Retirement proved to be temporary for Percy Harvin, the once-dynamic playmaker who’s back in the NFL and returning to Buffalo to reinforce the Bills injury-depleted group of receivers.
Using the past six months to rest his mind and rehab numerous injuries that led him to walk away from football in April, Harvin was back on the practice field Tuesday, shortly after signing a one-year contract.
“It felt good, just the smell of the grass again, the smell of the pads when I walked in the locker room,” Harvin said. “Man, when you’re away from it, you miss so much of those things.”
Then, breaking into a smile as beads of sweat dribbled down his forehead, he added: “The time I took it was well needed. But it was time to go back to work.”
The only question mark is when the 28-year-old might be ready to play.
“We’ll see. I think I could,” Harvin said, when asked if he might be available to play on Monday night, when the Bills (4-4) travel to play Seattle (4-2-1).
He cautioned he wasn’t going to rush back and risk being hurt, even if it meant missing a game against one of his former teams.
“I just want to be the best I can be and play at the level that I know I can,” Harvin said.
Chiefs place Charles on IR
Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles was placed on injured reserve after developing some swelling in his surgically repaired right knee, leaving Kansas City perilously short of depth at the position.
The four-time Pro Bowl running back will miss at least eight weeks. That means Charles could return in time for the end of the regular season and the playoffs, assuming Kansas City (5-2) qualifies for the postseason.
Roethlisberger might play
The Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t ruled out quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returning for Sunday’s game in Baltimore.
Coach Mike Tomlin said he’ll see how Roethlisberger’s left knee responds during practice before making any sort of decision between Roethlisberger and backup Landry Jones.
Roethlisberger tore cartilage in his knee during a loss to the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 16. He underwent surgery the next day and sat out a 27-16 loss to the New England Patriots. Roethlisberger practiced a bit on Monday, with Tomlin calling it “generally positive.”
Pats unanimous No. 1
With the NFL’s regular season at about the halfway point, one team clearly stands out above the rest: the New England Patriots.
For the second consecutive week, Tom Brady and Patriots are the unanimous No. 1 in the latest AP Pro32 poll.
The Dallas Cowboys (6-1), the league’s only other one-loss team, remained at No. 2 after rallying for a 29-23 overtime win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
AFC West rivals took the next two spots, as the Denver Broncos moved up a spot to No. 3 and the Kansas City Chiefs jumped three places to No. 4.
The Seattle Seahawks fell two spots to No. 5 after losing 25-20 at New Orleans.
Around the league
Lions defensive end Armonty Bryant has been suspended three games for violating the NFL’s policy on substances of abuse. … The Jets will sign running back C.J. Spiller and cut newly acquired running back Knile Davis, a person with direct knowledge of the team’s plans told the AP. … Cam Newton got the phone call he wanted. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spoke via telephone with Newton about the Carolina quarterback’s concerns over not being protected by game officials from hits while in the pocket.
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