Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin informed reporters Thursday that he “absolutely” will start Sunday when the Seahawks take the field for their divisional game against the New Orleans Saints. The news which followed the Seahawks’ practice comes days after the wideout’s status hung in the air, as both coaches and trainers alike would not confirm whether or not Harvin would be available to play.
The return of Harvin bolsters the Seahawks’ already lethal passing attack and eases the pressure off of quarterback Russell Wilson, something receiver Golden Tate agrees with, as he and other players spoke with the Seattle Times. “We saw a glimpse when he wasn’t even healthy against Minnesota,” Tate says. “He’s definitely going to open things up for a lot of us, I think.”
At this point, the Seahawks have to be clear favorites to eke out a victory, though it won’t be a necessarily easy feat. The Saints were embarrassed by the Hawks 34-7 in Week 13 this season. Not to mention the Saints are still stewing over the 41-36 wildcard defeat they took on the chin at the hands of Seattle three years ago.
There are no certainties here. The Saints are still a Super Bowl level team and aren’t shuddering at the sight of Seattle by any means, but even they have to know that their job just got harder, having to account for Harvin as well. “If he gets a step on you,” says cornerback Richard Sherman, “there is no coming back from that.” Coming from the ballhawking Sherman, that’s a pretty lofty claim, but it’s true. I doubt the Saints can come back from that.