RENTON – The Seahawks opened 2013 training camp Thursday under sunny skies and boundless optimism at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center.
As practice began, though, one dark cloud emerged — an injury to receiver and prize offseason acquisition Percy Harvin, who was a surprise entry on the team’s Physically Unable to Perform list.
Coach Pete Carroll said after practice Harvin has a hip injury that might require surgery, but that the team still does not know the extent of it. There were reports that Harvin may have a slight tear in the labrum of the hip and Carroll did not rule that out, saying “It’s in that area, yeah.”
Asked if surgery might be necessary, Carroll said:
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“It may be,” Carroll said. “We will find out. We are just going to go ahead and do it step by step. I know he was working full speed just a few days ago, but we need to take care of him and take every precaution to do that. … Right now we need to get more information. We don’t know enough right now.‘’
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported that Harvin will get a second opinion Tuesday, meaning he won’t be on the practice field at the VMAC anytime soon. If he gets cleared to play, he could return immediately as players can come off the PUP list and participate at any time before the regular season.
Harvin was limited during the team’s minicamp practices in June with what was described at the time as a hip-flexor injury. He also had issues with a right hip injury while playing with Minnesota in 2010, though it’s unclear if this injury is related to that one.
Carroll, though, said Harvin appeared fully healthy until recently.
“He was working out just a week or so ago going full speed,” Carroll said. “But it was bothering him enough that we took some looks at it and trying to figure out what the right procedures and take care of him and getting him back out on the field.”
The Seahawks have been pegged as Super Bowl contenders for reasons that extend far beyond Harvin.
But many saw his addition as potentially filling the last missing piece on the team’s offense, giving the Seahawks a game-breaking receiver capable of making 100 catches while also filling duties as a returner, and occasionally getting a few carries.
The Seahawks were enamored enough by Harvin to trade away their 2013 first-round pick as well as a 2013 seventh-round pick and a 2014 third-rounder to Minnesota to get his rights. They then signed Harvin to a six-year deal that could pay him as much as $67 million, including $25.5 million guaranteed.
Minnesota was thought willing to make the deal in part because Harvin has had some issues with injuries, including playing just nine games last season after suffering a sprained ankle.
When he was limited in June, it appeared to be precautionary and not indicative of a serious ailment. Recovery times for any injury can vary significantly, but surgery would likely mean Harvin would be out at least a month or two.
Carroll noted that the season is still six weeks away, saying, “The good part is it’s really early. We have a long time to get him ready.’’
Quarterback Russell Wilson also said he wasn’t worried about not being able to work with Harvin and begin building an on-field relationship.
“I’m not because Percy has played in the league for several years now,” Wilson said. “He knows football, he understands the game, and we talk all the time about certain routes and things. You don’t have to always get the reps to perfect them. As long as you’re on the same page in terms of the communication level, on the same page in terms of mentally … and what you’re seeing.”
Harvin was one of six players on the PUP list. The others were starting tight end Zach Miller, backup running back Robert Turbin, defensive ends Greg Scruggs and Chris Clemons and rookie cornerback Tharold Simon.
Carroll said Miller has a sore foot that is not related to the injury he suffered in the playoffs.
Carroll said Turbin also has a sore foot and that “we just want to really make sure that we’ve got him right.’’
Scruggs and Clemons are rehabbing knee injuries. Simon has a foot injury.
Carroll said Clemons, who tore his ACL in the playoff victory over Washington, continues to progress well enough that there is a chance he will be back for the first game Sept. 8 at Carolina.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or email@example.com