Carroll & Schneider will be crossing fingers on Harvin’s labrum

This seems like a long time ago now...

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.


  1. Austin

    He plays this year and plays well. I think at worst he misses half the year and then makes everyone forget about it the second half of the year.

    • Rob Staton

      That’s just fan optimism though isn’t it? Which there’s nothing wrong with, but I’ll stand by the “no smoke without fire” stance here. I suspect the team, as Mike Holmgren has touched on today on the radio, know the exact issue here and are going through player options right now. Surgery or not, can he play with the problem, could it get worse, what are the surgery options etc. We have to hope it’s a minor tear and that a bit of rest will take care of it. But I’d rather him be out there creating a connection with RW over the next month.

  2. James

    All I can say is, let’s hope and pray that Colin Kaepernick is as healthy as a horse all season.

  3. LantermanC

    A SHDB favorite, Ryan Swope retired today due to concussions before he even started his career. He was drafted for Arizona, but it’s always sad to see something like this happen to someone before they can even begin their NFL career.

    • Rob Staton

      Sad news.

    • Kip Earlywine

      Wonder if Jahvid Best will soon follow. Two of my more liked prospects over the last few years. Sucks.

  4. Nolan

    Well we were a good playoff team with out him, theoretically we are just as good as last year, as long as Bennett and Avril can match the production of Irvin and Clem tell those two r ready. So if we get Harvin for the second half we should be able to integrate him in to the offense and be rolling by playoff time… Now if Zach Miller can’t get better we might be in a pretty big pickle

  5. Nolan

    Big advantage is that Harvin has played In this system before so it won’t be that big of a learning curve when he does get back

  6. Rob Staton

    This bothers me:

    @JeneBramel 14m
    “Slight” tear means relatively little. Hip labral tears are repaired almost universally, not just shaved and smoothed.

    @JeneBramel 13m
    Majority of rehab protocols for hip arthroscopy run 9-16 weeks. 3-4 months is probably the sweet spot.

    • James

      …like I said above, will probably be back the same week as Crabtree.

      • Nolan

        If that’s true then they have wasted a lot of time this could have been handled in June not early august

        • JW

          Do we know the injury existed in Early June? Hard to fix something when it doesn’t exist or isn’t fully diagnosed or manifest.

          • Aaron

            He sat out of mini-camp with a “minor hip-flexor issue”.

            • JW

              Doesn’t sound like it was diagnosed at that time.

              • Nolan

                But if there were issues in June why has it taken until late July to get a dignosis

                • JW

                  because ‘issues’ doesn’t equal injury. We don’t know when it happened, when it was diagnosed or when it ‘should’ have been diagnosed. This is just pure speculation.

                • Attyla the Hawk

                  We don’t know it was a bad diagnosis. And even if it wasn’t an adductor injury, but in fact a labral tear, the treatment wouldn’t necessarily have differed.

                  According to a surgeon friend of mine:

                  “If you diagnose a slight labral tear the first avenue of treatment is conservative – rest, physiotherapy, corticosteroid injections. If it doesn’t heal in an appropriate time frame then the next step is surgery. It doesn’t matter whether you have “high tech” or not. Sometimes things heal fine on their own sometimes they don’t. Only time will tell you that. Not some magical scan.”

                  Further, just the fact he’s getting a second opinion doesn’t mean you have a diagnosis of doom in hand. Clearly he had a lingering injury that persisted throughout the OTAs. Rest and treatment hasn’t abated it. It could be that the injury is indeed healing and it just requires more time. Although the general protocol for expected healing/recovery appears to be expiring.

                  The main point is, this kind of injury can often heal on it’s own. And that’s the preferred method of dealing with it initially. It’s not likely, or in fact relevant, that the medical staff may not have fully understood the injury. The course of treatment would not have been any different.

                  • JW


  7. Colin

    If it were something major, wouldn’t we expect our fabulous training staff to sniff it out? I just can’t imagine this going unnoticed until now.

  8. Aaron

    Here’s an article about Ed Reed’s recent experience with this type of injury: (Yes, it’s bleacher report, but it contains good relevant medical information.)

    “According to the Houston Chronicle reports, the Texans hope Reed will return by the beginning or middle of training camp, meaning they expect a recovery time of approximately two-and-a-half months.” (Post-Surgery)

  9. ben-jammin

    Or maybe he doesn’t like to practice. Danny O’Neill suggested as much tonight at the 710 Training Camp dinner after talking to team sources. Danny said he’s had a history of injuries during training camps and practices but is a baller on game days, usually. We’ll see who’s right.

    • JW

      I’m leaning more towards this explanation.

      We talkin’ bout practice. Practice.

  10. Kip Earlywine

    The team doctor (who diagnosed Harvin’s hip problem) advised against the surgery option. The second opinion is due diligence. Maybe Harvin gets surgery, but my impression is that the team is leaning against that option until they get that second opinion.

    Either way, I’m not worried. After a tough start, our first 10 games are pretty easy. Also, a slot WR and KR usually isn’t the difference between winning or losing a game in that small a sample.

  11. Rob Staton

    According to this if Harvin has surgery then that’s it:

    Carroll: “Hip surgery, he’s not going to play for the season.”

  12. A. Simmons

    Percy was more of an exciting option to watch than something I considered necessary for our success. We still have Baldwin looking to make a name for himself. He became the forgotten man people wanted to trade when Percy arrived. I’m sure glad we didn’t trade Doug. Looks like we may need him.

    The Percy Harvin upgrade though fun, is not our most important upgrade. I still believe the defensive line is more important that the receiving corps given we are a run first-ball control offense. We have a strong stable of RBs. Our defense is great. If our defensive line plays well (specifically our pass rush), they will take it to the next level.

    The loss of Harvin doesn’t change a whole lot. We didn’t have him last year when we were putting up 50 point games. This team upgraded more than just Harvin. Harvin was like buying a large diamond for your already gaudy diamond ring.

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