The Seahawks' new offensive toy has suffered an unknown hip injury that landed him on the physically unable to perform list when training camp opened Thursday. The injury is in the area of Harvin's labrum, which has immediately drawn concern that it could be a problem that would cause Harvin to miss significant time before ever seeing the field with his new team.
"Percy has a hip issue that he's dealing with that came up over the summer. We're trying to figure it out. We're going to do everything we can to help him out, to make the right decision and take care of him in every way," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. "He was working out just a week or so ago going full speed, but it was bothering him enough we took some looks at it."
Carroll did not rule out surgery as the solution, but he felt the team has time to get Harvin ready.
"We're going to go ahead and do it step by step right now," Carroll said. "I know he was working full speed just a few days ago but we need to take care of him."
The Seahawks made an aggressive move to bolster an already potent offense when they traded three draft picks, including their 2013 first-round selection, to Minnesota in exchange for Harvin. Then Seattle locked up Harvin long-term, signing him to a six-year extension.
Adding Harvin to an offense already featuring Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and Sidney Rice immediately raised the Seahawks' already lofty status as contenders in the NFC.
Now the plans for seeing Harvin on the field could be delayed, significantly.
If surgery is needed, the Seahawks could be looking at an extended period without their splashy offseason acquisition. Rice had surgery to repair the labrum in his hip before the start of the 2010 season while with Minnesota and missed more than half the season. Coming off a Pro Bowl season in 2009, Rice didn't see the field until Week 11 of 2010.
Harvin had hip issues early in the 2010 season and he missed a practice during Seattle's June's minicamp with what Carroll called a hip flexor issue.
"Right now we need to get more information. We don't know enough right now," Carroll said.
Despite debilitating migraines that limited his practice time early in his career with the Vikings, Harvin has been surprisingly durable, even with a rugged style of running through tacklers. Before last season, Harvin had missed only three games in his first three seasons.
Last season, Harvin suffered a severely sprained left ankle against the Seahawks on Nov. 4. He was placed on injured reserve a month later, abruptly ending a season that began so strongly. He led the NFL in total yards, including rushing, receiving and returning, at the time of his injury.
Wilson didn't seem concerned about Harvin possibly missing practice time.
"Percy has played in the league for several years now. He knows football, he understands the game and we talk all the time about certain routes and things," Wilson said. "You don't have to always get the reps to perfect them. As long as you're on the same page in terms of the communication level, on the same page in terms of mentally when you're out there and what you're seeing.
Along with Harvin, Seattle also started camp with defensive end Chris Clemons (knee) and tight end Zach Miller (foot) on the PUP list. Neither move was unexpected as Clemons is continuing his recovery from knee surgery following an injury he suffered in the NFC playoffs against Washington. Carroll had no update on a timeline, other than noting Clemons' push to make it back for the season opener.
"We'll know more in the next couple of days when we have him with us. He's in pretty good shape. He feels great about it. He doesn't feel any pain at all. We're trying to keep him off full speed running on the ground yet," Carroll said. "I said this way back when, we're really going to take our time with him."
Miller continues to deal with a sore left foot that forced him to miss some of the June minicamp. It's the same foot that Miller suffered a torn fascia in during the Seahawks' playoff loss to Atlanta, but the injury is not related.
Also starting the season on PUP is running back Robert Turbin (foot), defensive end Greg Scruggs (knee) and cornerback Tharold Simon.