RENTON – Deion Branch knows he needs to show Seahawks coach Jim Mora his injury issues are behind him.
But it might take more than flashing some speed and running a few crisp routes during team drills to get Mora to put Branch on the active roster for Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.
“I think I have a great chance,” Branch said of playing this week. “But it’s up to Coach Mora, though. The only thing I can do is go out there and show him I can move around, try to make some plays here and there, and hopefully that can get me to go.”
Branch was a limited participant in practice on Thursday, suiting up in pads for the first time in more than a week after missing the regular-season opener against St. Louis.
Branch tweaked his hamstring in practice the Monday of the game against the Rams and did not practice the rest of the week. Mora decided on Sunday that Branch was not ready to go, and placed him on the inactive list.
Now, Branch is hoping to get enough work in practice this week to show Mora that he’s fully healthy and ready to play.
“It’s a hard decision, and he knows I want to be out there,” Branch said. “But at the same time he has to do what’s best for the team and myself. I have to be honest with him and accept his answer, whatever it is.”
Perhaps a factor in Mora’s decision is that his team’s passing game seemed to get along just fine without Branch last week. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw for 279 yards and three touchdowns, and completed 25 passes to eight different receivers.
Branch had a relatively injury-free training camp leading up to the first week of the regular season and said he was frustrated by not being able to play in the team’s season opener.
“Everything was good, and I was looking forward to coming out and having a great season,” Branch said. “But then I got this little, minor tweak, which I understand happens in football. But I want to be out there with my teammates.”
Trufant talks about injury
Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant spoke about his back injury for the first time since the team placed him on the physically unable to perform list at the opening of training camp.
In an interview with Seattle-area radio station KJR-AM, Trufant said his rehabilitation is going fine, and that he’s hopeful to be ready to play Nov. 1 at Dallas when he’s eligible to come off the PUP list.
Trufant hasn’t been seen on the practice field since the injury, mostly spending his time rehabbing and lifting weights in the team’s practice facility.
Mora told reporters that Trufant had a “disk issue” similar to what quarterback Matt Hasselbeck dealt with last season
Trufant said the back injury developed over time, not the result of one incident.
“It wasn’t like it was one thing, like I bent over and kind of heard something pop,” he said. “It was kind of a gradual thing over time, I think, of maybe having some bad posture. And then kind of the way I stand and maybe lifting weights with not the best technique and stuff like that. Just little stuff like that over time. It’s probably been like over five years that this issue has been building up.”
Also confirming earlier reports, Trufant believed initially he would be back sooner rather than later.
“First off we thought, ‘OK, I may be back right away. I’ve just got to rehab it a little bit and I’ll be OK,’ ” Trufant said. “But as time kind of went on we kind of figured out exactly what was going on with my back, so it’s going to take a little more time.”
Linebacker Leroy Hill (groin) and Trufant (back) are out. Lofa Tatupu (hamstring) and T.J. Houshmandzadeh (back spasms) did not participate in practice for the second straight day but are expected to be ready for Sunday. Brandon Mebane (calf) also did not practice on Thursday. Center Chris Spencer did not participate in 11-on-11 drills, but did suit up and worked through individual drills for the first time since injuring his quad in the second exhibition game. Branch, cornerback Travis Fisher (hamstring) and tackle Walter Jones (knee) were limited participants in practice. Jones worked in some team drills during practice this week as the team slowly works him into the lineup. Safety C.J. Wallace (ribs) fully participated in practice.
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