RENTON – The Seahawks paid heavily in March to get receiver Percy Harvin, hoping he might prove the missing piece in advancing to, and winning, a Super Bowl.
If the Seahawks are to get there, though, they will travel much of that road without Harvin after it was decided Tuesday that he will need surgery to repair a tear in the labrum of his hip.
Harvin received a second opinion on the injury earlier in the day in New York from hip specialist Dr. Bryan Kelly, and then later in the afternoon tweeted that he will need surgery.
“when everything is goin good sometimes life throw u a curve ball,’’ Harvin tweeted. “sorry to half to report that my injury will require surgery…”
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Later, Harvin added in another tweet: “Nobody was more anxious and excited about season then….but I will be back strong as ever..i appreciate all the love and prayers 12th man.”
The team later confirmed the news that Harvin will have surgery Thursday.
While recovery times can vary, the injury and surgery typically require a three- to four-month recovery, meaning Harvin could be back by late November or December, just in time for a Super Bowl push if the team is in playoff position.
Harvin is currently on the Physically Unable to Perform list and he will almost certainly remain on that list, meaning he is out through at least Week 6. Recent changes in that rule mean Harvin could be activated anywhere from Week 7 to Week 15.
In March, the Seahawks traded three picks — including their 2013 first-rounder — to Minnesota to get a player regarded as one of the most dynamic receivers in the NFL.
Seattle signed Harvin to a six-year, $67 million contract that includes $14.5 million in guaranteed money for 2013 — a $12 million signing bonus and $2.5 million salary.
The team felt it a worthy gamble, though, considering Harvin had averaged 1,800 total yards in his four years in Minnesota, and was on pace for 2,400 yards in 2012 — which would have led the NFL — before his season was cut short after nine games due to an ankle injury.
In nine games in 2012 he caught 62 passes — 12 more than any Seahawk had in 2012 — for 677 yards. He also had 96 yards rushing and 574 yards on kickoff returns (including a 105-yard touchdown).
However, the ankle injury typified a Minnesota career that saw Harvin hit with nagging injuries throughout, one of the whispered reasons the Vikings were willing to let him go.
Seattle planned to add Harvin to a receiving group that includes another former Viking, Sidney Rice.
Tuesday, though, neither was anywhere near the team’s training complex as Rice was in Switzerland having what the team termed a preventive procedure on his knee. Rice has been limited in early practices, but coach Pete Carroll said he does not have a specific injury.
“He didn’t get hurt,” Carroll said. “We’re just trying to help him because we have something going that we think will help him.’’
With Rice apparently to be OK but Harvin out, the Seahawks will likely enter the season with essentially the same receiving corps as a year ago — Rice and Golden Tate as starters on the outside and Doug Baldwin on the inside.
“Remember, they manufactured offense last year without him,” said Charles Davis, an NFL Network analyst. “That’s the one thing people have to keep in mind. He takes you to a different place and makes people prepare differently, but it’s not like all the sudden everything goes straight to heck. It feels like it because you put a ton of money in him, and he’s the big signature move.”
Carroll on Tuesday also praised the play of former Washington Husky Jermaine Kearse, who with Harvin and Rice out often worked with the first unit in practice.
The team also has high hopes for fourth-round draft pick Chris Harper, though he has worked largely with the second and third units so far.
Harvin’s tweets came a few hours after Carroll had told reporters that a decision might not come for a day or so but that the team would “continue to progress with this simple thought, that we are going to do whatever we need to do to help Percy get right, whatever that is. So we will support the doctor’s finding. They are working it out now.’’
Carroll also refuted reports that the team had decided that Harvin did not need surgery, which had led to Harvin seeking a second opinion.
“That’s not right because we haven’t made a conclusion, a conclusive statement about that yet,” Carroll said. “We are trying to wait it out and make sure we take all the time that’s available and all of the information, so whatever those reports were, they weren’t correct.’’
Harvin appeared fine when the Seahawks held offseason training activities in May.
He was limited during the team’s minicamp in June, however, with what Carroll said was a hip issue. Carroll said Harvin worked out with teammates just before camp began and was fine.
But Harvin reported soreness in the hip when he reported to camp last week, and was placed on the PUP list.