Percy Harvin’s return had been highly anticipated all week. The hype surrounded one of the newest Seahawks as he finally recovered from a hip injury that had kept him out of all but one regular season game this year.
But a healthy Percy Harvin lasted less than one drive.
On the Seahawks first possession of Saturday’s victory over the New Orleans Saints, Harvin ran a straight route down the left sideline and looked up to catch a pass from Russell Wilson. As soon as he touched the ball, his facemask was blasted by Saints safety Rafael Bush, forcing Harvin to lose the ball — and his mouthpiece — as his head slammed into the turf.
Slow to get up, Harvin was immediately taken to the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion. With just under 13 minutes left in the first quarter, it looked like the playmaker the Seahawks had been without all year would be done for the Divisional Playoff as well.
To the delight of many Seahawks fans, Harvin jogged out of the tunnel and back on to the sideline fairly quickly after the hit and joined his teammates on their second offensive possession, but he was clearly shaken.
“The poor kid,” coach Pete Carroll said following the game, via Todd Milles at The News Tribune. “He finally gets to play and he banged his head against the turf really hard. He was OK the first time, but the second one really rocked him.”
The second hit, of which Carroll was referring, came before the half ended.
With his quarterback scrambling in the red zone, Harvin adjusted his route by running a fade into the corner of the end zone. Wilson overthrew the ball slightly, causing Harvin to jump and extend his arms up in an attempt to pull in what would have been an incredible touchdown catch.
Instead, Harvin got hit as he fell and a defender landed on his head, pinning it to the ground temporarily.
Harvin rolled over and needed help getting up for the second time in an hour. When he did manage to get to his feet, he took his helmet off and looked woozy and wobbly. The 12th Man chanted “Percy…Percy…Percy…”, but Percy was done. He was taken to the locker room again, and this time, he didn’t return.
Officially diagnosed with a concussion, Harvin’s status is unknown for the NFC Championship game next Sunday.
He finished the day with three catches for 21 yards and a 9-yard rush, but his presence added a depth of explosion that the Seahawks enjoyed on offense.
“When Percy … was out on the field, he was electric,” quarterback Russell Wilson said, via Milles. “He made some awesome plays today. His speed is unbelievable — you notice that.”
As much as the Seahawks would like having Harvin in the lineup next week, they have shown all year that they can win without him and Harvin can’t seem to catch a break. Just when it looks like he is healthy and ready to go, something always seems to happen that keeps him off the field.
It’s unfortunate, but the Seahawks need to start preparing for next week as if he won’t be available. Doug Baldwin said after the game that he did not practice in Harvin’s spot because the team was so confident that Harvin would be available for the whole game.
Seattle will play host to the winner of the San Francisco 49ers- Carolina Panthers game today with a shot at the Super Bowl on the line.
The Seahawks are 2-1 this season against those teams.