Seahawks’ Harvin could be headed to injured reserve

RENTON — Pete Carroll still hasn’t given any definitive answers on receiver Percy Harvin, but the Seattle Seahawks head coach seems less optimistic than ever that the team’s prized offseason acquisition will play again this season.

And with cornerback Walter Thurmond coming back from a suspension, meaning a roster spot needs to be cleared by the end of the week, it would seem that there is a chance that Harvin could end up on injured reserve soon, ending a season that saw him on the field for just 21 plays in one game.

A day after Carroll said Harvin won’t practice this week — Carroll had in the past waited until at least Wednesday to give any indication of what Harvin would or wouldn’t do — he was asked if there is a chance a roster move might be coming with Harvin, he answered only, “That may happen.”

At this point, the only move that could be coming for Harvin would be to place him on injured reserve, a move that would end any hopes of him returning during the playoffs.

And if you think this is a lot to read into a three-word answer, you have to remember just how big of an optimist Carroll is about everything in life and with his team. On multiple occasions, Carroll has compared himself to the Jim Carrey character from “Dumb and Dumber” who, when told by a woman that there is a one in a million chance of them being together, answers, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance. Yeah!”

So if Carroll has changed his tune from saying he has no reason to believe Harvin won’t get back at some point this season — his standard answer in past weeks — to, a roster move “may happen,” that just doesn’t bode well for Harvin’s chances of playing again this season.

If the Seahawks do end up shutting Harvin down, that would obviously be disappointing news considering how much they invested in the former Vikings star. Not only did the Seahawks send three draft picks, including this year’s first-rounder, to acquire Harvin, they also gave him a contract worth $67 million, including $25.5 million in guaranteed money. Harvin was expected to help upgrade Seattle’s offense, but instead he ended up requiring hip surgery to repair a torn labrum prior to training camp, landing him on the physically unable to perform list. Harvin initially appeared to be ahead of schedule on his recovery, and returned to play sparingly in Seattle’s Week 11 victory over Minnesota, but he has not played since.

Other injuries

Golden Tate had a wrap on his thumb Tuesday and told reporters “it’s probably a sprain or something,” but when Carroll was asked about the receiver, he said Tate was fine and would practice.

With a Tuesday practice, the Seahawks didn’t have to put out an official injury report, but Carroll said receiver Jermaine Kearse wouldn’t do much because of an ankle injury suffered Sunday, nor would Richard Sherman due to “wear and tear,” but he added, “those guys should bounce back by Thursday we would hope.”

Carroll reiterated what he said Monday about Russell Okung, noting that the left tackle was sore, but went through Tuesday morning’s walkthrough and should be OK for Sunday’s game.

Schedule shift

Carroll decided to shift his team’s usual practice schedule this week to give players Christmas off. Instead of taking their usual day off on Tuesday, the Seahawks did their usual Wednesday worth of work a day early and will be off today. As Carroll put it, the goal is to “put together a great week and enjoy Christmas — we can do it all.”

Carroll is confident in shaking up his team’s routine during the week of a big game because, well, he has already shaken up his team’s routine during the week of a big game. Coming off their bye leading into a huge Monday night against New Orleans, the Seahawks practiced on Tuesday and Wednesday, then took Thanksgiving off before returning to action.

“The reason we were confident in doing this is that we did it earlier,” Carroll said. “The Saints week we did the split between Wednesday-Thursday, and it worked out really well. … Because it was successful for us before, we thought it would be a good thing that we could honor the holiday and make sure we do that right.”

Herald Writer John Boyle: jboyle@heraldnet.com.

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