The Seattle Seahawks came back from the bye week and practiced this afternoon, looking mostly healthy. Outside linebacker K.J. Wright returned to practice after missing the Jets game a week ago with a concussion.
Defensive linemen Clinton McDonald (groin) and Greg Scruggs (oblique) also practiced this afternoon, after missing the Jets game because of injuries.
The only player that did not practice today was offensive lineman James Carpenter, who missed the last, two games because of a concussion.
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said that Carpenter had to go through a couple tests this afternoon, and he still has to wait to see if clears those concussion tests on Wednesday before he can take the field.
“He’s had a lot of time during the break,” Carroll said. “We just want to make sure we’ve got everything squared away, and we’ll see what happens.”
Much of the talk today centered on how healthy Seattle is this late in the season. Last season, Seattle finished the year with 15 players on the injured reserve list. In 2010, Seattle finished the season with 12 players on the injured reserve list.
This season, through 10 games Seattle has just three players on the injured reserve list – defensive end Dexter Davis, tight end Cameron Morrah and receiver Ben Obomanu.
“We’re very fortunate to be this healthy at this point,” Carroll said. “And hopefully we’ll make the most of it.”
Carroll said that he and general manager John Schneider finally got an opportunity to put together a more comprehensive approach to preparing the player for the season, with director of health and player performance Sam Ramsden leading the charge.
“We’ve done a lot of things this year that are different to what we’ve done in the past,” Carroll said. “We’ve taken a more holistic look at the athletes in general – everything from their rest, to their eating habits, to the way we bring them back – in every phase of it. … I don’t know if that has anything to do with it at all, but we’ve tried to take care of these guys from the time they came back to us in OTAs throughout in a little different manner.”
But eight-year veteran linebacker Leroy Hill provided some different reasoning.
“I don’t care how the offseason is, what’s going to happen on the field is going to happen,” Hill said. “But with a little bit of luck, we’ve been healthy. That’s all you can ask for this late in the season, is to have a completely, pretty much healthy team.
“So all of the weapons are there, we can do everything we want to do and that’s just thanks from up above, too.”
Carroll said the team used this extra day of practice to look at a couple ideas they had to on both offense and defense and experiment with those schemes. The coaching staff also used the extra reps to get some of the younger players more turns working with the first and second units during team drills.
Carroll also said he and the coaching staff took a close look at what the issues are on third down, both on offense and defense, during the break.
“I think both sides of the football can benefit from better execution and successes on third down,” Carroll said. “We’re not right on our numbers. For as good as we can play on defense at times, to be at 40 percent, that’s not good enough for us. We need to knock that thing down. And we’re still at low 30s on offense, and we’ve got to get that taken care of.”
Cornerback Walter Thurmond remains ready to go, according to Carroll, and he’ll look for areas of the game to get him involved this week.
Carroll also admitted it can be challenging to get his team going off of the bye week. The Seahawks are 6-17 in games after the bye week in franchise history.
“I’m not taking it for granted that we’ve just got it nailed, and we’re back in full steam again,” Carroll said. “I want to make sure that this is a very strict week, a very disciplined week to make sure we recapture the timing and the things we’ve been doing.”