As if it weren’t enough to be without mercurial offensive threat Percy Harvin, the Seahawks also are missing Sidney Rice.
He is in Switzerland undergoing a previously scheduled procedure on his troublesome knee, coach Pete Carroll told reporters on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Carroll said the Hawks had not heard anything definitive about Harvin’s partially torn hip labrum. Harvin was in New York on Tuesday to get a second opinion.
Carroll said Rice would not miss any time due to the procedure, which he said was not a surgery. The Hawks did a great job of managing the injury-prone receiver last season, and he managed to start all 16 games for the second time in his six-year career.
“He was practicing fine when he was out here,” Carroll said. “But this is a procedure that they’ve been waiting to do, and so he’ll come back. And when he comes back, he’ll go right back on the field. He didn’t get hurt. We’re just trying to help him along.”
The frailty of both former Minnesota Vikings underscores a couple of things: (1) The Seahawks might be likely to keep six receivers this year and (2) there is no way the Hawks are going to pay Rice his bloated $8.5 million salary next year when they have to pay Harvin $11 million.
Meanwhile, the Hawks have better news on younger receivers:
Doug Baldwin is in demand but not going anywhere. Several teams reportedly inquired about him after the Seahawks traded for Harvin in March, but GM John Schneider declined to talk trade. Schneider knows his receiving corps will be in major flux after this season and Baldwin might be the only player he can count on being there — if Harvin has ongoing injury concerns, if Rice won’t take a pay cut and if Golden Tate commands too much money.
Jermaine Kearse reportedly had Lasik surgery in the offseason and apparently has looked great in the first days of camp. With Harvin, Rice, Tate and Baldwin locked in for now, Kearse is fighting fifth-round pick Chris Harper and street free agent Stephen Williams for the fifth receiving spot. If Harvin ends up on IR, it would open another spot. Or the Hawks could end up going with six at the position this year.
Stephen Williams could be the next diamond in the rough at the position — and the biggest guy they have had since Mike Williams. At 6 feet 5, the third-year player has the size. And at 4.53 (40 time), he has the speed. There is a reason he was undrafted out of Toledo in 2010, but he has impressed the coaches over the first few days.
“He been very intriguing these first four days (of camp),” Carroll said Sunday. “He gives you another big-guy presence, and I’ve always liked having guys like that. I kind of have a good eye for guys like that, and we’re always looking at guys with different dimensions. So we’re excited about him.”
The Seahawks went with just five receivers last season, but they could go with six this year if a young player merits it and the Hawks are unsure of the weekly availability of Harvin and Rice.