Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Seahawks lose Harvin

Prized acquisition slated for hip surgery today

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RENTON, Wash. -- Because Percy Harvin has never played a game for the Seattle Seahawks, the news he'll need surgery on his hip and could miss a significant chunk of the 2013 season doesn't come with the same sting that it might have.

But don't think Harvin won't be missed by the Seahawks.

"It hurts to lose Percy for a long time like that. I know it's hurting him, it's killing him because he wants to be out here," Seattle's Golden Tate said. "But where we ended last year without him, I'm confident, we're all confident in our ability to make plays. We're going to need to make more plays without him around, but where we are now, we have so many playmakers."

The Seahawks practiced Wednesday for the first time since learning Harvin will need surgery to repair his hip injury. The surgery is scheduled for today in New York, but there won't be a timetable on recovery until after the procedure is completed and doctors determine the extent of the damage.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll and offensive co-ordinator Darrell Bevell were not made available to the local media on Wednesday to talk about Harvin's status. Carroll did speak with NFL Network following practice on Wednesday and said the team believes Harvin will be back this season.

"Now that we've taken in all the information, Percy does have a chance to get back and we'll find that out after the procedure," Carroll told NFL Network. "We'll know what took place and they'll make kind of a guess how long that will take him. We've got to get him right, fix him up and take care of him. We made a big commitment to Percy (and) we want to make sure he's 100 per cent and ready to go."

Harvin reported to training camp last week complaining of soreness in his hip and that led to a series of exams. Harvin tweeted Tuesday evening that he would be undergoing surgery after he got a second opinion on the injury.

While there isn't good news for the Seahawks with Harvin needing surgery, it happened early enough in training camp that Seattle has time to make any needed changes offensively to account for his absence. That could mean a bigger role for Tate, who believes he has comparable skills to Harvin's.

"The things that they have, they intended on him to do, I'll be more than happy to do that," Tate said. "I want to get the ball any way that I can and I want to try and make a play. I feel like I am really similar to Percy."

The injury should open up an extra roster spot at least to begin the season and give one of Seattle's unproven young receivers a chance to start the season on the active roster.

"We still have depth and we still have guys on this team that haven't even had a chance to play football yet on Sundays, and who are more than capable of filling in if we need them to," Seattle's Doug Baldwin said.

Another concern for Seattle will be finding someone to return kicks with Harvin out. Before he was injured last season, Harvin was leading the NFL averaging 35.9 yards per kick return.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 1, 2013 D9

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