The Seahawks are getting at their team hotel for tonight’s exhibition game number three, against Chicago at 7 p.m. at CenturyLink Field. Join in on our live game chat from the press box beginning at 6:30 p.m. at www.thenewstribune.com/sports
Coach Pete Carroll on Thursday continued his hobby of being coy with us on how long his starters will play tonight. But quarterback Russell Wilson said (let slip?) on Wednesday that he expects to play into the third quarter, if not all the way to the fourth.
Into the second half is a safe bet — though maybe not for Wilson. Carroll wants to get Tarvaris Jackson more than the two series he had in the exhibition opener at Denver — and way more than the zero snaps he got last week against San Diego. Jackson worked some this week with the first-team offense — don’t be surprised if only Wilson leaves at some point and the rest of the starting offense stays in the game with Jackson leading them.
In today’s News Tribune I wrote about the buzzword for the Seahawks tonight: continuity. The offensive line needs it; if left tackle Russell Okung (offseason toe surgery) plays tonight as expected it will be the first time since the Super Bowl the first-team line has played in a game together. The linebackers also need it; they have yet to play together this summer, too. Malcolm Smith probably won’t play only two practice days back from ankle surgery in April. Starting middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (hamstring) may return to practice next week. Bruce Irvin (hip surgery) may or may not practice for the first time this summer by month’s end.
–Sounds like Marshawn Lynch will get his first carries of the preseason tonight. Carroll said yesterday that “it’s time.”
–Jared Allen, the sack master Chicago signed away from Minnesota in the offseason to a $32 million contract, usually stays on the defensive right end — Okung’s side. But it would be great, and revealing, for the Seahawks if Allen switched over to left defensive end some tonight. That would give Seahawks rookie right tackle Justin Britt his biggest test yet. It’s getting more obvious by the day that Britt’s going to be Seattle’s starter there for the opener Sept. 4 against Green Bay.
–If you missed it last night because I buried it in the comments section here, the 49ers new stadium already has some gardening issues, after just one exhibition game and a Sounders-San Jose Earthquakes soccer game in it. The team is replacing the entire field, from goal line to goal line.