COMMENTARY | The Seattle Seahawks are one win away from clinching the top seed in the NFC, despite missing one of their best offensive players for nearly the entire season.
Everyone knew that Percy Harvin wouldn't be able to return from a hip injury until well into the regular season. He made his debut Week 11 against the Minnesota Vikings, right around hid target return date.
But hip injuries can be tricky to recover from, and that remains the only game that Harvin has played in all season. Last week, it was reported that the Seahawks were treating Harvin's injury as "week to week." The most recent news is that the team will wait until midweek to see if Harvin will practice ahead of Seattle's Week 16 game against the Arizona Cardinals.
We saw a brief flash of what Harvin could bring to the Seattle offense in the one game he played in. Despite a limited number of touches, Harvin made an impact with a spectacular one-handed reception for 17 yards, drawing a long pass interference penalty by beating his defender and, of course, an electrifying 58-yard kick return.
At this point, even if Harvin is ready to practice this week, it would make sense for the Seahawks to hold him out until the playoffs begin. Games against Arizona and the St. Louis Rams aren't gimmies, but the Seahawks can certainly win at least of them one with or without Harvin to clinch everything they need to in the NFC. That would give Harvin a couple weeks to get up to game speed while ensuring the injury has healed enough for him into to play throughout the playoffs.
If he's unable to practice before the playoffs but then medically cleared, Harvin should immediately play, regardless of practice time. Harvin is the type of player that can be plugged in right away without being fully incorporated into an offense and add a new dimension. Of course it would help him to have practice time, but Harvin has enough athleticism to make a difference just with his presence alone.
The Seahawks may be good enough to win a championship without Harvin this season, but any contribution he could make, even if it's just the Super Bowl, would be a big boost.
Nathaniel Reeves is a lifelong Seattle sports follower who is studying journalism at the University of Washington. He currently covers sports for The UW Daily and Sports Out West.
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- Percy Harvin
- Seattle Seahawks