By Danny O’Neil
RENTON – “No Percy Harvin questions,” Doug Baldwin said.
That wasn’t a joke from Seattle’s receiver, but it was a request that had absolutely no chance of being honored.
Harvin remains the dominant question at Seahawks training camp even after Tuesday’s announcement that he needs hip surgery. Now, the uncertainty revolves around where Seattle will find the production it was expecting to get from Harvin.
In that regard, Baldwin and the rest of Seattle’s receivers have no shortage of answers.
It’s not just Sidney Rice and Golden Tate, last year’s starters who had seven touchdown catches apiece, and it’s more than just Baldwin, who led the team with 51 catches as a rookie in 2011. This team not only returns every one of the five players that caught 20 or more passes for the team last season, but there’s a group of young receivers that includes rookie Chris Harper, former Husky Jermaine Kearse and the 6-foot-5 Stephen Williams, who was signed in January.
“We still have depth,” Baldwin said. “We have guys on this team that haven’t even had a chance to play football yet on Sundays, and they’re more than capable of filling in.”
Camp Carroll: Day 7 (Practice 6)
|Gear:||Helmets, shoulder pads, shorts|
|Practice:||10 a.m. – noon.|
|DNP:||DE Cliff Avril (hamstring), LB Bobby Wagner (undisclosed), CB Jeremy Lane (foot), OT Michael Bowie (hamstring), CB Ron Parker (hamstring), WR Sidney Rice (European mystery treatment), TE Michael Palmer (undisclosed), TE Darren Fells (undisclosed), DE Kenneth Boatright (arm), DT Michael Brooks (undisclosed).||PUP:||WR Percy Harvin, TE Zach Miller, DE Chris Clemons, DL Greg Scruggs, CB Tharold Simon, RB Robert Turbin.||Non-football Injury list:||LB Korey Toomer.||Interviews:||Wilson | Baldwin | Chancellor|
Welcome to the NFL, where “Next Man Up” is not a mantra so much as a way of life. It’s not callous, but reality in a sport where injuries and attrition are painfully a part of the challenges that every team faces. There’s no time to go through seven stages of grief after Harvin’s injury. There are passes to be caught.
“It hurts to lose Percy for a long time like that,” Tate said. “I know it’s hurting him, it’s killing him because he wants to be out here. But where we ended last year, without him, I’m confident. I think we’re all confident in our ability to make plays.”
Tate already figured prominently into Seattle’s offense, but Harvin’s injury will likely create even more opportunities.
“I haven’t had that discussion with the organization, the coaching staff or anyone,” Tate said. “I would assume, we’re very similar players so the things that they had, they intended on him to do, I’m more than happy to do that. I want to get the ball any way I can and I want try to make the play. I feel like I’m really similar to Percy. I feel like any moment I can make a big play to boost us or give us a go-ahead score or whatever they need.”
And for all the hand-wringing that has accompanied the scrutiny of Harvin’s hip injury, it’s worth remembering that good teams don’t agonize over injuries, they overcome them.
“Whether Percy is on the field or not, we’re going to focus on what we have and move forward,” Baldwin said. “That’s all we can control. We’ll be happy when Percy gets back, but we’ve got guys that are more than capable of filling in for his shoes.”
• Seattle added Allen Bradford to the team two years ago as a running back. With Bobby Wagner missing practice Wednesday, Bradford played middle linebacker with the first-unit defense.
• O’Brien Schofield is playing strongside linebacker to begin his tenure with Seattle. Claimed off waivers from Arizona, Schofield has an excellent pass-rushing pedigree.