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Percy Harvin injury: Buffalo Bills hedging their bets against return

The cryptic message the Buffalo Bills are sending this week is bad news for their relationship with Percy Harvin.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The way the Buffalo Bills have been talking this week regarding Percy Harvin shouldn't make fans optimistic he will return this season. As FOX Sports pointed out, it sounds like they are setting the stage for a fight over money.

Normally, when a player is injured, he's listed on the injury report with that injury, and the team designates him as questionable or probable based on that. This week, the Bills have said Harvin is out with a "personal issue," even going so far as to put that on the injury report. Multiple reports conflicted on whether he is or isn't considering retirement - and based on what we know about Harvin, both could be accurate reports, but from five minutes apart.

What does all of that mean? That the Bills haven't seen him. He hasn't been to the team facility to receive medical treatment. Rex Ryan said he didn't know where Harvin was, and admitting that publicly is a problem that usually doesn't leave the locker room of a NFL team.

If Harvin's just not showing up to work, the Bills could recoup some of the $6 million in guaranteed money they gave to him this offseason. If he's injured and going through the team protocol, he keeps that money. Either way, it's sounding like the team's return to Orchard Park for the bye week will be the time it's all settled, but the way it's playing out publicly right now doesn't bode well for 2015.