With late afternoon fall sunlight sparkling off his earrings, Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin smiled.
He had just walked off the Seahawks practice field with all his teammates for the first time since Aug. 1 surgery on his hip. After months of rehabilitation in New York and Seattle, Harvin, the crown jewel of Seattle’s offseason acquisitions, was finally back doing simple practice things.
“Today was an excellent day,” Harvin said.
Though, it was just a first day. Harvin said his hip feels good, his grasp of the playbook is solid and his chemistry with quarterback Russell Wilson is fine. But both he and coach Pete Carroll said it’s a “day-by-day” process with Harvin’s return. Neither committed to Harvin playing Monday night against the St. Louis Rams.
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Harvin, whom the Seahawks acquired in an offseason trade with the Minnesota Vikings for three draft picks, was worried and irritated about the surgery.
Emotionally, he didn’t want to do it. He had not played since Week 9 of last season after hurting his ankle in the Minnesota Vikings’ 30-20 loss in Seattle.
But a bone was blocking him from having full range of motion in his hip. Harvin knew the surgery was necessary, though he remains unsure what caused the issue. At first, he thought it might end his season or at least keep him out several months.
The day after the procedure, Harvin could lift his leg and was on a stationary bike. That told him he would be back soon.
For offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, this means a new,
high-speed and – at least recently – oft-injured toy.
Bevell was the Minnesota offensive coordinator for two years when Harvin was there. The Vikings used Harvin in multiple ways: out of the backfield, on bubble screens and in more traditional receiver routes.
Harvin said some verbiage has changed, but the concepts and usage of his speed will be the same.
That means the Seahawks will have a new element on offense.
“The team is already rolling, so I’m just looking to fit in where I fit in and not try to do too much,” Harvin said. “They’re just going to plug me in and we’re going to keep rolling.”
A 21-day countdown for the Seahawks to activate Harvin, who is still on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, began Monday. If he’s not activated within that window, he has to stay on the PUP list for the rest of the season. If he is activated, the Seahawks will need to release another player from the 53-man roster.
“It’s been a long ride,” Harvin said. “I haven’t played football since week (nine) of last season, and just dealing with the trades, dealing with the injury that ended the season, and then coming here and having another injury.
“So it’s been tough, man, I have a lot of things built up in me that I’m just ready to unleash on the field. I’m going to take my time with it, but when it’s time to explode I will.”