This will be an excruciating wait for Seahawks fans.
And also key members of the teams front office.
Percy Harvin has a hip injury. The seriousness isn’t evident at this stage, but everyone’s falling over themselves to have a good old guess. John Clayton says teammates believes it isn’t serious. Adam Schefter, who like Clayton works for ESPN, claims people he’s spoken to are “concerned”.
Talk about mixed signals.
Everyone is saying something. Except the people that matter.
Those people are the medical staff who will conduct the now infamous “second opinion” on Harvin’s suspected torn labrum.
We should know by now that there’s often no smoke without fire. Clearly Harvin has an issue. The Seahawks have to hope it’s the kind of problem that requires minimal treatment and perhaps keeps him out for a few weeks. A quick google search suggests that is a possibility if it’s only a minor tear.
Ultimately he’s going to miss time, now it’s just about damage limitation.
The worst case scenario is it’s a substantial tear and could lead to 3-4 months in the treatment room. If it’s as bad as that, the chances are you won’t see Harvin in a Seahawks uniform until the last few weeks of the season — if at all.
This could be season ending.
What it won’t be is season ending for Seattle’s hopes of competing in the NFC. There’s enough talent at receiver to compensate for the potential loss of Harvin. Golden Tate is in a contract year so needs no motivation. Sidney Rice played an underrated role last year and, more crucially, stayed healthy for the most part. Doug Baldwin will keep making plays and Zach Miller was the go-to-guy for Russell Wilson to close last season.
Yet it’d be hugely dissatisfying to see a Seahawks offense minus their new star, particularly in the week two encounter against their arch enemy the 49ers. Harvin was supposed to be the difference maker. A true elite talent to bring everything together.
To lose him before he’s even received a pass would be infuriating.
We’ll have to wait and see if it’s that serious, but Pete Carroll and John Schneider will be pleading for good news. Harvin didn’t just cost a small fortune in draft picks, he was also given a $67m contract. His average salary is higher than anyone else’s on the roster by a healthy $3m.
The likes of Richard Sherman, Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas and Golden Tate are cost-effective right now due to intelligent drafting. You can add other names to the list too. Eventually they’ll need to be paid. Signing Harvin already made life a little more difficult in this regard. If he’s not even on the field, then his contract is positively smothering.
Simply put, the Seahawks won’t want to risk losing players over the next two years because they went big on a guy who isn’t on the field.
Here’s an example for you. Let’s say it’s bad news and Harvin misses four months of the season. Golden Tate takes his role in the team and excels, becoming even more productive than last year. What do you do? Tate, who is a free agent in 2014, will expect to be paid. Rest assured his agent will point to Harvin’s massive contract. The chances are he’d have to walk.
Some have been quick to play down Harvin’s health struggles, but here are the facts:
- In 2009 and 2010 he suffered severe problems with migraine’s and was constantly listed on the injury report as a consequence. These problems, thankfully, appear to be in the past.
- Since turning pro he’s suffered ankle, hamstring, hip, shoulder and finger injuries.
- In 2009 he was listed as questionable seven times. He was on the injury report eight times in 2010, seven times in 2011 and five times in 2012 before being placed on injured reserve (missing Minnesota’s last five games).
Now a lot of the time he was listed on injury report and still played, but for whatever reason he has had more injuries than you’d usually be comfortable with. The one big justification so far has been that he hasn’t missed time in bulk until the end of last season. But you could argue he’s one torn labrum away from being injury prone.
Hopefully next week we’ll learn it’s nothing major and we can get back to imagining the Wilson-to-Harvin connection that got us through a long winded first day of the draft and most of the summer. However, everyone will be covering their eyes for a few days.
There are 67-million reasons Carroll and Schneider will be too.