By John Boyle Herald Writer
RENTON — The long wait is finally over.
While Pete Carroll wouldn’t confirm that Percy Harvin will make his Seahawks debut Sunday — saying the receiver will be a game-day decision — all signs point to Harvin indeed suiting up for the first time since Seattle acquired him in an offseason trade.
Harvin’s return will mark his first NFL game action in more than a year, having had his 2012 season end, coincidentally, in Seattle. Not only that, but if Harvin does play, he’ll be making his 2013 debut against his former team, the Minnesota Vikings.
Harvin practiced fully on Thursday and Friday, and is listed as probable on the injury report. As Carroll noted, the Seahawks need to make sure Harvin feels OK today. If there are no setbacks, it appears Harvin will play, ending the long wait for his return from the hip surgery that delayed the debut of Seattle’s prized offseason acquisition.
“I definitely think I’m ready to play,” Harvin said. “I still got a lot of work to do, but I think I’m ready to start playing.”
By his own admission, Harvin likely won’t be on the field a ton this weekend. While the Seahawks see Harvin as a game-changer at receiver and as a kick returner, those kick-return duties likely will wait, Carroll said, and Harvin’s snaps probably will be limited.
“I won’t say what I can and can’t do, I would just say it would be crazy for me to think I can go out there and play the amount of plays I was able to play before and do all the things I was,” Harvin said. “I’m able to do some of the things, but it’s still day-to-day and we’ll see.”
Harvin and Carroll both concede that there is likely to be some rust for a player who missed the end of last season, all of training camp and the first 10 games this year, but the Vikings still view Harvin as a serious threat. Running back Adrian Peterson has said on multiple occasions that Harvin is the best player he has every played with, and defensive end Jared Allen joked with reporters in Minnesota that they hope Harvin isn’t playing because, “Percy’s good enough, let alone coming back with fresh legs, (mad) at us.”
Despite asking for a trade in the offseason, Harvin insisted there is no bad blood between him and his former team. So while he’s looking forward to seeing old friends, he won’t have any extra motivation.
“Not at all,” Harvin said. “It is good to play those guys and be able to see those guys. I still got a lot of friendships over there. I text them and talk to them a lot. It’s just solely about the Seattle Seahawks. Me being able to be out there and be able to play again and get ready for this playoff run. It has nothing to do with the Vikings.”
Cornerback Brandon Browner has been ruled out with a groin injury suffered last weekend in Atlanta. Carroll described the injury as substantial earlier in the week, but gave no further update Friday, other than to say, “He has been fully diagnosed, and we’re waiting until the last possible second to do what we want to do, just because we can, so we’re just going to wait it out.”
“Waiting until the last possible second” could mean the Seahawks are leaning toward putting Browner on injured reserve, but are waiting until today to do so.
Carroll said it will be a game-day decision whether tackles Breno Giacomini and Russell Okung play Sunday, but both have been practicing the past two weeks and Giacomini is listed as probable. Okung is not on the injury report because he still has to be activated from short-term injured reserve, a move Carroll said likely will happen today.
“We’re just going to wait on them, because they’ve got to come back after the week’s work, show us that they’re OK tomorrow, then we’ll make the call,” Carroll said.
Center Max Unger and defensive end Red Bryant, who both missed last week’s game with concussions, are among a large group of players listed as probable, and Carroll said both will play.
Only defensive tackle Tony McDaniel, who injured his hamstring in Atlanta, is listed as questionable.
Herald Writer John Boyle: firstname.lastname@example.org.