RENTON – Seattle Seahawks fans will get an opportunity give one of the greatest players in franchise history a proper sendoff this weekend.
The Seahawks announced Wednesday they will unveil offensive tackle Walter Jones’ retired No. 71 jersey during the two-minute warning in the first half of Sunday’s game against Carolina.
Jones retired in April, and Gov. Christine Gregoire declared April 30 as Walter Jones Day, urging all citizens to join her in saluting his remarkable career.
Seattle retired Jones’ jersey that same day, putting his alongside Steve Largent’s No. 80 and the fans’ No. 12 (12th man) as the only numbers the team has retired.
“Get your tickets ready they’re putting my number up in the stadium this weekend,” Jones, who will be at the ceremony on Sunday, said via Twitter. “Get ready 12th man.”
Jones, 36, played 12 years for Seattle before having microfracture knee surgery in December 2008. Jones tried to return to the field in 2009 but never made a full recovery. He ultimately announced his retirement earlier this year.
Jones, a nine-time Pro Bowl selection, is considered one of the best left tackles to ever play the game.
WILLIAMS, COLE MAKING PROGRESS
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said receiver Mike Williams and defensive tackle Colin Cole are making progress, and both have a chance to play Sunday.
Williams, who did not play last week against Kansas City because of a strained left foot, did some light running at practice Wednesday. Carroll expects him to do even more today.
Cole worked on the side, going through agility drills with a trainer while the Seahawks practiced on another field. Cole has missed four games because of a high ankle sprain, but Carroll remains optimistic the 6-foot-2, 330-pound defensive tackle could return Sunday.
“He’s really pushing to get through,” Carroll said. “He’s in the walk-through today (Wednesday), trying to get back into it, with the hopes that by the end of the week maybe something happens here that he can play.”
Along with Williams and Cole, defensive end Chris Clemons (ankle), linebacker Lofa Tatupu (knee), offensive guard Chester Pitts (ankle) and cornerback Marcus Trufant (leg) did not practice on Wednesday.
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (left wrist) was a full participant in practice.
HAWTHORNE HAPPY WITH NEW DEAL
Seahawks starting linebacker David Hawthorne was all smiles in the locker room after practice, with teammates jokingly asking him if he was going to buy a new car after signing a contract extension worth $1.38 million to stay with the Seahawks through 2011.
The 25-year-old Texas Christian product said the new deal gives him some security and is a reward for all of the hard work he put in since joining the team as a free agent three years ago.
“I love this place,” Hawthorne said. “ The fans are great, the coaches are great, the staff is great and the players are great. And to be around here and have that security is comforting.”
TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR CAROLINA GAME
According to the team, tickets to Sunday’s game against the Carolina are still available at all Ticketmaster outlets, seahawks.com and the box office at Qwest Field. Carolina returned several hundred tickets for the sold-out game.
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks