Percy Harvin is back. After three consecutive practices this week following a calendar year away from game action due to injuries, the wide receiver, who represents the Seahawks’ No. 1 draft choice from April, said he’s ready for the game Sunday at the Clink against his old team, the Minnesota Vikings.
“I definitely think I’m ready to play,” he said Friday, his first meeting with reporters since before his Aug. 1 hip surgery. ” I still got a lot of work to do, but I think I’m ready to start playing and getting packages in there and getting the ball going.
“It felt great to be out there with my teammates. Just running plays and be able to go in to the huddle again, and just being able to smell grass and being able to lace up the cleats again . . . I felt great. So hopefully everything goes well (Saturday) and I’m looking forward to the game.”
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, as per usual, wasn’t disclosing the script for Harvin Sunday.
“He made it through practice today,” he said. “We’ll see how it affects him tomorrow and we’ll call it, but he looks good. Practiced, did everything. He’s asked me about returning kickoffs already, so he’s all over it. He’s excited.”
Harvin said his slight setback a couple of weeks ago was simply normal post-surgery swelling.
“I wasn’t real concerned,” he said. “It had a little fluid that built up and just kind of caused some stiffness. Just a little soreness. (MRI results showed) the bone structure was perfectly fine. We had to take the fluid out, and I was right back on my feet.
“It’s never actually the day I do things that worries anyone, it’s the following day. Making sure there’s no swelling, no stiffness. I was able to go out there and I was explosive, I was able to run all of my routes unlimited.”
A 5-11, 200-pounder from Florida
State beginning his pro fifth season, Harvin, 25, knows that the year off makes for some rustiness.
“I’m not worrying about it, but it’s to be expected,” he said. “I haven’t played the game in a year. I haven’t had the amount of practices or the training camps that a lot of people have. But I have a lot of confidence in this coaching staff getting me ready to play. I have all of the confidence in the world in my ability and the way I prepare.”
He knows that he will be a part-timer Sunday.
“I won’t say what I can and can’t do,” he said. “I would just say that it would be crazy for me to think that I can go out there and play the amount of plays I was able to play before. I’m able to do some of things, but it’s still day-to-day.”
Harvin, the 2009 NFL offensive rookie of the year with the Vikings who in his lone full season of 2011 accounted for 1,832 yards, eighth-most in the NFL, said playing his old team brings no extra passion.
“Not at all,” he said. “It is good to play those guys and be able to see those guys. I still got a lot of friendships over there. I text them and talk to them a lot. (Sunday) is just solely about the Seattle Seahawks. Me being able to be out there and be able to play again and get ready for this playoff run. It has nothing to do with the Vikings.”
Harvin said there’s no issue with his comfort level with Russell Wilson’s passing.
“It’s at an all-time high,” he said. “We did a lot of work throughout the offseason, just getting receivers all together before the OTAs when I first got here. We was throwing the ball a lot. We didn’t miss a whole lot, as far as chemistry-wise. With that said, we still have a lot of work to do, but that all comes with repetition, practices and in the games.”
He sounded relieved that his injury absence didn’t seem to have much effect on team results.
“Man, it’s been a blessing,” he said. That just allowed me and the training staff to really sit back and allow me to heal the right way and not be able to rush it. So I’m just looking to get back in and fit in.”
Others fitting back in to game action includes all but two Seahawks — CB Brandon Browner (out with a groin-muscle pull) and DT Tony McDaniel ( questionable with a hamstring strain).
The probables included RT Breno Giacomini, C Max Unger and DE Red Bryant, all of whom missed Sunday’s win in Atlanta.
Vikings QB Ponder claims to be ready
After dislocating his left (non-throwing) shoulder Sunday, Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder was optimistic that he will play Sunday. Ponder was limited in practice Wednesday.
“Honestly it’s a lot better than I expected to be all week,” he told reporters in Minneapolis Thursday. “I was a little pessimistic about what was going to happen over the weekend. I was very uncomfortable. I woke up Monday and Tuesday and I kept feeling better and better.
“Our training staff has done such a great job of getting me to feel better. So I threw it around a lot more than I expected to (Wednesday). And each day it’s going to keep getting better.”
Ponder said he will wear a harness on his shoulder.
“I don’t think I’m going to wear padding,” he said. “I’m going to wear a harness, which people usually wear when they dislocate a shoulder to keep it in place. But I’m not going to wear any extra padding or anything.”
The Seahawks have 31 sacks, fifth most in the NFL. Ponder said he’s not concerned about taking contact.
“I don’t know how it’s going to feel,” he said. “Obviously, I’m going to get hit at some point. Hopefully not. But we’ll see how it ends up feeling. But I’m sure it will it be a little painful and hopefully the Seahawks don’t have a target on it.”