RENTON — Already with home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs, the Seattle Seahawks might be getting another addition just in time for a postseason run: Percy Harvin.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Monday that Harvin will practice when the Seahawks return later this week to prepare for their NFC divisional playoff game on Jan. 11. Carroll said there is no guarantee Harvin will be able to play.
But Harvin has reached a point in his recovery from hip surgery — and a setback following his one game this season — where he can return to practice in time for the postseason.
“It will be a great thing for him first off. This guy is a true competitor and would do anything to play. He’s been fighting for a months and months to position himself so he could get back here and to his credit he has not given up on it. He’s at a place where he has a chance,” Carroll said. “We’ll see what happens. That’s kind of it. If he can help his team, great.”
The news came a day after Seattle wrapped up the NFC West title and the No. 1 seed in the NFC with a 27-9 win over St. Louis. It was Seattle’s eighth divisional title in franchise history and first since 2010 when they won the then pitiful NFC West with a 7-9 record.
This time they survived the toughest division in the NFL and lofty expectation by matching the franchise record for most victories in a season.
“We handled it the whole time. We dealt with it throughout the season and put it in the right place and the guys understood what it meant and what it didn’t mean and performed under that kind of scrutiny,” Carroll said. “Here we are to get the division taken care of and to have the best record and all of that under those expectations we dealt with it. That’s a really good thing. That’s how you make expectations like that normal.”
It’s a stunning turn after Carroll hinted last week that a roster move could be possible with Harvin to clear a roster spot. Instead, the Seahawks are potentially getting a dynamic playmaker back in time for a playoff run.
“Percy’s going to practice with us when we get back with the intention on playing in this next game,” Carroll said. “We’ll see what happens. That’s the intention and we’ll see how it goes. It’s come to the point where we can go to that and we’ll keep our fingers crossed for him. He wants to contribute and be part of this team, and he’s going to do everything he can to do that. We’ll see what happens.”
After Carroll announced the news, Harvin tweeted to Seahawks fans that he’ll see them in two weeks and “It’s go time once again.”
Seattle would like to see this start with Harvin last more than just one week. He had hip surgery in early August to repair his labrum. It was late October before he finally returned to practice and made his Seahawks debut in Week 11 against Minnesota. Harvin had one reception and a 58-yard kickoff return in the victory.
But he’s been absent since that game, unable to overcome what Carroll has called “soreness” in the hip area. Harvin has not practiced since, but Carroll has said there is no additional structural damage.
Even Monday morning on his radio show, Carroll seemed uncertain about the prognosis, saying Harvin likely needed an entire offseason to fully get healthy. Just a few hours later the tone changed significantly and Seattle suddenly had the potential of springing a new toy on whoever they face in the playoffs.
“He’s been rehabbing the whole time to get to this point,” Carroll said. “He ran really well today.”
There is no guarantee that Harvin will play even with the plan for him to practice. The only week he’s practiced extensively the entire season was leading into the game against Minnesota when Harvin faced his former team. He was in for 19 offensive snaps and two on special teams against Minnesota, but was unable to get back on the field following Seattle’s bye in Week 12.
“He had major surgery in his hip. There are lots of people who walk around for years trying to get back from that and he’s trying to do it in months,” Carroll said. “And he’s not trying to just get back to being a normal human being walking down the street.”
Notes: Carroll said players who were banged up on Sunday — Brandon Mebane, Richard Sherman, Jeremy Lane and Jermaine Kearse — should be able to practice on Thursday. The one concern is TE Luke Willson who suffered a high-ankle sprain against the Rams. ... LB K.J. Wright has an outside chance of practicing next week, Carroll said. Wright suffered a broken foot in Week 14 at San Francisco.