Terry Blount | ESPN.com
In his first NFL game in more than a year, Harvin had a 58-yard kickoff return to set up a touchdown late in the second quarter and a spectacular 17-yard diving catch to keep another TD drive alive earlier in the first half en route to a 41-20 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, Harvin’s former team.
Harvin was acquired by the Seahawks in an offseason trade with the Vikings. Seattle gave up a first- and seventh-round pick in 2013, along with a third-round pick next year, to get Harvin. The Seahawks then signed him to a five-year deal worth $67 million.
But Harvin underwent major hip surgery on Aug. 1 to repair a torn labrum. Sunday was Harvin’s first NFL game since Nov. 4, 2012, when he played for the Vikings against the Seahawks in Seattle.
He made his first appearance on the field Sunday two hours before kickoff and received lots of hugs from his former Minnesota teammates and team personnel.
The first play Sunday that showed how he can influence a game came early in the second quarter when quarterback Russell Wilson threw a deep sideline route to him that resulted in an interference call on Minnesota cornerback Josh Robinson.
But Seattle offensive tackle Russell Okung was flagged for holding on the play, negating what would have been a big gain.
Harvin made his first catch as a Seahawk a few plays later on a third-and-10 at the Seattle 44. Wilson found him in the left flat, but the ball was slightly overthrown. Harvin reached up and got the ball with the tips of his fingers, bringing it down as he fell to the turf for a 17-yard gain.
It was a tiny indication of his skills, but a bigger example of his talent came when he returned a kickoff late in the first half. Harvin caught the ball 4 yards deep in the end zone and took off up the middle, found a seam and almost broke it for a score before he was stopped at the Minnesota 46.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said earlier in the week that he didn’t want Harvin returning kickoffs in his first game back, but Jermaine Kearse suffered a possible concussion on a first-quarter kickoff, so Carroll gave Harvin his chance.
Harvin, along with Wilson, didn’t play late in the game because the outcome was decided.
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