The biggest day in
After the versatile Harvin participated fully in practice again Friday, coach Pete Carroll said the next step in whether the receiver/returner/runner makes his debut for the team in Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings comes down to how Harvin responds to the extended action he got the previous two days.
“He has a chance,” Carroll said when asked if Harvin would play. “He made it through practice today. We’ll see how it affects him tomorrow. Then we’ll call it. But he looked good. He practiced; did everything.”
Harvin was listed as probable on the end-of-the-week injury status report, the most promising of the four designations.
Harvin, of course, feels ready to return and wants to play – and not just because the opponent at CenturyLink Field is the team that selected him in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft and traded him to the Seahawks in March.
“I definitely think I’m ready to play,” Harvin said. “I’ve still got a lot of work to do. But I think I’m ready to start playing and getting practices in there and getting the ball more.”
As for there being any added incentive because it’s the Vikings, Harvin said, “Not at all. It’s good to play those guys and be able to see those guys. I’ve still got a lot of friendships over there. … But this is solely about the Seattle Seahawks. Me being out there and being able to play again, and get ready for this playoff run. It has nothing to do with the Minnesota Vikings.”
Harvin has not played in a game since last Nov. 4, when the Seahawks beat the Vikings at CenturyLink Field and he got a season-ending ankle injury. Harvin had surgery Aug. 1 on a bothersome hip, which forced him to miss the preseason and first 10 games of the regular season.
There are two avenues the Seahawks can take with regards to Harvin’s return. They could sit him for Sunday’s game, giving an extra week before playing because the team has its bye next week and then faces a three-game stretch that includes games against the 7-2 New Orleans Saints in a “Monday Night Football” matchup Dec. 2 at CenturyLink Field; the 6-3 San Francisco 49ers on Dec. 8 in what will be the Seahawks’ final visit to Candlestick Park; and the New York Giants on Dec. 15 in the Meadowlands.
“He’s shown he’s ready now,” Carroll said. “We won’t make that decision unless we think that’s the right thing to do. So we could be more conservative and wait longer, yeah, but we think we’ve done all the things we need to do to get the information and then we’ll figure it out and call it on game day.”
“I definitely think I got everything out of it,” he said. “The plan was just to get out there, start moving around. It’s never actually the day of that I do things that the trainers or anybody worried about. It’s the following day, making sure there’s no swelling, no stiffness. I was able to go out there and I was explosive. I was able to run all my routes unlimited.
“So it all worked out good.”
In participating in all phases of practice Thursday and Friday, Harvin did not look like a player who had not played in more than a year and had not practiced fully since well before his hip started bothering him in July.
“He made it through the week just right,” Carroll said. “He did everything that we asked of him. He was full speed on every opportunity. He looked great. He knows the offense. He understands what’s going on. It’s only understandable that he might be a little rusty at some stuff. He hasn’t played a lot of football right now. So we won’t load him up too much and hopefully he can contribute and help us win.”
Harvin concurred with all of that, especially about expecting too much – even from a player who can do so much.
“I won’t tell you what I can and can’t do,” Harvin said. “I would just say it would be crazy for me to think I can go out there and play the amount of plays I was able to play before and do all the things I was. I’m able to do some of the things. But it’s still day-to-day, and we’ll see.”