The only surprise in terms of guys not available tonight is TE Chris Baker (hamstring) will not suit up today, so expect to see a lot three receiver sets.
Others not available include CB Josh Pinkard (knee), OG Ben Hamilton (knee), LB Leroy Hill (knee), LB David Hawthorne (knee), OL Chester Pitts (knee), OT Ray Willis (knee), OT Russell Okung (ankle), DT Kentwan Balmer (ankle) and DE Nick Reed (knee).
Here are five keys for the Seattle Seahawks as they take on Minnesota tonight, along with five players to watch during the course of the game.
Run game: The Seahawks are averaging just 3.5 yards per carry in the first, two preseason games, so they have not established the chemistry and cohesion up front they need for a consistent running team. Having tight end Chris Baker back healthy should help, specifically on outside runs where the tight end needs to set the edge.
My story today focuses on linebacker Lofa Tatupu and what his return to the field means for Seattle’s defense.
Tatupu said it was tough watching Seattle struggle through a 5-11 campaign last season, but he’s healthy and ready to play today.
Linebackers coach Ken Norton, Jr. said Tatupu is the straw the stirs the drink for Seattle’s defense.
“He’s good at figuring things out in terms of what the offense is trying to do to you. He’s great at body language, and reading the movement of fullbacks and linemen. He picks up every little thing, and I’m just trying to make sure he helps our younger players pick up those things as well.”
Veteran offensive linemen Chester Pitts (knee) and Ben Hamilton (knee) held their helmets on the sideline and did not practice today, so the starting left side of the offensive line will be the green duo of Mansfield Wrotto at left tackle and Mike Gibson at left guard.
That said, you would expect Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll to want to get veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck out of there early, huh? Think again. Carroll said Hasselbeck likely will play into the third quarter with the rest of the offensive unit, which is traditionally done in the third preseason game.