Percy Harvin: How soon will Seahawks need him?

Percy Harvin said he hopes to be on the field by Week 7. Will the Seattle Seahawks need him right away? Could Percy Harvin's rehab take longer? Should Seattle wait until later in the season to unleash Harvin?

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin carries the ball during practice in May. Harvin says he'll be back from hip surgery and on the playing field by Week 7 of this season.

Will Percy Harvin be back from hip rehab in time to help the Seattle Seahawks against the Arizona Cardinals?

Harvin tweeted fans that they should expect him back by Week 7. Rehab results aside, that's the earliest Harvin could return since he's on Seattle's Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. In the NFL, players on the PUP list can only return to practice after Week Six to  Week 11.

And rehab appears to be going well, but Coach Pete Carroll isn't as forthcoming as Harvin about when his $67 million (over six years) wide receiver will be back in a Seahawks uniform.

“He’s back in New York rehabbing and we’re making sure that we really do everything just right," Carroll said Wednesday, according to the Seattle Times. "He was very positive about how he’s coming back. We want to make sure we do a great job and support it in every way. We’ve made a couple of choices to send him back and he’s doing great. Don’t know that that means in terms of a time line.”

Perhaps the more relevant question, asks Mike Florio at NBC Sports, is when should the Seahawks bring Harvin back, assuming he's healthy? The Seahawks are 3-0. If they're looking as strong on Week 7 as after Week 3, why rush Harvin's return?

"If the team, which could go to 4-0 for the first time in franchise history on Sunday, continues to thrive without Harvin, the powers-that-be may be inclined to unleash him, Kraken-style, as late as possible, with an eye toward getting maximum pop in the postseason," writes Florio.

Of course, Seattle isn't 4-0 yet. They've suddenly got an offensive line riddled with injuries. It now looks like the Seahawks will be without left tackle Russell Okung, center Max Unger, and starting right tackle Breno Giacomini when they play the 2-1 Houston Texans. Will QB Russell Wilson get the protection he needs on the road Sunday against the Texans? The Seahawks are going against the No. 2 team in the NFL in total defense. Carroll doesn't sound worried, but what coach does.

“Our guys are ready to play ball if they are called on to do so,’’ Carroll told the Seattle Times. “It won’t be the story about the guys that aren’t playing (but) those guys stepping up and doing their thing. It might be the young guys. If it is, it is. Then we are going to crank it up and go.’’

Seattle is out of the gates with three impressive wins so far this year, building on Wilson's stellar rookie season last year.

Seattle made the playoffs last season "with an offense that averaged 32.4 points their final 10 games, including the postseason. There was already ample reason to expect a balanced, dangerous offense next season to complement a defense that allowed the fewest points in the NFL," noted Seattle Times columnist Jerry Brewer earlier this year.

The off-season deal for Harvin was intended to help take the Seahawks not just to the playoffs, but to the Super Bowl.

Harvin "can carry an offense at times, which is both rare for a wide receiver and exactly what the Seahawks needed. In a game that has become about stretching the field horizontally, getting players in space and letting their speed kill, Harvin is perhaps the best in the NFL at it," wrote Brewer.

The question is: When will Seattle unleash the Harvin?

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