The Seattle Seahawks’ shiniest, most expensive offseason acquisition has yet to play a down. Percy Harvin, the presumed No. 1 receiver for the Seahawks, may finally be ready to make his 2013 NFL season debut on Monday Night Football as the Seahawks travel to St. Louis to take on the Rams.
Harvin’s possible return is big news for the 6 – 1 Seahawks. If Harvin and his improved hip return in week eight, as rumored, he will have endured about one full season out of an NFL lineup. Harvin’s 2012 season for his original team, the Minnesota Vikings, was scuttled due to an ankle injury suffered November 4, 2012 — coincidentally against the Seahawks.
What a difference a year makes
The Seahawks face their third NFC West opponent for the first time on Monday night. Despite Seattle’s breakout performance in 2012, the Seahawks only managed a split among their six NFC West games last year, including a 13 – 19 loss at St. Louis in week four and a narrow week 17 victory over the Rams to close the season.
In contrast, the Seahawks have experienced little resistance in 2013 when faced with division opponents. The Seahawks cruised to a dominating victory over the San Francisco 49ers in week two at home and left Arizona last week with an easy, 34 – 22 win over the overmatched Cardinals. To expect the 3 – 4 Rams, who just lost their starting quarterback, Sam Bradford (ACL tear), to hold off the marauding Seahawks is, well, unrealistic.
Under these circumstances, you will be hard-pressed to find anyone outside of Kellen Clemons’ mother, who will pick the Rams to beat the Seahawks on national television.
Enter Harvin — or not
Seattle earned their NFC-leading 6 – 1 record, which gives them a one-game cushion on the 49ers, without the services of Harvin. Now entering the easiest stretch of their season, the Seahawks are looking to only get stronger with the addition of what is supposed to be their most dangerous receiving threat.
Harvin’s return is not yet a sure thing, however. Head coach Pete Carroll said after Harvin’s workout with the team on Tuesday (via NFL.com), "Percy got started today. Limited involvement in practice today, but he got to run around, looked good."
Harvin’s limited involvement may or may not increase as the week continues. "He's got to get through normal days of practice and we see how he handles it," Carroll said. Harvin himself admitted that at this stage, he is still “day-to-day.”
Fools rush in
With the Seahawks maintaining their division lead atop the NFC West and facing a wounded opponent on Monday, there is no need to rush Harvin into the lineup. If he’s ready to go, he’ll go. Harvin has waited a long time to step onto an NFL field for a real game. If there remains any question about his readiness for full speed and full contact, the Seahawks would be wise to err on the side of caution.
Fortunately, the Seahawks have the luxury of taking it slow with Harvin. Seattle’s 25th-ranked passing offense could use an infusion of play-making prowess, no doubt. However the Seahawks’ second-ranked defense and second-ranked running game have carried the team to this point. Against the decimated and talent-deficient Rams, expect to see them continue to do so — with or without Percy Harvin in the lineup.
A fresh and healthy Percy Harvin in December and January will make much more of an impact than a questionable Percy Harvin in October against the St. Louis Rams.