Seahawks helped Harvin keep trying

RENTON, Wash. -- Percy Harvin almost gave up.

His surgically-repaired hip just wasn't getting better after suffering a setback when he returned for one game, Nov. 17, against the Vikings.

"There were times when I thought about shutting it down," Harvin said Thursday. "But the guys kept giving me the positive energy I needed. [Seahawks cornerback] Richard Sherman came to me every day, letting me know [saying], 'We got it. We just need you to finish up.'

"It was numerous guys that came up to me. I just kept rehabbing and stayed on course. At times, I didn't feel right or feel good. I decided I was going to give it everything I had, and then it all started turning around for me."

Harvin will play Saturday in the NFC divisional round playoff game against the Saints at CenturyLink Field. It's an almost unheard of situation, where a Pro Bowl-caliber player, who missed almost the entire season, returns for the playoffs.

Add in the fact that Harvin is playing in his first season for Seattle, and the parts of this become even more unusual, increasing the unknowns about how this will turn out.

A man who has played 19 snaps in one game with his new team will be the center of attention for a playoff game with everything on the line.

"He will open up a lot of things for us," Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch said Thursday while making only his second public comments of the season. "It's big."

Something exciting could happen from the start if the Seahawks receive the opening kickoff. Harvin plans to be back there. Seattle coach Pete Carroll said he won't hold him back in any way.

"I told him, if he's going, he's going," Carroll said. "He's an excitable guy with huge energy. He's really aggressive and I don't expect him to hold back one bit."

Harvin wasn't sure he would get back after the problems he encountered following the Minnesota game. It was an impressive debut. He returned one kickoff 58 yards and made a spectacular one-handed catch on a third-down play.

"I felt it a little bit in the game that something wasn't quite right," Harvin said. "After that it was swollen and I had fluid and stiffness. I had my days where it went up and down. I would go to sleep not knowing it I would wake up the next morning and it would swell up."

So the question is, did he try to return too soon?

"We followed the course," Harvin said. "We went for it and then had to take a step back."

Carroll was as surprised as everyone else at what happened after Harvin's return.

"He didn't recover from the game the way we expected," Carroll said. "Everybody felt we were doing the right thing, but he couldn't respond the week after."

The weeks went by and the regular season ended without Harvin returning. On Monday, Dec. 30th, Carroll was ready to place Harvin on injured reserve and end his season, but Harvin convinced Carroll to give him one more chance.

"Coach came to me last Monday with the whole IR thing," Harvin said. "I looked at him and said, 'Coach, I'm ready to play ball.' I hit the practice field and felt pretty good.

"I didn't have any problems getting out of my breaks. I was able to do all my cutting. I'm just glad to be out there helping my team. Everything has worked out for the best."