After missing two days of practice this week, Seattle Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu worked with the first-unit defense during his team’s 45-minute walk-through this morning inside Seattle’s indoor practice facility.
Tatupu suffered a concussion in last week’s win against New Orleans, but has not been cleared for Sunday’s game, head coach Pete Carroll told reporters after practice.
Tatupu was listed as questionable on the team’s injury report. Players can practice during walk through if they have not been cleared by team doctors because no contact is involved.
“The docs still have to weigh in all of this,” Carroll said. “He did a good job today, and they’re checking him out to see how he is afterwards. But he was fine today, and the signs are really good that he’ll play.”
Tatupu battled through some bumps and bruises to play his first full season in three years. Along with the concussion last week, Tatupu also has been playing with a balky knee, and suffered through a hamstring issue during training camp.
Tatupu missed 11 games and part of a 12th last year. He suffered a torn left pectoral muscle in October that required surgery. David Hawthorne replaced Tatupu at middle linebacker last season, and would do the same on Sunday if Tatupu is not cleared to play, with Will Herring coming in to start at weak-side outside backer for Hawthorne.
Reserve center Chris White also missed practice today to attend to a family matter, but is expected to meet the team in Chicago.
Carroll once again was asked to address the Devin Hester issue, and said that even though the talented return man brought a punt back 89 yards against Seattle in the first game between the two teams, he intends to kick to him again on Sunday.
“We’re kicking the football, now,” Carroll said. “We’re kicking the ball and he’s going to get it. And we need to do a great job of covering, and doing all the things we need to do to take care of that. That’s going to happen in that game.”
Carroll went on to say his team’s punt and kickoff coverage units have been steady all season.
Although they intend to be aggressive in handling Hester, Carroll praised Hester’s skill set.
“He’s a great football player that has proven himself to be the best ever, and you better take note of that,” Carroll said. “You could try and ignore the fact, but he’s proven he’s the greatest player at that spot whoever played the game. And so you have to be aware. You have to have your adjustments in order. We’re going to have to execute beautifully to take care of that factor, and hopefully it won’t be an issue in this game for us.”