#HawksMailbag - October 8: What's going on with Percy Harvin?

Posted Oct 8, 2013

Answering your on the field and off the field questions about the club on a weekly basis.

This tweet from the Seahawks' number one offseason acquisition sure got the 12th Man riled up on Monday afternoon. Wide receiver Percy Harvin has returned to Seattle after spending the past few weeks in New York rehabbing from the hip surgery he underwent in early August. Many of you, like our friend below, flooded our #HawksMailbag wondering, "What's going on!?" We'll tackle that one first.

But before we do, a special thanks to everyone else who submitted questions this week. Sorry that we can't get to them all.

Harvin is eligible to come off of the team's physically unable to perform (PUP) list in Week 7. Once Harvin is off the team's PUP list he would have three weeks to practice and make his return to the active roster.

Head coach Pete Carroll offered further details on the situation during his Monday press conference, but would not provide an exact timeline for his return.

"Percy is back and he’s ready to take the next level of training," Carroll said. "I know he’s very enthusiastic about getting going and getting back and all. So we’ll just have to see what happens, but it’s a very positive response at this point. He’s in really good shape to take the next step and he is on the ground running now and he’s working pretty hard at it.

"His attitude is perfect about getting back and doing everything he can to get out there."

Update: On Wednesday, October 9, Carroll said a Week 7 return for Harvin in time for the team's Thursday night game against the Arizona Cardinals is "not realistic"

Barring a setback during the week of practice, head coach Pete Carroll has said All-Pro/Pro Bowl center Max Unger (arm) is expected to return this Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. Unger has missed the team's last two games against the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts.

Right tackle Breno Giacomini, who was in New York last week recovering from a September 30 knee surgery, has returned to Virginia Mason Athletic Center and is still "hobbling around," head coach Pete Carroll said on Monday.

"He should make a pretty good turn here in the next week or so to get back to where he can be moving around a lot," Carroll said. "Everything went well. He’s progressing fine, but he’s not ready to go yet.”

And left tackle Russell Okung is still a ways out after suffering a torn ligament in his left big toe in Week 2. Currently on the team's Injured Reserve/Designated to Return list, the earliest Okung can come back is the team's Week 11 game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Third down. More specifically, converting more of them on offense.

Over the last two weeks, in road games against the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts, the Seahawks have combined to convert just 5-of-26 (19.2 percent) on third down. That lack of conversion on the game's most-crucial down has either stalled drives completely or forced the offense to settle for field goals instead of touchdowns.

Head coach Pete Carroll said the root of the problem lays at the lack of protection from the team's aforementioned banged-up offensive line, leaving quarterback Russell Wilson little time to throw in obvious passing situations.

"In the last couple of weeks - with the changes in the offensive line - it’s just hard," Carroll said on Monday. "They’re working hard at it, they’re improving. But it’s just a factor. That’s the most difficult time to pass protect because they know that you’re going to throw the football and so they give you their best shot and we just have to be better. We certainly want to get the ball out quicker and we’d like to have him [Wilson] with his feet set and all that. It’s been difficult because there’s been lot of leakage.”

With All Pro/Pro Bowl center Max Unger expected to return to the starting lineup this weekend against the Tennessee Titans, the Seahawks should see improvement in that area.

After watching running back Marshawn Lynch amass 76 yards on 11 carries (6.9-yard average) in the first half last Sunday, I found myself asking this very same question as the game wore on. On Monday, head coach Pete Carroll was asked if the team was holding Lynch back for any particular reason.

"We’re not holding him back any," Carroll said. "We’re just running the offense and playing the situations out. He’s doing really well and he’s on it right now."

It did look like the situation may have called for more of the team's Beast Mode back, as the Seahawks held the scoring edge throughout a third quarter in which Lynch saw five of his 17 total touches. But in the fourth quarter the Colts dominated time of possession, taking the lead with a touchdown drive that ate up 6:40 of the clock before tacking on a field goal drive that consumed another 4:43, which left limited opportunities - just two total possessions - for the Seahawks and Lynch. His only fourth-quarter carry came in a series when the Seahawks went three-and-out and then the club was forced into passing situations on their final drive because they were out of timeouts. The Seahawks have looked to Lynch in the past when executing game-winning fourth-quarter drives, but that wasn't an option without a surefire way to stop the clock late in the game.

Carroll did hint that Lynch's service could see a steady uptick in the near future.

"I thought maybe it would be this week [against the Colts] that he would get the ball more than he did," Carroll said. "We’re ready to do that next week too. If he’s got to get the ball 30 times in a game, he’s ready to go."

As one of just four wide receivers on the Seahawks active roster, Sidney Rice is still very much in the game plan.

He has been quiet in recent weeks though, totaling two catches for a combined 19 yards in games against the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts, but quarterback Russell Wilson is still looking his way. Rice saw five targets from Wilson in Week 4 - tied for the team-high with fellow wideout Golden Tate - and saw four targets from Wilson in Week 5 - significantly fewer than Tate (11) and Doug Baldwin (9).

That "leakage" in pass protection that head coach Pete Carroll mentioned on Monday isn't helping Rice's numbers, but the targets should continue to be there in the coming weeks and there's no doubt Rice has the ability to take advantage. This is the same receiver who made five catches on seven targets for 79 yards and two scores against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3, not to mention the same receiver who led the club with 50 catches for 748 yards and seven scores during Wilson's rookie year.

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