The Buffalo Bills are rumored to be losing Percy Harvin, possibly for good.
With the team already in London for this weekend’s matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Harvin has reportedly taken leave from the team and could be contemplating retirement. Sources close to the team claim that Harvin is growing more and more frustrated with his chronic hip injury, which has caused him to miss many games over the course of the last three seasons.
— Vic Carucci (@viccarucci) October 22, 2015
The Buffalo Bills have been feeding the rumors with some curious information, announcing that Percy Harvin stayed back from London due to personal reasons but not giving any more information. That led to speculation that he could have a legal issue keeping him from obtaining a passport needed to travel to the United Kingdom, but now it appears that frustration over the hip that’s keeping him away.
The Bills didn’t have much else to say about it, and coach Rex Ryan said he didn’t know where Harvin was back in the states.
“I’m not going to say anything more than what we said yesterday about it,” Ryan said Thursday. “I don’t know where he is right now.”
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) October 22, 2015
Percy Harvin may be dealing with more than just one injury. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported that he has now developed knee problems as a result of compensating for his bad hip.
If the rumors are true, it would be a devastating blow to the Buffalo Bills. The team has been hit hard by injuries this year, and as they head to London the Bills will be without No. 1 wide receiver Sammy Watkins and backup running back Karlos Williams.
Watkins, who has also been dealing with a number of injuries, has failed to hit his stride in his second year, and Harvin’s presence was compensating nicely. Harvin has 19 catches for 218 yards and a touchdown, along with five rushes for 31 yards and five kick returns for 108 yards.
It did not seem like Harvin was ever part of the long-term plans for the Buffalo Bills, as he signed just a one-year contract for $6 million. But the Bills are in “win-now” mode with a strong but somewhat aging defense and a number of big additions on offense over the course of the last two years. For a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in 16 years, the chance to reach the postseason was worth taking on the risk of acquiring Harvin, injuries and all.
This may not be the first time that Percy Harvin considered retirement. Mike Garaolo reported that he has been thinking about leaving football for the past few years, dating back to the start of his tenure with the Seattle Seahawks in 2013.
There are conflicting rumors on whether Percy Harvin is really retiring or just leaving the Buffalo Bills until he is recovered. Just a few hours after reports emerged that he was thinking of leaving football for good, ESPN reported that is not the case.
“Buffalo Bills wide receiver Percy Harvin has grown increasingly frustrated with hip and knee injuries that are expected to sideline him indefinitely but he is not contemplating retirement, a source told ESPN.”
If the rumors are true and the Buffalo Bills lose Percy Harvin, it would hurt far beyond the production he brings in terms of catches and touchdowns. With one less explosive weapon on offense, opposing defenses would be able to bear down on Sammy Watkins even more, putting more pressure on the rest of the players.
[Picture by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images]