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Seattle Seahawks' Percy Harvin will play vs. Saints

"Absolutely" was the word of the day for an effervescent Percy Harvin.

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The Seattle Seahawks wide receiver said Thursday that he "absolutely" expects to play against the New Orleans Saints on Saturday. Coach Pete Carroll confirmed, telling reporters: "Percy's playing."

Harvin has been able to perform all of his cuts in practice this week, with no setbacks.

He "absolutely" feels better now than he did prior to suffering a setback during his mid-November return against the Minnesota Vikings. He conceded that the swelling and buildup in his surgically repaired hip nearly led him to shut it down for the season after that game.

Harvin's hip has recovered to the point that there will be no limitations in Saturday's game.

"If he's going, he's going," Carroll declared.

Harvin will be "added to the mix," which includes Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse.

Testimonials from teammates suggest Harvin will be full-speed in his return. Russell Wilson said the receiver "looks unbelievable" while Tate noted that he's "Fast as BEEP!"

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Harvin won't be an every-down player after playing just 20 snaps all season, but his playmaking ability will be a shot in the arm for an aerial attack that has struggled down the stretch.

"This team is set," Harvin said of his potential impact. "I'm just looking forward to jumping on the bus and enjoying the ride."

Asked if he expects to return kickoffs versus the Saints, Harvin replied, "Absolutely."

Here are the rest of Thursday's injury updates:

1. The Seahawks will be as close to full strength as they've been since the season opener. Carroll confirmed that hard-hitting in-the-box safety Kam Chancellor (hip) and speed tight end Luke Willson (ankle) will also get the green light for Saturday's game.

2. The news on San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews isn't so rosy. The early-down hammer sat out practice again Thursday, as has been his routine the past few weeks. The difference this week is that the coaching staff acknowledges doubts about his playing status ahead of Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos. Offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt said Mathews "will go if he can go." If Mathews can't go, Whiz said, Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Brown will have to pick up the slack.

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3. Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith (knee) downgraded himself from "71 percent" to "57 percent" after Thursday's practice. We're starting to develop a sense that Smith could be limited to a decoy role Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.

4. San Francisco cornerback Carlos Rogers (hamstring) was held out again Thursday. Like last week, Rogers is hopeful of playing. Like last week, that's a dubious proposition.

5. New England Patriots receiver Aaron Dobson (foot) missed practice again Thursday. Tom Brady will likely be without his deep threat Saturday against the Indianapolis Colts.

6. Colts safety LaRon Landry was a full participant again Thursday. He fully expects to be cleared from his concussion in time for Saturday night's game.

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