Nothing much happened during today’s light walkthrough for the Seattle Seahawks inside the VMAC’s indoor practice facility this morning.
However, Seattle head coach Pete Carroll provided a very informative update on where his team sits health-wise heading into the final exhibition game against Oakland tomorrow.
The big news was that second-year lineman James Carpenter, who was placed on the physically unable to perform list to begin training camp as he recovers from ACL knee surgery, is doing much better and definitely will play this season, according to Carroll.
In fact, Carroll said the team will have a tough decision to make whether or not to start Carpenter on the PUP list to begin the regular season.
“He’s not far away from looking like he could practice and play for us,” Carroll said. “But still, it’s a crucial time here. And we’re going to have to make a big decision on how we do this.
“He has busted his tail to get back and we’re really, really excited. He is definitely going to play this year. We didn’t know that as we went into even July. We weren’t sure. But we know that now, that he’s going to play.”
Frontline players who will not play on Thursday include running back Marshawn Lynch (back), receiver Doug Baldwin (hamstring) and defensive tackle Jason Jones (knee).
Carroll said that Lynch’s back is improved, and that he’s on schedule to play in the season opener at Arizona.
“He took a real good turn this week,” Carroll said. “And the rehab he’s been doing has really been effective. So we think he’s going to be fine.”
Carroll said that Baldwin had a good workout at top speed on Tuesday, but that the training staff still wants to hold him out this week so that he’s fully healthy for Arizona.
Baldwin is expected to be full-go in Seattle’s first practice in preparation for the Cardinals next week. However, Baldwin will have to knock the rust off quickly.
Carroll also said that the team is taking care of Jones after he had surgery in January, but that the free agent defensive lineman is expected to be ready for the Arizona game.
“It’s a maintenance issue coming off the surgery in January,” Carroll said about Jones. “It’s just not as long as we would have like separated between surgery and play time. And so as he had to endure the rigors of camp, we need to slow him down. So it’s just a maintenance thing. He’s in good shape, and he’ll be ready for the opener.”
Rookie defensive lineman Greg Scruggs (hamstring) and safety Chris Maragos (shoulder) also are not expected to play on Thursday.
Offensive lineman John Moffitt (elbow) is expected to play against Oakland, but Carroll left the door open to the possibility that rookie J.R. Sweezy starts at right guard against to open the season.
“We’re just going one game at a time there,” Carroll said. “But he’s (Sweezy) handled it very well. He’ll get another opportunity tomorrow night, and we’ll just see.”
Carroll said that quarterback Matt Flynn has recovered from his sore elbow and will play on Thursday.
“He’ll get some good play time in this one,” Carroll said. “We’d like to see him just do like he’s been doing. Just log some more time because of the big game he missed in (preseason game) No. 3, we’re just going to play him a bit more.”
* Carroll said Thursday’s game is about young guys getting opportunities, so they are setting up the game with that in mind. Specifically, the Seahawks want to get a closer look at how fringe guys perform on special teams.
* Carroll praised sixth round draft choice Winston Guy, making it seem that there’s a good chance he winds up on the 53-man roster. Guy has been part of Seattle’s bandit package when the defense goes with six defensive back, a role that Carroll said he could fill during the regular season.
“I think that’s a fantastic draft pick for us,” Carroll said. “He’s in that starting group in Game 1 maybe the first third down of the season. So that’s an amazing accomplishment for him. But he’s got all the right stuff. But he’s still a pup, and we have to deal with that.”
* Carroll said that while Bruce Irvin has not recorded a sack or a tackle, he’s been the most productive defensive player in training camp according to the team’s stats that they keep for each practice.
Carroll said that Irvin had his best two days of practice during training camp this week.
“What that means is he’s now taking advantage of the calls and what’s asked of him with great speed,” Carroll said. “He was thinking a lot. And he was trying to fit things together. And he wasn’t as natural as he would become. And he’s getting a lot closer.”
* Linebacker Matt McCoy has not played in any preseason games because of a knee surgery he had during the offseason. Carroll says McCoy is valuable because he can play all three linebacker positions, and that he’s close to getting back on the field.
However, the Seahawks have a tough decision to make because they have not had an opportunity to see him play before making a decision on final roster cut downs.
“He had a very good offseason, but just right as camp began he looked like he needed more time,” Carroll said. “And so we’ve been trying to buy every minute of it. He’s just about ready to practice.”