Seahawks’ Harvin doubtful to play against Saints

RENTON — Two weeks after making his long-awaited Seattle Seahawks debut, receiver Percy Harvin is likely going to be a spectator once again when his team takes on the New Orleans Saints Monday night.

Harvin experienced soreness in his surgically-repaired hip after Seattle’s win over Minnesota on Nov. 17, and after not practicing this week, he is listed as doubtful for a Monday Night Football showdown that should go a long way towards determining home field advantage in the NFC.

“I thought we would have a chance to get him back,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. “We kept him rehabilitating throughout the week because his hip was sore coming out of the game, and we thought he would get back. We’re going to list him as doubtful right now, he’s had a lot of stuff done to help him. We’ll just have to wait, and we’ll go all the way to until Monday with this to see what happens, unfortunately he didn’t make it back like we thought he would.”

Carroll said there was no new structural damage to Harvin’s hip, but they’re just being cautious with a player who they hope can be a difference-maker down the stretch and in the postseason.

“It’s more important for us to get him back for the longer haul, so if we wait another couple of days here and get through the week — I thought with the days off it would all work together, but it didn’t work out quite right for us,” Carroll said. “So unfortunately he didn’t make it.”

Harvin played 19 offensive snaps in his Seahawks debut, catching one pass for 17 yards, and had also had a 58-yard kickoff return. His presence was also noticeable in his ability to draw defenders away from other players, which helped contribute to two big plays by wide receiver Doug Baldwin on which a safety was paying more attention to Harvin than Baldwin.

Harvin has not been ruled out for the Saints game, and as Carroll said, they’ll test him out Monday before making a determination, but it’s also clear the Seahawks are not going to rush him back.

“With anything at all not right, we’re not going with him,” Carroll said. “We’re going to make sure he’s 100 percent before we go. There’s a lot of stuff he could do right now. He could go out and run around and all that, but he’s just not quite perfect for it, so we’re going to wait it out.”

Other injuries

As expected, cornerback Brandon Browner was ruled out with a groin injury. The only other two players on the injury report — running back Marshawn Lynch (knee) and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (concussion) — practiced fully Saturday and are listed as probable.

Cox’s short stay

The Seahawks signed cornerback Perrish Cox Tuesday after cornerback Walter Thurmond was suspended for four games, only to release the former San Francisco 49er a day later. Asked what happened, Carroll said Cox’s release was tied to the uncertainty over Browner’s status. Browner reportedly is facing a one-year suspension for a violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy, and had his appeal heard on Wednesday. It would seem the Seahawks think Browner has a chance to win that appeal or at least have it reduced if they are holding a roster spot for him for the time being.

“We didn’t know what we would do with Brandon at the time, we’re still waiting,” Carroll said of Cox’s short stay. “We’re still waiting to figure out what his status is going to be. That really is what happened, we’re keeping that spot alive.”

Asked when they expect more clarity on Browner, Carroll said, “We should hear by the middle of next week at the latest. That’s kind of what has been indicated, but that doesn’t mean that’s going to happen. But that’s what normally would happen.”

Herald Writer John Boyle: jboyle@heraldnet.com.

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