The Seattle Seahawks have green-lit Percy Harvin to add to his 20-snap total this season, in Saturday's divisional-round game against the New Orleans Saints.
So how much will Harvin's addition tilt the matchup?
It's hard to say because Harvin's hip has been nearly a season-long issue, with that one game (and those 20 snaps against the Minnesota Vikings back on Nov. 1) just touching the iceberg for what he can add to an offense. Harvin plans to "cut it loose," per ESPN, and will do so despite the worries of a setback or further injury.
The Seahawks will use Harvin as a receiver, they might line him up once or twice in the backfield and you can bet they'll have a play somewhere in the first 15 designed to get the ball in his hands to test his mobility and challenge the Saints' ability to defend him. Look for something quick-hitting to get him into space, or perhaps along the sideline on a quick out.
Top Saints cover man Keenan Lewis (concussion) swears he'll play this weekend, but even if he does the team will be shorthanded in the secondary. That said, the Seahawks also have limited receiving weapons to scare the Saints.
Harvin runs with a great combination of quickness and explosion with great leg drive, and those abilities also will be seen on kickoff returns, where he could split duties with Robert Turbin or Doug Baldwin. It was actually Harvin's 58-yard kickoff return against the Vikings that teased us with what could be his biggest impact on Saturday.
The Saints have some really solid special-teams coverage guys in Will Herring, Kevin Reddick, Ramon Humber and other, and the longest kick return against them was a respectable 46 yards. Still, they have given teammates decent starting field position by allowing a fairly hefty 25.2-yard average against on 33 kick returns.
Expect a snap count on Harvin, despite Pete Carroll saying Harvin will have no limitations in the game. We've seen teams and players coming back from big injuries abandon these snap caps — witness Randall Cobb, Week 17 — in have-to-have-it situations, though, so the door could be open for a lot of Harvin on Saturday.
The Saints have to be ready, even if he's not 100 percent healthy and explosive.
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