Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman said when asked how it felt to have Harvin back on the practice field. “Obviously he’s one of the most dynamic players in the league. So it’s going to be one of those things where if he has a chance to help us in the playoffs, anytime you can get him, you’re happy to have him.”

Harvin, a former Pro Bowl player who was obtained in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings last March, made his one regular-season appearance in the Seahawks’ Week 11 victory over the Vikings. He contributed a 58-yard kickoff return and made a falling grab of a pass he tipped for a 17-yard gain in the 41-20 win at CenturyLink Field.

Just a glimpse, but a definite indication of what Harvin could bring in the No. 1-seeded Seahawks’ divisional playoff game next Saturday against the lowest-seeded survivor of this weekend’s wild-card game.

“To see Percy Harvin out there is exciting,” Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson said. “We’ve been wanting him out there the whole year, obviously. The guys though that have stepped up have done a tremendous job.

“So if we can get Percy Harvin back, like I said earlier in the year, he’s one of the best players in the National Football League and he has been for the past four or five years. So to get him back on the field, you can see his effect, you can sense his ability. So just having him out there, I’m happy for him. I hope he can play in the playoffs. I hope he can get out there and get that feeling again of being a big-time football player, as he always has been.”

The key to what Harvin is able to do in Friday’s bonus practice, and beyond, will be determined by how his surgically repaired hip responds to the work he got Thursday. Nothing has changed in that regard.

Monday, Carroll offered perhaps the best explanation of what Harvin has been going through.

“He had major surgery on his hip. There are a lot of people who walk around for years getting back from that. He’s trying to do it in months,” Carroll said. “He’s not trying to just get back to being a normal human being walking down the street; he goes a million miles an hour and throws his body everywhere. He has to be perfectly fit to do that.”

Case in point: When Harvin went down to get a low throw early in practice; his helmet came off during the effort.

And that’s why his teammates are pulling so hard for Harvin to get back with them where it counts most – not just in any game, but a playoff game.

“He’s ready to go, I think,” said Wilson, who threw to Harvin for 15 minutes on Monday. “But we’ll see. We’ve got to listen to the trainers and coach Carroll and how he’s feeling.

“And that just adds another element to our game. If we can have Percy Harvin, he’s as explosive as can be. He has a great knack for the game. He’s very physical. Loves to just make big-time plays. So if we can get him out there, that’ll be great.”