By Brady Henderson
As unpredictable as Percy Harvin’s status has been this season, the Seahawks receiver left no room for uncertainty when asked if he’s playing Saturday.
Receiver Percy Harvin will play Saturday for the first time since Nov. 17. “For him to be able to have the opportunity to join us now is really exciting I know for him and for us, too,” coach Pete Carroll said. (AP)
“Absolutely,” Harvin told reporters Thursday afternoon.
Returning kicks, too?
“Absolutely,” he said.
So ended any doubts about whether or not Harvin will return for Seattle’s divisional-round game against New Orleans at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks are getting their most explosive offensive weapon back just in time for the playoffs as Harvin will play for the first time since making his one and only appearance with Seattle back on Nov. 17.
After that game he was bothered by his surgically repaired hip and didn’t even practice – let alone play in a game – until last week. He took part in practice last Thursday and Friday for the first time in seven weeks then again this week, this time free of the discomfort he previously experienced whenever he would increase his workload.
“I’m feeling great,” he said. “I had a good two weeks, [practiced] Thursday and Friday, came back this week, had no setbacks. I felt good. I was able to finally do all my cutting, getting out of my breaks, things like that. So it’s been great.”
Harvin said he won’t be limited in any fashion Saturday. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll step in and become the focal point of Seattle’s passing attack.
“We’re anxious to add him to the mix,” coach Pete Carroll said.
The Seahawks have been waiting a while. Harvin was the signature addition of the offseason, acquired in a trade with the Vikings then signed to a contract that made him one of the team’s highest-paid players. He underwent surgery to repair the labrum in his hip on Aug. 1, missed Seattle’s first 10 games then returned to face his former team in Week 11 only to experience swelling, stiffness and a buildup of fluid in his hip afterward.
That setback forced Harvin to miss the final give games, which made it seem likely that he would be placed on injured reserve. But that changed the day after Seattle’s regular-season finale when Carroll approached Harvin and told him time was running out.
“When coach came to me – it was last Monday – with the whole IR thing, I just looked at him, I said, ‘Coach, I’m ready to play ball.’ We talked to the doctors, just kept rehabbing and I hit the practice field and I felt pretty good,” Harvin said.
Harvin’s return comes at a good time for an offense that experienced a dropoff in efficiency over the final four games of the season. Seattle went 2-2 and averaged just under 20 points a game during that stretch.
“We’d love to have had him earlier,” Carroll said, “but we’re thrilled we have him now.”
Lynch speaks, albeit tersely
Marshawn Lynch spoke with reporters again Thursday, a day after the league suspended a $50,000 fine it had handed down to Seattle’s running back for not making himself available to the media.
As usual, he was plenty polite but not the least bit loquacious. He gave one-word answers to seven of the 33 questions he was asked, then ended the session by thanking reports.
Lynch also expressed gratitude to the fans who had donated money to help cover his fine.
Willson’s remarkable recovery
It looked like Luke Willson might have sustained a serious injury when he left Seattle’s regular-season finale on a cart and with his left leg in an air cast.
Turns out it was only a high-ankle sprain, and it won’t keep the rookie tight end from playing Saturday.
“Something happened because they checked him out right off the bat and it looked like he had a broken leg, and then they checked him out again that night and he didn’t,” Carroll said. “So all I can tell you is it was remarkable whatever happened in there. There was a laying of hands or something. I don’t know what happened, but he jumped right back and he had terrific work and he’s ready to play.”
• SS Kam Chancellor (hip) will play despite missing practice on Wednesday.
710 ESPN Seattle’s Liz Mathews contributed to this report.