By Daniel Brown San Jose Mercury News
RENTON — Percy Harvin is officially out for the NFC title game against the 49ers, but Coach Pete Carroll expressed optimism here Friday that the receiver would recover from a concussion in time to begin preparations for the Super Bowl.
Wait a minute … the Super Bowl?
Carroll never came close to guaranteeing a victory in this Sunday’s game at CenturyLink Field. But he didn’t use any caveats, either, in discussing Harvin’s outlook for Super Bowl XLVIII.
“He’ll be back practicing next week. He’ll be ready to go and get back on the field with us and we’ll be thrilled to have him back,” Carroll said. “But we have functioned the way we function because we don’t let things like that get to us and disturb us and how we’re thinking and how we’re preparing and all that. We would love to have him, but not this time.”
Harvin, signed a six-year, $67 million contract with the Seahawks last March, but barely took the field. Hindered by major hip surgery on Aug. 1, he played just once in the regular season (one catch and a 58-yard kickoff return against the Vikings on Nov. 17).
He caught three passes against the New Orleans Saints in last week’s playoff game, but sustained a concussion after his head hit the end-zone turf shortly before halftime.
New Orleans safety Rafael Bush was fined $21,000 by the NFL on Friday for his hit on Harvin.
Harvin was belted by Bush on Seattle’s opening possession last Saturday, a hit that drew a 15-yard penalty. He left the game later in the first half after a second hit in which he was jumping for a pass in the end zone. He banged his head on the turf when he came down as he was being hit by safety Malcolm Jenkins.
Harvin never got clearance from doctors this week to return to practice.
“Obviously, we miss Percy Harvin a lot,” quarterback Russell Wilson said. “We missed him all year. He’s a tremendous football player. He knows how to play the game – so physical, so fast. He brings an excitement to the game.
“But we played without him all year. And obviously, his health comes first.”
Harvin missed both of Seattle’s games against the 49ers this season. While with the Vikings in 2012, Harvin had 89 receiving yards in a Week 3 victory over the 49ers.
Three players were fined $7,875 each from the 49ers’ victory over Carolina last weekend: San Francisco running back Frank Gore and wide receiver Anquan Boldin and Carolina cornerback Josh Thomas.
Gore grabbed the facemask of Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis. Boldin was fined for a head butt. Thomas threw a punch toward 49ers receiver Quinton Patton but was not ejected.