Wide receiver Percy Harvin #11 of the Seattle Seahawks warms up before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at CenturyLink Field on November 17, 2013 in Seattle,Wa. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Head coach Pete Carroll said Thursday that Harvin will play against the New Orleans Saints on Saturday and will have "no limitations" in his work load. Harvin has worked back into the offense and will be used on kick returns as well.
"We're excited about him going and excited for him," Carroll said. "It's been a long, long haul for a guy that's such a great competitor and it means so much to. For him to have the opportunity to join us now is really exciting, I know for him, and us too."
Harvin has practiced the last two weeks after being sidelined since his only game appearance against the Minnesota Vikings in November. Harvin said his hip swelled up with fluid after that game and that it caused stiffness that kept him from moving like he needed on the field.
After two weeks of practice, Harvin hasn't experienced any issues.
"I had no setbacks, felt good. Was finally able to do all my cutting, getting out of my breaks," Harvin said. "It's been great."
It almost didn't have a chance to happen.
Carroll approached Harvin the Monday after Seattle's regular season finale against the St. Louis Rams and said it was time to make a decision. Harvin was going to have a chance to get back on the field or the team was going to place him on injured reserve.
All Harvin wanted was an opportunity.
"Coach came to me last Monday with the whole IR thing. I just looked at him and said 'coach, I'm ready to play ball,'" Harvin said. "We talked to the doctors, just kept rehabbing. I could hit the practice field and it felt pretty good."
Carroll said they still don't know how Harvin's hip will respond to playing in another game. He said they felt Harvin was ready to play against the Vikings but didn't anticipate the setback he experienced afterward.
They once again feel Harvin is ready but still can't predict how the hip will respond to the beating of a game.
"We don't know what's going to happen until we do it again," Carroll said.
But Harvin is confident he's ready to play.
"We ready to go," Harvin said. "I'm doing kick returns, other things that I would do previously to this injury, so we're all ready to go."
In addition to Harvin, Carroll said that TE Luke Willson and S Kam Chancellor will be able to play. Chancellor returned to practice Thursday after sitting out on Wednesday.
Willson practiced all week despite suffering a high-ankle sprain against the Rams two weeks ago.
"(The doctors) checked him out right off the bat and it looked like he had a broken leg. Then they checked him out again that night and he didn't," Carroll said. "He jumped right back and had terrific work and he's ready to play."
New Orleans Saints
RB Pierre Thomas (chest)
DT Akiem Hicks (ankle)
T Terron Armstead (knee)
CB Keenan Lewis (head/neck)
G Jahri Evans (ankle)
Did Not Participate
LB K.J. Wright (foot)
DT Jordan Hill (groin)
TE Luke Willson (ankle)
WR Percy Harvin (hip)
S Kam Chancellor (hip)
WR Percy Harvin Quotes
(On how this week went for him…) “I’m feeling great. Had a good two weeks… Thursday and Friday. We came back this week, had no setbacks, it felt good. I was able to finally do all of my cutting, getting out of my breaks, things like that. So it’s been great.”
(On if he expects to play on Saturday…) “Absolutely. Absolutely”
(On how he feels emotionally after being cleared to practice…) “These last couple of days, I kind of have just been letting it all settle in. I’m just glad to be out there and helping my team win right now. The playoffs, that’s what we all dream about. To have home field advantage, all of the things that the team has put in place. It would be hard for me not to try to be out there. So everything worked out for the best and I’m looking forward to being out there and helping this team.”
(On what kept him motivated while he was recovering from his injury…) “All of my teammates. All of my teammates, all of my coaches, Richard Sherman. He came to me every single day just letting me know that the team will keep it up. He would always say, ‘Man we got it. We’re going to need you to finish.’ He’s kept saying that, kept saying that to me. All of the defensive guys, I can’t name them all by names right now, but it was a numerous of guys that came up to me and just kept encouraging me. Came a time where I thought about maybe just kind of shutting it down, but the guys just kept giving it to me, kept giving me that positive energy I needed and it all started turning around for me. So I decided that I was going to give it everything I have and go from there.”
(On what happened last week that made him want to ‘shut it down’…) “I just kept rehabbing. I just stayed on course. At times, it didn’t feel right, it didn’t feel good, but I just stayed the course. I just kept rehabbing, kept rehabbing and the coach came to me. It was last Monday, with the whole IR thing and I just looked at him and I said, ‘Coach. I’m ready to play ball.’ So we took that, we talked to the doctors, just kept rehabbing, I hit the practice field and it felt pretty good.”
(On what happened in the Minnesota game that prohibited him from playing…) “I call it just a setback. Swelling, it had fluids, stiffness, all the things that would come with the surgery.”
(On if he had any doubts about returning to play during his rehab…) “I had my days. Like I said, it kind of went up and down, especially from week-to-week. Being out there a couple of days, going to sleep not knowing when I was going to wake up in the morning with it swelled up. So it got real frustrating I know for the organization. It was frustrating too, not knowing if I could practice one day and maybe not practice the next day. So it was frustrating for a lot of people. My hats off to this organization just for staying patient for me. So I’m just ready to make it all pay off.”
(On the offense…) “The same as they been all year. It’s been a fantastic group lead by number 3. So I’m just looking to fit in anywhere I can. This offense has done its share… it wouldn’t be in this position it is right now. So this team is already set, the foundation is set. So I’m just looking to jump on the bus and enjoy the ride.”
(On if he is looking to return kicks…) “Absolutely.”
(On if he knew there was something wrong with his hip during the bye week or the day after the Minnesota game…) “I kind of knew during the game. Something didn’t quite then feel right, but it was expected. It was expected but we didn’t know to that extreme. So it came, like I said, that was a setback we had. We had two or three of them. But like I said, they are in the past.”
(On if he feels better now heading into this game compared to when he was cleared to play in the Minnesota game…) “Absolutely.”
(On where his career will go from here…) “I see it taking off. I’ve had no problem playing football as long as I’ve been on the field. I’ve had injuries unfortunately, but I’ll deal with them and when I get back on the field, I’ll pick up wherever I left off.”
(On if he feels any pressure from being considered the X factor for the Seahawks…) “First of all, I never feel any pressure of that sort. I’ve always felt confident in my game, I practice tremendously hard, my coaches prepare me well, I prepare myself well. So when it comes to football, I don’t try to overdo it or play out the odds, I make the plays I think I can make and I do the things I think I can do.”
(On how ready he feels to play after working with the offense and building a relationship with Russell Wilson…) “I feel very, very confident and I feel very good. These last practices have been very good; my conditioning has been very good. So I can say that I’m very confident in this game.”
(On how he was able to keep up with his conditioning if he had swelling in his hip…) “Just different things. We used pool workouts, I did boxing, I did different exercises to try to keep it up. I rode the bike a lot, but I did a lot of swimming in the training room and then on my own.”
(On the reason why he was on the bike during the Minnesota game was because he could feel the injury in his hip…) “Yeah it was just stiffness and just trying to keep it loose. Stiffness and trying to keep it loose and ready to go for the next series.”
(On if he will be limited in this game…) “Not that I know of. Like I said, we’re ready to go. Like I said, I’m doing kick returns, all of the things that I would do previously to this injury. So we’re all ready to go.”
(On if he feels like he came back too soon in the Minnesota game…) “I don’t know. Like I said, we followed the course. That was a good game that me, the doctors, everybody felt was comfortable with. We went for it and a little swelling came. So we had to take a step back into rehab, remap things out and that’s what we did and we’re here now.”
(On the Saints’ defense…) “Well they do a lot in their secondary. What I noticed, they do a lot of zero blitzing. What that means is no safety over the top. So as the receivers on third downs, that’s where we’re looking to cash in at. We feel like man-to-man, one-on-one, we feel confident that we can beat it.”
(On if he has wondered how he is going to feel during the Saints game…) “It goes through my mind here and there, but I’m sure… I’m confident in myself once I get to the game. I’m just going to cut it loose. I made all of the cuts and did all of the things, practice that I could do possibly in the game and I felt no limitations and no swelling came, no setbacks. So I’m going to go out there and give it all that I have and we’ll go from there.”