UPDATE (6:15 p.m. ET): Harvin was hit hard in the end zone by Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins late in the second quarter, and he was sent back to the locker room for a second concussion evaluation. At the start of the second half, it was announced that Harvin would not return to the game.
SEATTLE -- It didn't take long for things to get medically complex for Seattle Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin. On the third play of Seattle's first drive against the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round of the playoffs, Harvin went up the left seam against defensive back Trevin Wade from the New Orleans 41-yard line. Harvin heard footsteps and dropped the Russell Wilson throw just as he was absolutely clocked by safety Rafael Bush.
Bush was called for a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty, and though it seemed like exactly the sort of flag people reference when they wonder if the NFL has gone too far in enforcing player safety rules, Harvin was a defenseless receiver on the play.
(GIF via Bleacher Report.)
Harvin came off the field, and Stephen Hauschka kicked a 38-yard field goal to end the drive. Harvin talked with trainers and had his helmet taken away. He then was taken to the locker room for a concussion evaluation. However, the news was good for the Seahawks -- Harvin was deemed able to come back in the game, which he did on the next series. He seemed no worse for wear, looking aggressive on several plays through the first and second quarters.
The Seahawks gave up a first-round draft pick to the Minnesota Vikings for Harvin in the offseason, and then signed him to a six-year, $67 million contract with $25.5 million guaranteed. But he was bedeviled by hip injuries all season and played just 20 snaps. Head coach Pete Carroll thought about putting Harvin on injured reserve for the postseason, but the team activated him this week. The NFL will undoubtedly look long and hard at the fact that Harvin went back into the game, sensitive as it is about its own concussion evaluation practices. After last weekend's wild-card matchups, the league's head, neck and spine committee chairmen sent a note to all team doctors and trainers indicating that Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari and Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis were in violation of the NFL's concussion policy by not leaving the field (in Lewis' case) and going back in the game (in Bahktiari's case).