RENTON – At the onset of training camp, wide receiver Deion Branch vowed to play in all 24 games this season, which included exhibition play, the 16-game regular season and dreams of a potential Super Bowl run for the Seattle Seahawks.
Now, Branch’s magic number could be reduced to 23.
The oft-injured veteran receiver did not practice for the third straight day Friday after suffering a hamstring injury during Monday’s practice, and is listed as questionable on the team’s injury report.
Seahawks coach Jim Mora said Branch will be a game-time decision for Sunday’s game against St. Louis.
Mora said he does not have a rule that players must practice at some point during the week to make it on the field on Sunday, taking each situation on an individual basis.
“We’re going to make a decision that’s best for the team and the longevity of the season,” he said.
“We’re not going to put him out there if he’s in danger of further injuring himself.”
Even though Seattle kept only five receivers, it does have some quality options behind Branch, currently the No. 3 guy, in rookie Deon Butler and Ben Obomanu.
So having those guys to fill in short term for Branch could influence Mora’s decision.
“I am comfortable with the depth because we have a healthy Nate Burleson, we’ve got T.J. Houshmandzadeh added to the mix, we’ve got a Deon Butler who looks like through the preseason he has really matured and looks like we can count on him,” Mora said.
“And if Deion (Branch) were not to be able to play, Ben (Obomanu) is fine in that position. So yes, I am comfortable with the depth there.”
Branch, 30, is set to make $5 million this season, the fourth of the six-year deal. He missed three days of training camp after experiencing swelling in his surgically repaired knee..
Travis Fisher (hamstring) and Derek Walker (hamstring) did not practice on Friday, and neither has practiced this week. Fisher is questionable and Walker is doubtful for Sunday’s game. C.J. Wallace (ribs) returned to practice but is doubtful for Sunday. ... There was some good news in terms of the Seahawks getting healthy. Both offensive tackle Walter Jones and center Chris Spencer worked with the training staff out on the field, running wind sprints and going through other footwork drills. “We have to resist the urge to just throw them in there and make the right decision for them and for us as a team for the entire season,” Mora said. “And we’ll do that. We’ll do that for sure. But it’s nice to see them.” Also Marcus Trufant, who the team put on the physically unable to perform list, was in the weight room working out on Friday.
Around the NFL
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis dismissed reality TV star Tila Tequila’s accusations that San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman choked her and threw her to the ground early Sunday while she was trying to leave his suburban home. … The Oakland Raiders reportedly sent defensive lineman Richard Seymour a letter giving him until Tuesday to report to the team or face a possible season-long suspension. … Cincinnati and Arizona announced that their season openers sold out in time to avoid a local blackout, while the Raiders received a 24-hour extension from the NFL. …A federal appeals court cleared the way for Minnesota Vikings Pat Williams and Kevin Williams to play all season, despite the NFL’s attempts to suspend them for violating the league’s anti-doping policy.
McClatchy news services contributed to this report.