LONDON – The reason Buffalo Bills wide receiver Percy Harvin didn’t accompany the team on its trip here for Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars is because he is contemplating retirement, The News has learned.
On Wednesday, coach Rex Ryan said Harvin wasn’t on the trip for “personal reasons,” but refused to offer details.
According to NFL sources, Harvin is deciding whether he wants to continue playing as the result of a nagging hip injury that kept him out of last Sunday’s loss against Cincinnati.
He is known to have had extensive conversations with the Bills about his future and the team is giving him the time to figure out what he wants to do, an NFL source said.
The Bills are “comfortable with the possibility of moving on without” Harvin, a league source said.
Still, they will be facing the Jaguars without two of their top receivers: Harvin and Sammy Watkins, who remains sidelined with an injured calf.
During his media briefing Thursday, Ryan said, “I’m not going to say any more on” Harvin than Wednesday, “because I don’t know where he is right now.”
Harvin, who is in his seventh NFL season, has a history of illnesses and injuries during his pro career. He missed 10 games during four years with the Minnesota Vikings, whom he joined as a first-round draft pick from the University of Florida in 2009.
Migraine headaches, which caused him to miss the 2009 NFL Rookie Symposium and also prompted him to miss the first three practices of his rookie training camp, kept him out of a late-season game in ’09 and also caused him to pass out during a training camp practice in 2010.
After being traded to the Seattle Seahawks in 2013, Harvin was diagnosed with a slight labrum tear in his hip during offseason training and underwent surgery on Aug. 1, 2013. The Seahawks placed him on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, from which he was activated for one ’13 regular-season game, against the Vikings, before developing inflammation in the hip that kept him out until Seattle’s appearance in Super Bowl XLVIII. He returned the second-half kickoff of that game 87 yards for a touchdown to help the Seahawks beat Denver for their first Super Bowl triumph.
Harvin, 27, is less than halfway through the first season of a three-year contract he signed with the Bills last March. He’s due to receive $6 million this year, including a $3 million signing bonus. The final two seasons are voidable by the Bills.
In five games this year, Harvin has caught 19 passes for 218 yards and a touchdown. The score came on a 51-yard throw from Tyrod Taylor in the 27-14 season-opening victory against Indianapolis.
Harvin has been targeted 30 times this season. The last game he played was the 14-13 victory at Tennessee when he was targeted four times, but had zero receptions.
For his career – which includes a stint with the New York Jets in the second half of the 2014 season – Harvin has 351 receptions for 4,020 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Harvin has 145 career rushing attempts for 916 yards and five touchdowns. He also has 152 kick returns for 4,127 yards and five TDs.