Missed practices, drama par for the course with Harvin

Jul 26, 2013, 9:01 AM | Updated: 5:24 pm

By Danny O’Neil

You can be concerned about Percy Harvin’s inability to practice Thursday.

You can even be alarmed at the news of his hip injury, worried about the possibility of surgery or just flat-out overwrought that the fancy new toy Seattle got for its office was banged up before it was even completely out of the box.

News that Percy Harvin (11) is starting training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list with a hip injury isn’t a surprise given his history of suspense and uncertainty. (AP)

You just can’t be surprised. Not completely, anyway. That has nothing to do with Harvin’s hip injury or the second opinion he’s receiving and everything to do with his history.

He missed 36 practices in 2010, his second year in the league, according to one reporter’s count, so a little bit of drama is just part of the Percy Harvin Experience. He has battled migraines, declared himself to be “not really happy” with the Vikings before the 2012 season and missed an afternoon of minicamp before returning and then sought a trade from Minnesota this offseason.

It was a turbulent tenure. Coach Leslie Frazier made that pretty clear at the owners meetings in June even as he stayed vague about the particulars regarding Harvin.

“There are a lot of layers to this situation,” Frazier said, according to Mike Sando of ESPN.com. “And one day, when [we] sit down and write this book, we’ll divulge all the layers. But it’s complicated.”

Seattle knew this when it acquired him, and for all the concerns and missed practices, he has been there on Sundays. He sat out a total of three games over his first three and a half seasons in the league until a high ankle sprain ended his year in 2012.

Now, for the specifics of this situation: We know that a hip injury kept Harvin out of the final few weeks of the offseason program. He was running full speed just a week ago, but still felt pain in that joint when he reported for training camp and underwent more tests. It appears he has an injury to his labrum, which is the soft elastic tissue at the outside of the joint. Surgery is a remedy coach Pete Carroll didn’t rule out.

He’s going to get a second opinion, which is his right under the collective-bargaining agreement, and there are going to be some nervous moments between now and a decision on treatment.

But this is the uncertainty the Seahawks signed up for when they acquired a guy who was the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2009 and an MVP candidate until his injury last year, but who was available for trade only because of the difficulty he had seeing eye-to-eye with his former employer.

Two things to consider, though, the first being Seattle’s history of player acquisition. Carroll has a pretty firm idea of the kind of player who responds to his coaching. Harvin is a guy he recruited out of high school, and someone he’s familiar with it. He wouldn’t have signed off on this deal if he thought Harvin would become a problem.

The second thing is Seattle didn’t acquire Harvin out of desperation, which is important to note because that’s when teams stretch and start taking gambles. The Seahawks didn’t panic and trade for Harvin because they lacked other options. In fact, their offense was plenty explosive the final month of the season, and they even had two receivers who had seven touchdown receptions apiece last year in Golden Tate and Sidney Rice.

Seattle saw Harvin as one of the league’s very best skill-position players. It looked at his age as he turned 25 this year, his versatility and decided that instead of using the 25th overall pick on a player who would be hard-pressed to start for this team, it would use it as the main ingredient in a trade for a player who could put this team over the top.

None of that calculus changed with Thursday’s news that Harvin has a potentially troublesome hip injury. There was a risk inherent in the acquisition because of the fragility of NFL players, especially one with Harvin’s history. There were bound to be some anxious moments, and the Seahawks acquired him believing they could manage those.

Now, before we assume the worst, let’s wait and see how this situation plays out. After all, suspense and drama have always been constant themes in Harvin’s NFL career.

Brock and Salk podcast

Brock and Salk

UW Huskies Michael Penix Jr...
Brandon Gustafson

What does the future hold for UW Huskies QB Michael Penix Jr.?

Should star UW Huskies QB Michael Penix Jr. go pro or return to Washington in 2023? Brock Huard and Mike Salk have very different opinions.
18 hours ago
Seahawks Pete Carroll...
Brandon Gustafson

Pete Carroll Show Takeaways: Areas where Seahawks must get better

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll broke down Seattle's OT loss to Vegas on Seattle Sports, including recent struggles at the line of scrimmage.
18 hours ago
Seahawks Tre Brown...
Brandon Gustafson

Huard: What Tre Brown brings to the Seahawks’ cornerback room

Tre Brown, a 2021 fourth-round pick, could see his first action of 2022 for the Seahawks on Sunday against the Raiders following recovery from a knee injury.
3 days ago
Apple Cup 2021...
SeattleSports.com Staff

Podcast: Apple Cup preview with CFB analysts Michael Bumpus, Brock Huard

Listen to Brock Huard of FOX Sports and Michael Bumpus of Pac-12 Network break down Saturday's big Apple Cup between the WSU Cougars and No. 12 UW Huskies.
4 days ago
UW Huskies...
Brandon Gustafson

UW Huskies HC Kalen DeBoer talks new contract, Apple Cup, much more

Fresh off receiving a new contract, UW Huskies HC Kalen DeBoer joined Brock and Salk to discuss the deal, the Apple Cup and more.
6 days ago
Apple Cup UW Huskies WSU Cougars...
Brandon Gustafson

Huard: The biggest matchup to watch for between UW and WSU in Apple Cup

When the Huskies travel to Pullman for the Apple Cup vs WSU, Brock Huard is keeping a close eye on UW's edge rushers vs the Cougars' O-line.
7 days ago
Missed practices, drama par for the course with Harvin