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Is Percy Harvin Ready to Elevate Seattle’s Passing Attack with Rice Out?

On Tuesday, the Seattle Seahawks announced that after suffering a torn ACL during Monday night’s game, wide receiver Sidney Rice will now be out for the rest of the season. This comes after Rice, third among the receivers, had 15 receptions for 231 yards and three touchdowns for the season.

At 7-1, the Seahawks have high postseason expectations and his loss will be felt by the team. You assume they’ll embrace the “next man up” mantra and this could be wide receiver Percy Harvin.

The Seahawks acquired the former Minnesota Vikings player in the offseason but he’s yet to take the field as he underwent hip surgery back on Aug 1. thanks to a torn labrum. He is slowly making his way back–even participating in last week’s practice–but he still sat on the PUP list for Monday’s game.

Is time for the Seahawks to loosen the reins on Harvin?

There is some depth for the Seahawks at wide receiver including Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and Golden Tate. At the top of the stats list is Tate with his 32 catches for 439 yards and three touchdowns. Behind him is Baldwin with 23 receptions for 372 yards and one touchdown and running Marshawn Lynch comes in at the fourth spot with his 15 receptions for 181 yards and one touchdown.

The team may want to wait on bringing Harvin into the mix as an effort to save him for the postseason. There’s also the money aspect with Harvin. The team invested $67 million on him ($25 million guaranteed) with a five-year deal. They will want to preserve Harvin’s health for the latter end of the season and a January playoff run.

Really, there’s not a huge urgency to get Harvin on the field. At least in the short term.Without the team’s tallest receiver (Rice stands 6’4), the addition of Harvin with his 5’11” will give the team a player on the inside. On Tuesday, he did practice but he is still not on the team’s active list. The date of his return is still unknown.

His quarterback Russell Wilson is ready for Harvin to return and said via ESPN, “He’s a great football player. He’s one of the best in the National Football League and he will bring electricity to our offense when he is able to come and play. We’re excited about that opportunity. But the great thing is we have so many other guys that have stepped up this season. Just to be able to add Percy, whenever that opportunity comes around, we’re excited about that.”

Don’t look for the Seahawks to push Harvin’s return but he mentally appears to be ready. He’ll need to get his conditioning up to speed before he can go said Harvin’s coach Pete Carroll this past weekend.

This week the Seahawks will play the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Somehow I think they’ll be to survive without Harvin on the field and still get a win.

Debbie Baratz

Deb has been writing about the NFL and NCAA football for the last few years. She is a full-time writer and an avid sports fan. Follow her on twitter @ldbar.

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