Percy Harvin has been gone from the NFC North since March, but my sense is that many of you are still following his career closely to gain closure and perhaps some twisted satisfaction after the Minnesota Vikings' decision to trade him to the Seattle Seahawks. It's rare, as we noted at the time, that a team gives up on an elite 25-year-old playmaker, and I think we're all eager to see how this thing turns out.
Thursday's news that Harvin might have a torn hip labrum and might need surgery brought a few chuckles and some questions. Robert of Minneapolis cut to the heart of it via the mailbag: "Is this typical Percy not wanting to practice and showing up on game days or is this a serious issue?"
Harvin reportedly will seek a second opinion next week, but my NFC West colleague Mike Sando notes that the injury's unknown severity is an important variable. Harvin could play through a mild version, and I'm aware of many who have, but the worst-case scenario is surgery that could sideline him for 16 weeks. Pain tolerance is also part of the treatment plan.
Indeed, Harvin's durability is a complicated topic. For all of is past ailments, most notably migraine headaches, he played in 15 regular-season games during his rookie year of 2009. He was on the field for 14 games in 2010 and 16 in 2011. Last season, as you know, an ankle injury cost him the Vikings' final seven regular-season games.
Harvin's strong game availability from 2009-11, however, overshadowed dozens of missed practices. In 2010, in fact, he missed almost all of training camp because of migraines and the death of his grandmother.
So longtime Harvin observers weren't at all surprised to hear that a potentially significant injury popped up out of nowhere on the first day of training camp. I don't know that Harvin is consciously playing up the severity of the injury to avoid participating in training camp. (A cynic would call his injury "camp hip.") Once again, it goes back to what we've always said about Harvin: Weird things always seem to happen around him.