Percy Harvin Must Not Be Rushed Back into Action

Dhiren MahibanFeatured ColumnistOctober 31, 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
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks need to pump the breaks on the idea of star wide receiver Percy Harvin returning to the lineup sooner than necessary.

First, consider their upcoming schedule.

In Week 9, they face the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are 0-7 and swirling out of control. The game is also in Seattle, where the Seahawks haven’t lost under the leadership of quarterback Russell Wilson, so Tampa will be even more vulnerable than usual.

Following the matchup with the Bucs, Seattle visits 2-5 Atlanta and hosts 1-6 Minnesota prior to a bye in Week 12.

There is no need for Harvin to play in any of these games, as they are winnable for Seattle with or without Harvin in the line-up.

There will, of course, be temptation for Harvin to play Week 11 against his former team, but is that really necessary? What’s more important, Harvin running wild and showing off against the Vikings, or being 100 percent healthy come playoff time?

Following their bye, the Seahawks host the New Orleans Saints and visit the San Francisco 49ers. Each of these games will be a tougher test than the three remaining prior to the bye, and a healthy Harvin would be an added weapon. This is especially true against the 49ers, Seattle's biggest NFC West foe.

With wide receiver Sidney Rice being placed on season-ending injury reserve due to a torn ACL injury, there appears to be a sudden panic to get Harvin back in the lineup.

Wednesday’s news that Harvin was experiencing soreness should be setting off red flags left, right and center for the Seahawks coaching staff. Harvin, acquired from Minnesota in March for multiple draft picks, hasn't played this season after undergoing hip surgery in August.

According to Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today, head coach Pete Carroll said on Wednesday that they’re looking at the long haul with Harvin’s recovery:

With the workload that he's had to endure to get back and get in shape, there's going to be some stuff, and he's a little bit sore from last week. We don't want to go too far, too fast. We're looking for the long-haul here with his recovery and trying to manage our way through that. We are being very careful. He didn't do a lot last week. Very little. It seems like it is best to keep him in that mode a little longer.

At least it appears Carrol is exercising common sense.

Seattle did sign wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, who had two catches for 105 yards with the Seahawks in 2011, to replace Rice. They also have other capable receivers in Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and Golden Tate who can pick up the slack in Rice’s absence, not to mention a strong running game led by Marshawn Lynch.

Rice only had 15 catches this season, but he was tied for the team lead with three touchdown receptions. The Seahawks rank 30th in passing with a 184.1 yards per game this season and have been licking their chops at getting their prized offseason acquisition into the lineup.

However, if Wednesday’s news is any indication, Seattle should proceed slowly with bringing Harvin back. There is no need for him to be in uniform before Week 13.