Percy Harvin, Wilson Listed Probable For Seattle
By Corbin Smith
Pete Carroll announced yesterday that injured receiver Percy Harvin would play in the NFC Divisional Round rematch and that he wouldn't have any limitations in his return to action, saying, "If he's going to go, he's going to go."
Harvin's speed and explosiveness should add another dimension to an offense that has been struggling to score touchdowns at the end of the regular season. QB Russell Wilson has waited most of this season for Seattle's prized acquisition to make his presence felt on offense, and after close to two full weeks of outstanding practices, he finally appears to be ready to make a real impact. Harvin played in only one game during the 2013 season, catching one pass for 17 yards and returning a kickoff 58 yards against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 11.
The Seahawks hoped he would be able to play the rest of the regular season, but his surgically-repaired hip flared up and didn't respond well after making his first and only appearance of the year against his former team. Carroll shut him down and appeared poised to place Harvin on injured reserve as late as last Monday morning. The veteran receiver persuaded his coach to give him another look last week, and he had no setbacks after returning to the practice field. He was a full participant in practice most of this week, and should be ready to help Seattle pursue the Lombardi Trophy.
Carroll also had more good news, as rookie TE Luke Willson will also return to action after suffering a high-ankle sprain against the St. Louis Rams in the season finale. Willson, a 2013 fifth-round draft pick out of Rice, has come on late in the season as a big play threat at the tight end position, and has caught 20 passes for 272 yards and a touchdown. Seattle's staff feared that he broke his ankle after being tackled just short of the first-down marker in the fourth quarter against the Rams, and he ended up having an air cast put on his leg before being carted off the field.
Willson's season appeared to be finished, but Carroll stated that "there was a laying of hands or something" as an explanation for his incredible recovery. Even with a high ankle sprain, many doubted he would able to return this quickly, but like Harvin, Willson was a full participant in practice this week and will be ready to contribute against the Saints.
With both players back in the lineup, Saints coordinator Rob Ryan's job designing a defensive game plan for tomorrow just became that much more challenging.