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Percy Harvin to have surgery on injured hip; hip labrum information, schematic implications, roster options

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Percy Harvin tweeted, and the Seahawks confirmed, that he'll require surgery on his injured hip labrum. The timetable for recovery is approximately three to four months, putting his possible return somewhere in late November or early December at the earliest (or so people are estimating).

Harvin met with Dr. Brian Kelly in New York on Tuesday and after discussing his options with both the surgeon and the team, the Seahawks' new receiver decided to take care of the situation right now rather than risking further complications down the line. Kelly will perform the procedure on Thursday in Manhattan.

For background and a complete, thorough look at the injury and the timetable for recovery, I've got no doubt that this is the best resource on the subject, written by our own Craig Johnstone. Probably time for a re-read anyway if you have already read it.

Percy Harvin injury: What is wrong with his hip? - Field Gulls
A professional look at the medical problems affecting Percy Harvin, his treatment options, and possible recovery times.

The Seahawks traded a first, third, and seventh round pick to the Vikings for Harvin and then gave him a five-year extension to push his contract to a six-year, $67 million deal, complete with $25+ million guaranteed. While it's a bummer that Harvin will miss a big chunk of the 2013 NFL season, for me, I'd rather he get the damn thing taken care of now so as to avoid exacerbating the issue even more.


Naturally, this hurts the Seahawks in the short term. Harvin is an explosive player that was an MVP candidate through 8 games last season for the Vikings, so to shrug and play this off as 'no big deal' is probably a little delusional. That said, it's not irrational to point out that Seattle is deep at the receiver position and Harvin hasn't played a down in this Seahawks offense that finished the 2012 season on a tear. Over their final 10 games, Seattle averaged 32.4 points per game and had historical-level DVOA numbers so there's no reason to panic or believe the Hawks will be severely hamstrung. The Hawks' return nearly all of their starters in 2013, likely, plus add their first-round pick from 2013 in James Carpenter at left guard and throw into the mix possible contributors in Christine Michael, Spencer Ware, and Chris Harper in the Draft.

This is a thought that GM John Schneider echoed over the weekend. Schneider told Tom Pelissaro:

"We firmly believe that, just because we were aggressive making this move - and obviously he is an incredible talent - there's a lot of talented guys. We like the talent on our football team. There's a lot of talented players all throughout the National Football League. But like anybody always says, it's never, ever about one player. It's about the team."

"Going into the offseason, we felt very good about our team and our core of players. The opportunity to acquire a guy like Percy was extremely unique for us. We had to. We had to do that."

Even with this news, I still don't fault Schneider for making the move and I would still have him do it knowing Harvin would be missing time. The opportunity to add Harvin back into the mix toward the end of the season and during a potential playoff run is enticing.

I know he's a consumate diplomat when it comes to this kind of stuff, but hearing Schneider's take on the situation was pretty calming, quite honestly.

As Pelissaro pointed out,

Before making the trade, the Seahawks spent months digging into Harvin's background, including his injury history and run-ins with both his head coaches in Minnesota that helped wear out his welcome with the Vikings.

"And then as we went down the road with it in investigating that deal, it ended up coming our way and (Harvin) was very excited about the opportunity to come here and play with Russell (Wilson, the Seahawks' quarterback) and get a fresh start," Schneider said. "We're all somewhat disappointed that he wasn't able to start from Day 1 this season. But that being said, we know that it's a long, long season and it's a marathon and we're going to do whatever we can to put our arms around him and help him out. He's going to get a second opinion, and once we have all the information, we'll make the right decision."

Marathon. Remember that.

The immediate concern with Harvin's absence becomes the kicking game, as the Hawks released Leon Washington shortly after trading for Percy. It's next man up for Seattle in that area, and likely candidates with experience returning kicks are Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, Walter Thurmond, Will Blackmon, and Christine Michael, with longer odds going to Jeremy Lane, Arceto Clark or Bryan Walters. Again, there is depth at the kick return position, in theory, so I'm not necessarily panicking about it.

In the offense, Seattle has depth at slot receiver with Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate (though Tate will likely still be playing outside) and frankly, this is still a coaching staff that wants to run the rock a ton and play with a ball-control offense. Seattle fans will simply have to wait a little longer to see what kind of dynamic Harvin will add to an already strong unit.

Roster Options:

As Mike Sando points out, there are several avenues the team can take, roster wise, with Percy Harvin:

PUP option: Harvin is currently on the physically unable to perform list. The team could leave him on that list past the Aug. 31 reduction to 53-man rosters. At that point, Harvin would have to miss the first six games. He would then have a five-week window to begin practicing. Once he resumed practicing, Harvin would have 21 days to join the 53-man roster or miss the remainder of the season. Harvin could make his game debut as early as Week 7 (77 days or 11 weeks from Thursday) or as late as Week 15 (136 days or 19.4 weeks from now) under PUP rules. This is a likely course of action because Harvin would have a wide berth for returning without counting against the 53-man limit in the interim.

IR return option: Instead of placing Harvin on the PUP/reserve list Aug. 31, the Seahawks could place him on the injured reserve list with a designation for return. Harvin would have to miss the first eight games, at least. He would be eligible to return for a Nov. 3 game against Tampa Bay (96 days or 13.7 weeks from now).

Regular IR option: Placing Harvin on the traditional IR list would keep him from playing until the 2014 season.

My money is on the PUP or the IR Return options, for obvious reasons. Albert Breer confirms that PUP is the Seahawks' first inclination.

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