As expected, receiver Percy Harvin was among Seattle’s seven inactives for Monday’s 34-7 win over the New Orleans Saints while still battling a sore hip.
Less clear is when Harvin will again play for the Seahawks.
Harvin returned to make his Seahawks debut on Nov. 17 against Minnesota, but did not recover from that game as hoped and did not practice last week, after which the team listed him as doubtful on its official injury report Saturday.
NFL.com and FoxSports.com each reported that Harvin had cortisone shots on his hip Saturday but could not get well enough to play. A league source confirmed the cortisone shot to The Times.
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NFL.com was among those who reported that there is a chance the Seahawks will sit Harvin for the rest of the regular season and hope he can return healthy for the playoffs.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll, though, said after the win over the Saints that he thought there was a chance that Harvin could play Monday and that he will play as soon as the team thinks he is ready.
“I held out hope,’’ Carroll said. “I’m kind of one of those hopeless optimists but he just couldn’t quite get there. He felt a lot better today, but he just has some stiffness that hasn’t quite gone away and we don’t want to take any chances.
“So here’s another week and we will go day to day and as soon as he is ready to rock and roll we are going to go and it will be fun to add him to it.’’
Harvin played 19 snaps against Minnesota, catching one pass for 17 yards and returning one kickoff for 58.
Seattle acquired Harvin in the offseason from Minnesota for three draft picks, including a 2013 first-rounder, and then signed him to a six-year contract that included $25.5 million guaranteed.
Without Harvin, Seattle was forced to go with four receivers against New Orleans, including the recently re-signed Ricardo Lockette. All officially got the start when the Seahawks opened in a four-wide formation.
Bennett scores first TD
It all happened so fast. One second Drew Brees was dropping back to pass early in the first quarter, the next Cliff Avril was hitting Brees just as he went to throw the ball. Suddenly, the ball basically fell into the arms of defensive tackle Michael Bennett.
Unlike most of his defensive line brethren, Bennett caught the ball with a surprising grace not expected of someone that is 6 feet 4 and 274 pounds.
“I missed one against the Titans,” Bennett said. “So I said if I ever get another tip, I’m going to run it back. I used to be a running back. I knew what to do with the ball when I got it.”
It sure seemed that way. Bennett didn’t hesitate. He sprinted past a few stunned Saints offensive linemen and used a great block from defensive back Jeremy Lane to score his first career NFL touchdown on a 22-yard return. Bennett’s last touchdown was in his high-school days as a running back in Houston.
Graham shut down
Jimmy Graham came into Monday night with the reputation as the most feared tight end in the NFC. Despite scoring the Saints’ only touchdown on the night, he was largely a non-factor in New Orleans’ offense. Graham had just three catches for 42 yards (one in the second half), despite being targeted nine times by Brees.
Much of the coverage duty was heaped on outside linebacker K.J. Wright, who pushed, bumped, harassed and shadowed Graham all over the field.
“A lot of guys had success pressing him,” Wright said. “So we said, ‘Let’s do that and see if he can get off the line of scrimmage.’ We had to challenge this guy, we just weren’t going to let him run free.”
• Carroll said Saturday the Seahawks hoped to hear something from the NFL by the middle of this week on an appeal filed last week by cornerback Brandon Browner.
The NFL is deciding whether to suspend Browner for a year for violating its substance abuse policies, and has considered him a stage three offender. Browner is arguing he should not be a stage three offender and his penalty should be less. At dispute is whether Browner missed tests a few years ago and if he knew he was supposed to take them. Sources confirmed the Seahawks might consider re-signing Antoine Winfield, who was cut by the team in August, or possibly Perrish Cox, signed by the Seahawks last week then released the next day.
• The Seahawks’ fan group Volume 12 tweeted that they again set a record for stadium crowd noise with officials from the Guinness Book of World Records in attendance to measure it. The group tweeted that noise was measured at 137.6 decibels during the first half.