The Seattle Seahawks made a big splash last March by acquiring wide receiver Percy Harvin from the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for multiple draft picks. Hip surgery in August delayed his regular season debut with the Seahawks, but it was not too surprising he played his first game of the season against his former team in Week 11 with an eye toward making a greater impact after Seattle’s Week 12 bye.
But Harvin reportedly had a setback with his hip late last week, even requiring a cortisone injection (according to Fox Sports), and wound up missing Monday night’s decisive victory over the New Orleans Saints as the Seahawks moved into the driver’s seat for home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported prior to Monday night’s game that Harvin could be held out for the rest of the regular season in order to make sure he’s ready to go for the postseason, and he would theoretically have the added benefit of a first-round bye to get fully healthy before Seattle’s’ first playoff game.
Still, could Harvin’s ego derail Seattle’s chances to win the Super Bowl?
Despite moving to a better team with a better quarterback, Harvin’s history suggests he may have targeted Week 11 against the Vikings all along to make his debut after his hip surgery. His return had been speculated on for a few weeks prior to that Nov. 17 game, and it’s a fair assumption he wanted to suit up against Minnesota even if he was not quite 100 percent healthy.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns against the Saints, and he has completed over 70 percent of his passes in four straight games with Harvin making virtually no impact. Just how much the Seahawks need Harvin over the final four weeks of the regular season is up for debate, so it makes sense to hold him out until the playoffs if there is any doubt about his status.
Harvin’s greatest impact during the playoffs may come as a kick returner, but at this point no one can be assured he’ll be at full strength by then. It’s not unrealistic that Harvin was totally determined to play against his former team, in what increasingly looks like a meaningless regular season game that the Seahawks could have won without him in uniform, simply to prove some ego-driven point to the Vikings’ organization. Harvin’s single-minded drive to ultimately play 16 snaps against Minnesota could rob the Seahawks of a difference-making talent during the playoffs, and that will be the No. 1 reason they don’t reach the Super Bowl in February.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.
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