That above might be the most we see of Seattle’s No. 24 tonight here in Oakland.
Seahawks starters are likely for cameos and not much more in the exhibition finale beginning at 7 p.m. (Channel 13, 710 AM and 97.3 FM radio in the Puget Sound area, with our live chat beginning at 6:30 p.m. PT on thenewstribune.com/sports). And no starter plays less in the exhibition season than #24 Marshawn Lynch, who graduated from Oakland Tech High School about a 10-minute drive from the Oakland Coliseum and then played for Cal in neighboring Berkeley. His only carries of the preseason came in the first drive last week against San Diego, three rushes for 17 yards including a 1-yard touchdown.
Wide receiver Percy Harvin did not make the trip here. The team says Harvin remains away for a “personal matter.” Harvin, electric in practices and the first three exhibition games, missed the final two practice days of this week for the same reason.
No need to sound the alarms about Harvin being away — not yet. He was unlikely to return for this one day and meaningless (for him) exhibition only to have Friday and Saturday off from practice with the rest of the team. The Seahawks won’t be practicing again until Sunday.
The other eight Seahawks who are not here and won’t play tonight are all injury related: Cornerback Jeremy Lane (groin injury sustained Tuesday, coach Pete Carroll said he thought it wasn’t major but that the team was still checking out its nickel back); cornerback Tharold Simon (missed the Tuesday and Wednesday practice with an apparent foot injury); running back Christine Michael (hamstring sustained in practice this week); third tight end Cooper Helfet (knee, shoulder from last week’s exhibition against Chicago); linebacker Bruce Irvin (who may practice for the first time this summer next week, following offseason hip surgery); defensive tackle Jimmy Staten (hamstring, came back to practice in limited work this week); defensive end Michael Bennett (still hasn’t played since his hamstring tightened before the second exhibition against San Diego two weeks ago) and rookie wide receiver Kevin Norwood (bone spur removed in his foot this month).
Will the Seahawks keep Norwood on the 53-man active roster that they must set by 1 p.m. Saturday, even though he hasn’t practiced since the opening days of camp almost a full month ago now? Carroll said again this week that his fourth-round draft choice from Alabama might return to practice next week before Thursday night’s opener against Green Bay. Another option would be to place Norwood on injured reserve, though that would keep him out for the year. A third option would be the IR list with the one exemption to return to play in the middle of the season, though Seattle may not want to use that single move for the year on a rookie reserve wide receiver. Norwood most likely wouldn’t get onto the practice squad that is to be set Sunday; another team would likely claim him during the 24-hour waiver period that runs from Saturday at 1 p.m. to Sunday at 1 p.m. and put Norwood on its active roster after having scouting him this winter for the draft. His situation could potentially affect whether Seattle keeps Terrelle Pryor and three quarterbacks, the fate of Bryan Walters as a punt returner or extra wide receiver, extra offensive and defensive lineman, etc. Yes, for a rookie, Norwood has some roster clout right now.
–Five Seahawks that just took the field for pregame special-teams work. Earl Thomas, Bryan Walters, Richard Sherman and Phillip Adams are down there now returning
punts. Doug Baldwin is at the other end of the field practicing returning kickoffs.
–Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable spent part of the early pregame on the sunny field here visiting with his former Raiders players and some executives. Cable was Oakland’s head coach from 2008-10, and he was loved by players and staff here after he arrived for the 2007 season from Atlanta to be Lane Kiffin’s line coach with the Raiders.