Seahawks Insider

Tatupu practices, but still not cleared to play

Post by Eric Williams on Jan. 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm with 10 Comments »
January 14, 2011 1:09 pm

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.”

Notes from practice
Leave a comment Comments → 10
  1. Seahawkgo says:

    God bless you Lofa. Hope you have no problem to play at best for Hawks this Sunday.

  2. Exactly what tests do players need to pass in order to prove they’re healthy enough to play? Is it different with different positions?

  3. Dukeshire says:

    “We’re kicking the ball and he’s going to get it.”

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

    And here’s hoping Lofa passes whatever tests he needs in order to play.

  4. Dukeshire says:

    Eric, How is Obo’s shoulder coming along, as far as you know? Thanks

  5. I could be totally wrong but I believe I read somewhere that all the players take a test (computer based) before the season starts as a baseline and they have to get back to that level to be cleared to play.

    So when the doctors feel they are ready they can check on the computer system to see how well the brain is functioning.

  6. Dukeshire says:

    I’ve heard that too. I’ve also heard that the tests aren’t standard for each team. I’d sure like to know more about the tests, league wide.

  7. EastCoastFan51 says:

    I think Carroll is actually going to kick to Hester, you can’t play scared. If you squib or something along like what NO did last week with kickoffs that sends the wrong message to your special teams. That’s like telling your defense that the opposing QB is so good they might as well only try hard on running plays because no matter what he’ll beat you. I think he’ll kick to Hester until he breaks one that hurts, 50+ yards or TD, then the squibs and directional will start. Or better, Mare kicks the thing right through the end zone or make him take it out of the end zone. Mare does have the distance at times and depending on the wind direction he could pin them back deep like that without Hester being a factor.

  8. AKhawkFan says:

    I thought Hester only returned punts. Daniel manning is their primary kick-off guy, or at least that’s what I figured. Punt the ball out of bounds, and deep kickoffs. I think we will be fine. I’m more concerned with what Cutler shows up. If we never punt the ball we’re in great shape.

  9. Dukeshire says:

    I agree you don’t “play scared” but not punting to Hester is smart, not cowardly. You don’t wait for the league’s best return man (perhaps the best of all-time) to hurt you in a given game, let alone the playoffs, before adjusting your strategy. Kickoffs are a different story. As you note, given the conditions at the time Mare may be able to get touch-backs or have Hester return from the end-zone. Additionally, they’re not going to give them the ball at the 35 by kicking it OB.

    Everyone on coverage, especially punts, knows how dangerous he is. It’s no insult to them to have Ryan corner or put it OB so they aren’t taken advantage of by Hester.

  10. Dukeshire says:

    AKhawkFan – Smith says that Hester will return kickoffs too, this weekend.

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