Percy Harvin is back.
The Bills, desperate for help at receiver, persuaded Harvin to end his short retirement and sign with the team for the second half of the season.
Harvin’s agent, Greg Barnett, tweeted the news on Tuesday morning.
My client Percy Harvin has come out of retirement to sign with the Buffalo Bills for the remainder of the season!— Greg Barnett (@gbo74) November 1, 2016
The 28 year-old retired in the spring, despite the Bills making it clear he would be welcomed back if he wanted to play football.
“I actually thought I was done. I was at peace,” Harvin said Tuesday. “The first five weeks of the NFL, I really wasn’t focused on football. I didn’t have the urge to go play. I was just kind of relaxing and let my mind just kind of chill.”
Harvin said he kept in contact with some of the Bills. He grew up with quarterback Tyrod Taylor, knows receiver Justin Hunter and often works out with defensive back Corey White.
“The next month came, the body started feeling good. At that point, I told my agent, don’t make any calls, just see what happens,” Harvin said. “So, I just kept training and doing my thing and then, the Bills called.”
Harvin played only five games for the Bills last year before hip and knee injuries ended his season.
Over his seven year career, Harvin has missed 39 games and played in 73. He played just 28 games total his last four years.
The Bills, however, are already missing Greg Salas for the year and Sammy Watkins until, at least, after Thanksgiving. Marquise Goodwin is just out of concussion protocal and Robert Woods missed a game two weeks ago with a foot injury.
Bills GM Doug Whaley left the door open for Harvin to play Monday night in Seattle, though it seems like the team may be pointing at the Cincinnati game after a bye for his debut.
“It’s going to be a process that we take and it’s one of those things we’re going to do the best thing for him and for us long term,” Whaley said. “But if he comes out here and looks really good and we can throw him in some packages—obviously you’ll have to ask coach about that—but we’re not going to say no. But we’re not going to say yes.”
Harvin noted it should not be tough to transition back into the offense. The terminology and most of his teammates are still the same.
In the locker room Tuesday, the Bills were excited to have Harvin back.
To make room for Harvin on the roster, the Bills placed safety Aaron Williams on injured reserve.
The move likely ends Williams’ season and maybe his career. The 26 year-old has battled head and neck injuries the last two seasons.
His father told the Associated Press last week that Wiliams will wait until after the season to decide if he wants to continue playing football.
While Whaley said Williams could return via the Designated to Return tag that brings players back from IR, it’s extremely unlikely.
Only one player per season can return from IR. If the Bills use it on Williams, then Sammy Watkins is done for the year.
Also, a player must be on IR eight weeks before they can return. Williams would only be eligible to play the season finale.
Football is not the Bills’ priority when it comes to Williams.
“We’ll take this time, he’ll take this time to get healthy. And once the medical staff deems him ready to play, then that’s obviously a decision he’s got to make,” Whaley said. “We’re gonna do the best for him as a person, not as a football player. I know that for sure. Now, where that goes, I cannot tell you.”