RENTON – The absence of Percy Harvin throughout the week during Seahawks practice led to its seemingly inevitable conclusion Friday: The receiver won’t recover from a concussion in time for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against San Francisco.
Harvin suffered the injury in last week’s divisional round win against New Orleans and has not been able to make it through the NFL’s concussion protocol, coach Pete Carroll said Friday.
Asked how disappointing the news is, Carroll said, “It’s super disappointing for Percy first. He wants to play. You could see it; he played his tail off when he had the chance. It’s just an unfortunate circumstance.”
Harvin would be expected to return to practice next week, should Seattle advance, ahead of the Feb. 2 Super Bowl.
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A nagging hip injury, which required preseason surgery, kept Harvin out of all but one regular-season game in 2013. His much-anticipated return last week ended after the second of two big hits received in the first half.
Quarterback Russell Wilson said the team will miss Harvin, “but we’ve played without him all year, for the most part. Obviously we’re disappointed he’s not playing — we wish he was — but his health comes first.”
Lynch respects Niners
Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch will look to punish the 49ers on Sunday, but he offered high praise for his opponent after Friday’s practice.
Asked about stalwart linebackers Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman, Lynch said: “I just respect their game. … They make plays, and that’s what they get paid for.”
A similar sentiment was expressed about fellow running back Frank Gore: “He’s a good, talented back.”
Lynch, who has to speak with reporters to avoid $100,000 in fines, said there wasn’t any added significance playing a rival to go to the Super Bowl. And his overriding feeling heading into the game?
“Just one step closer to the Big Show.”
Saint fined for Harvin hit
New Orleans safety Rafael Bush was fined $21,000 Friday by the NFL for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Harvin in the first quarter of Saturday’s divisional playoff game. Harvin left briefly to be evaluated for a possible concussion, then after being cleared, he returned only to suffer a concussion on a play in the second quarter when his head slammed into the turf following a hit by safety Malcolm Jenkins.
Bush was penalized on the play, a 15-yarder that kept alive a Seattle drive that ended in a field goal.
Harvin was not available for comment, but fellow Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin said he did not think the Saints were targeting Harvin or any of the Seahawk receivers.
“I don’t think there is any ill intent,” he said. “That was just opportunities that they had. … I don’t think anything was malicious.”
Carroll also said earlier in the week that he did not have an issue with either hit, calling each play “legitimate.”
Wright not 100 percent
Linebacker K.J. Wright will return Sunday after being out since Dec. 8 following foot surgery, though he admitted he isn’t 100 percent.
“At the same time, I’ll be football ready,” he said. “It’s the NFC Championship, the stakes are high, so I’ll just have to suck it up and play football.”
Wright, who added he doesn’t expect to start, isn’t expected to require any additional procedures in the offseason.
Carpenter ready if called on
One of the surprises of last week was the decision to make left guard James Carpenter inactive, with rookie Michael Bowie getting the start, instead. Carpenter and Paul McQuistan had been essentially rotating at left guard all season, other than when McQuistan had to fill in at tackle.
Carpenter, though, says he is ready to go if called on this week against a 49er team against whom power running — Carpenter’s forte as a blocker — could be vital.
As for handling sitting out last week, Carpenter said: “It was difficult. Every player wants to play and stuff.
“But it wasn’t my call and I just all week tried to help the D-line and linebackers so we can win.’’
• Seahawks defensive lineman Jordan Hill (groin) is questionable for Sunday. San Francisco cornerback Carlos Rogers (hamstring) and fullback Will Tukuafu (knee) are also questionable.