Making Room For Harvin


May 20, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin (11) participates in organized team activities at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sport

At this point, talking about the possibility of Percy Harvin making his debut against the Minnesota Vikings this week seems like the easiest way to jinx it from happening(somebody please knock on wood). However, it is widely being speculated that Percy Harvin will be in the lineup this Sunday against the team that traded him away less than a year ago. Will he play a considerable amount of minutes? Will he only take a couple snaps? Will they show footage of the Space Needle and people throwing fish at Pike’s Place Market if his debut happens on Monday Night Football instead?

I’m pretty sure the Monday Night Football crew will  show that footage regardless, but the big question about Percy Harvin’s return is deciding which receiver will lose playing time once he finally starts for the Seahawks. With the way the Seahawks receiving corp has been playing lately the answer isn’t as easy as it once seemed.

Let’s start with Golden Tate. So far this season he’s leading the team in both receptions and yardage. When you factor in his ability to consistently make big plays after the catch, it’s easy to see why he’s quickly becoming one of the top receivers for the Seahawks. It might even be safe to say he’s turning into one of the top receivers in the league. In either case, Tate has done enough to keep his playing time.

Last week I did a story about Jermaine Kearse getting his opportunity to shine in the wake of Sidney Rice’s season ending knee injury. After catching three more passes for 75 yards and a touchdown against the Falcons last Sunday it looks like he’s trying to make the most of that opportunity. Although he only has 13 receptions this year, four of them resulted in touchdowns. With that type of production it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Seattle doesn’t try to keep Kearse on the field as much as possible.

Then there is Doug Baldwin. The surprise undrafted receiver who a couple years ago had an extremely productive rookie season for the Seahawks. After being plagued with injuries during his second season Baldwin has been quietly productive again so far in his third year. Not to mention the handful of highlight reel catches he has had at crucial moments this season.

Unfortunately, it appears that Baldwin might be the odd man out in this situation. It’s possible that Ricardo Lockette will head back to the practice squad  upon Harvin’s return leaving Baldwin to be the fourth receiver in the rotation. It could easily be Kearse who loses playing time but he’s becoming too valuable for that to happen so Baldwin will probably be the one who loses out.

Luckily, Harvin is known for his ability to line up all over the field which will hopefully create opportunities for all of Seattle’s receivers to get their touches. In between footage of the Space Needle and fish throwing of course.