Hurting Harvin

By Adam Caparell - March 25, 2008

Two of the biggest stories to emerge this week out of spring practice have nothing to do with quarterback battles, new coaches or schematic changes. Rather, it's injury news to two big name offensive stars that are grabbing the most headlines heading into April.

Clemson's James Davis and Florida's Percy Harvin have both been sidelined with different injuries this week and both could be out for the rest of their team's spring practices.

Davis went down with a shoulder injury in the Tigers last practice before their break, but even with a week off team doctors felt it was in Davis' best interest to sit out the remaining practices, leading up to Clemson's spring game April 12. From all indications he should be fine by the time fall camp rolls around.

Harvin's injury, on the other hand, should send up some red flags.

Harvin has battled injuries throughout his first two seasons in Gainesville and the fact that he's missing more time should make Florida fans a little uneasy, despite coach Urban Meyer shooting down long term concerns about his current heel injury.

There's no question Harvin is as dynamic as it gets on the field and when he's healthy he's a threat to score whenever he touches the ball. But whether it's his head, heel, hip, knee, Achilles or whatever, Harvin just can't stay healthy and if he can't stay on the field that's going to put more pressure on Tim Tebow this season, something Meyer desperately wants to avoid. Tebow took a ton of abuse last year, accouting for over 70 percent of the Gators offense. Meyer wants more guys to step up and he's counting big time on Harvin to help shoulder more of the offensive load.

Meyer said Harvin will be revaluated and might make it back before the Gators spring game, but for the time being he's in a protective boot. It's a tough start to the 2008 season for the Heisman Trophy favorite, at least in the eyes of last year's winner.

"He's had this now for over a year and a half and we treated it as tendonitis, but we think it might be something more than that," Meyer told the Florida press.

He may be downplaying the injury now, but from the sound of it this is something that could easily crop up during the season. Harvin may have bulked up to 200 pounds this off-season, but he hasn't had a chance to put it to good use. And it looks like he may not the rest of the spring.

There is one thing that looks like a sure bet when it comes to Harvin this spring: He won't get to embarrass any fellow students in the 40-yard dash when the Gators host a special speed skills test before their spring game April 12.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 10:01 AM on March 25, 2008

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