RENTON — Little has gone as expected during Percy Harvin’s first season with the Seahawks.
Thursday, though, developed just as the Seahawks had planned. As the team returned to the practice field following two days off during what is essentially a bye week, Harvin was right there with them. Just as Seattle coach Pete Carroll had said he be would earlier in the week.
Seattle coaches did not address the media afterward, nor did Harvin. And since the Seahawks are not playing a game this week, they did not have to release a practice report and detail how much he participated.
But Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said it was “exciting’’ to see Harvin back on the field.
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“If we can get Percy Harvin back, he is one of the best players in the National Football League, and he has been for the past 4-5 years. So to get him back out on the field, we can see his effect. We can sense his ability …’’ Wilson said. “I am happy for him. Man, I really hope he can play in the playoffs and get out there and get that feeling again of being a big-time football player like he always has been. We are excited about that — if that’s the case.’’
Practicing once, though, does not guarantee that Harvin will take part in Seattle’s first playoff game Jan. 11 at CenturyLink Field against the Packers, Saints or 49ers.
Carroll, when he met with the media Monday, said Harvin would need to show in practices he is ready to play.
“He’s going to practice on Thursday and we’ll see what happens from there,’’ Carroll said.
Carroll’s announcement Monday afternoon that Harvin would practice this week caught many by surprise. The Seahawks coach had indicated several times in previous days that Harvin might be headed to the Injured Reserve list.
Wilson, though, confirmed an ESPN report that a Monday workout helped convince the Seahawks that Harvin was ready to try to practice again. Wilson said he and Harvin threw for about 15 minutes.
“Didn’t throw too much,’’ Wilson said. “Just kind of caught the ball and threw it, played a little pitch-and-catch. He did a great job. He’s ready to go, I think, but we will see. Got to listen to the trainers and Coach Carroll and how he is feeling.’’
Harvin was acquired from Minnesota in the offseason for three draft picks, including a first-rounder in 2013.
But after reporting to training camp with a sore hip, he had surgery on Aug. 1 to fix a torn labrum.
He returned to play Nov. 17 against Minnesota, returning a kickoff 58 yards and making one catch for 17 yards. He said after the game he felt fine, adding, “Today was the No. 1 test that everyone wanted to see. I don’t see any more setbacks. I’m looking to take off from here.”
A few days later, though, he reported soreness in the hip and has not played or practiced since. Carroll has said Harvin did not suffer a re-injury but just struggled to get past soreness after returning.
Wilson said Harvin has remained optimistic. “He has done a tremendous job of keeping his head up and continuing to focus on what he can control,’’ Wilson said. “And the trainers have done a great job with him, making sure he is ready to go.’’
Wilson, though, also cautioned that there’s still some work to be done before declaring Harvin good to go.
“We want him at 100 percent,’’ Wilson said. “So if he is, man, that’s something else. He can make a lot of plays for us and do a lot of special things, just like the rest of the guys.
“He has done a tremendous job of staying focused on what he can do to keep himself healthy and prepare and get his legs ready to go, get his lungs ready to run again. That’s not easy just hopping back out there again. He’s like a race horse. When you see him run, he can run for days.’’
For now, the Seahawks just want to see him running again Jan. 11.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org