RENTON, Wash. (AP) There is no hiding the grin on Percy Harvin’s face these days.
After a difficult two seasons that saw Harvin miss 23 games overall due to ankle and hip injuries, Harvin is fully healthy once again and looks ready to explode this season.
And he might just take the Seattle Seahawks offense along for the ride.
Harvin has been unhindered in training camp by the hip injury that limited him to just one regular-season game last year. Harvin said he hasn’t felt this good since before his college days at the University of Florida and he’s found gears he didn’t realize he had.
”I definitely feel a lot better,” Harvin said. ”I’ve got a lot more motion than I’m used to having. I can do a lot more cuts and just a lot of different motions that I wasn’t able to do before.”
Considering he was a league MVP candidate before getting hurt with the Minnesota Vikings two seasons ago, that’s a scary thought for the rest of the league. Harvin’s presence is already being felt this preseason. He’s caught seven passes for 92 yards in Seattle’s last two preseason games and returned the opening kickoff 46 yards Friday night against the Chicago Bears.
With Harvin in the lineup, the Seahawks’ first-team offense scored on nine consecutive possessions over the last two games with seven possessions ending with touchdowns.
”What we’re seeing is really good execution and a lot of positive things with minimal negative plays,” head coach Pete Carroll said. ”Russell (Wilson) is getting the ball out really quickly and when he isn’t, he’s moving efficiently and finding a place to put the ball and keeping the drives alive.”
Harvin has barely missed a rep in practice during training camp. He’s begged to be kept on the field despite the coaching staff’s initial reservations about giving him too much work early in camp.
”We’re loving the grind right now,” Harvin said. ”Practice has been fun. (Just) competing. It’s been a joy.”
Harvin’s consistency on the practice field has allowed him to develop chemistry with Wilson that was lacking last season. His speed and versatility give Seattle’s offense an added dimension it was lacking last season.
”To add Percy to the mix, it makes our personnel so much tougher to defend,” Wilson said.
Harvin seems giddy at the thought of getting back on the field for Seattle’s regular-season opener next week against the Green Bay Packers. Even though there is one more preseason game before the Seahawks begin their defense of their Super Bowl title, Harvin has done enough waiting. The regular season can’t come soon enough.
”I’m definitely ready,” Harvin said. ”I’m right on point right now. Just got to keep working and keep grinding.”
Notes: Seattle terminated the contracts of veteran CB Terrell Thomas and G Wade Smith. They also waived OT Cory Brandon, RB Demitrius Bronson, S Michael Dobson, DE Jackson Jeffcoat, WR Kevin Smith and CB Thomas Wolfe. … Seattle will need to make seven more roster moves to reduce the roster to 75 players by 1 p.m. PDT on Tuesday. … Carroll said LB Heath Farwell will likely require surgery after suffering ”extensive damage” to his groin against the Chicago Bears on Friday night. … LB Bruce Irvin (hip) and WR Kevin Norwood (foot) could return to practice next week. Irvin is on the physically unable to perform list after offseason surgery. Norwood had surgery to remove a bone spur early in training camp.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL