Percy Harvin Return: Seahawks Can't Afford to Rush Star WR Back Into Action

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IOctober 30, 2013

May 20, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin (11) participates in organized team activities at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Percy Harvin must not come back from his injury before he's 100 percent healthy.

He is one of the NFL's most dynamic offensive players when healthy, and the Seattle Seahawks could use his playmaking abilities right now. But rushing him back before he's absolutely, positively ready to play would doom this team's Super Bowl hopes.

Alhough the Seahawks enter the second half of the season with an NFC-best record of 7-1, the offense has been less than impressive.

Ranking No. 15 in the league in total yardage per game, the Seahawks rely on a punishing rushing attack to get the job done. Meanwhile, Russell Wilson leads the league's No. 28-ranked passing attack, averaging just 199 yards per game. 

Making matters worse, Sidney Rice was lost for the season after he tore an ACL in the brutally contested win on the road against the St. Louis Rams on Monday Night Football. He was placed on the team's injured reserve list, as noted by the Seahawks on Twitter. Ricardo Lockette replaces him on the team's active roster:

During that contest in St. Louis, the Rams outmatched Seattle's offensive line on both running and passing plays. Marshawn Lynch was stymied to the tune of 23 rushing yards, and Wilson passed for just 139 yards while getting sacked seven times. 

Seattle was lucky to get out with a win, and you have to believe that a team that featured a quarterback other than Kellen Clemens would have figured out a way to finish the job against the obviously wounded Seahawks.

The Seahawks don't currently feature a go-to receiver. 

/Getty Images

Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse are all role players who don't demand double-teams. Against an average opponent, this isn't an issue, as Seattle's overall talent in all three phases of the game is superior to most teams. 

However, against a playoff-caliber team with an explosive offense like the Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints or even the San Francisco 49ers (in San Francisco, of course), this limited offensive attack of Seattle will not be sufficient to win. 

Especially in a scenario like we saw against St. Louis, where Lynch and the team's running game weren't functioning properly. 

Needless to say, adding one of the league's most exhilarating playmakers to the starting lineup would go a long way toward improving this lack of offensive firepower. 

Harvin's ability to beat defenses both horizontally and vertically will open things up for the rest of his teammates. He is a go-to player—even if he doesn't possess the prototypical size of a Calvin Johnson or Dez Bryant—and he does demand double-teams.

He's going to be a huge part of what Seattle does on offense heading into late November and into the final playoff push. 

After Harvin was cleared for practice recently, head coach Pete Carroll told reporters Harvin would be sitting out Wednesday's practice to spend time with the "rehab guys," as the Seahawks noted on Twitter:

He's clearly not ready to hit the ground running at this time, and fans must remember his hip injury wasn't a minor one. Barring a catastrophic setback, however, Harvin should be good to go at some point in the future. 

But if he's rushed back into action and aggravates his hip injury, then the Seahawks will be in trouble on offense going up against the top teams in the NFC come playoff time. 


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