Although not the first big blow a team has taken with the start of training camp, this might be the biggest. New Seattle Seahawks WR Percy Harvin will undergo surgery on a torn labrum in his hip that will require him to miss a minimum of 12-16 weeks. This standard timeframe for return to play points to Harvin returning sometime in late November, which is a devastating blow to both his fantasy value and Russell Wilson‘s expected rise to prominence.
This type of hip injury is devastating for a guy like Harvin. The labrum serves as an extension around the rim of the hip socket, deepening the size of the “socket” to allow the femoral head (ball) to move and spin without issue. When the labrum is torn, a player loses his dynamic stability with movements like cutting, accelerating, and planting-and-pushing-off, all of which are of the utmost importance to a guy like Harvin. Expect him to miss an absolute minimum of 3 months, with a best case scenario comeback sometime around Week 10-11, but more realistically around Week 13.
The rehab protocol for this type of injury is relatively straightforward, barring setback: Restore pain-free range of motion (ROM), increase stability of the hip (and lower extremity) musculature, modulate pain, and regain proper form and mechanics with walking, then running. Once a guy is able to run pain-free and, most importantly, without limitation or compensation, cutting and lateral movements can be introduced, followed by sport-specific training.
The big question everyone is asking now is, Who steps up in Harvin’s place? Don’t forget, this is a team that made it to the second round of the playoffs without him last year, so they already know they can win without him. From a fantasy standpoint, the obvious choices to get an uptick in targets and production are Golden Tate, Sidney Rice, and Doug Baldwin. However, don’t sleep on a guy like Zach Miller seeing an increase in short catches across the middle and in the red zone, where teams will really be zeroing in on Marshawn Lynch. I like Rice to have a great year this season, as he’s finally entering a season healthy and reportedly in fantastic shape.
Regardless, Harvin is expected to be back at some point this season, so the guy who emerges and develops the best rapport with Wilson early on also stands the best chance of being a key cog in an up-and-coming offense. Stay tuned.