RENTON – After watching his offensive tackle grimace through a second straight practice with a bum left knee, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he’ll wait until game time to decide if Russell Okung will start his team’s home opener against the Dallas Cowboys.
“He got some work done today,” Carroll said. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow, and how he feels after the work today. We’ll go all the way to game time on that one.”
Okung suffered a bone bruise on his left knee during Seattle’s final drive against Arizona last week. Frank Omiyale finished the game at left tackle.
While the Seahawks would like to have their cornerstone left tackle, Omiyale is an eight-year veteran with some starting experience who signed with Seattle in free agency. Omiyale started 14 games at left tackle for Chicago in 2010, and has 32 career starts.
The concern for Seattle is a hobbled Okung or backup Omiyale will have to deal with talented Dallas pass rusher DeMarcus Ware.
However, the Seahawks have shown through scheme that they can somewhat limit the damage by using a second tight end or a running back chipping Ware out of the backfield to slow him down.
Last year, Okung held Ware without a sack. And two years ago, journeyman Damian McIntosh kept Ware to just one sack when the game was already decided. But both games were losses for Seattle.
While Okung is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game, Carroll said he expects three other players who did not practice on Friday to play.
Tight end Zach Miller (foot), defensive end Jason Jones (non-injury related) and offensive guard John Moffitt (shoulder) were probable on Seattle’s injury report.
Miller was a limited participant in practice Wednesday but did not practice Thursday or Friday.
“Zach will be fine,” Carroll said. “He practiced a couple days ago, and got some stuff done yesterday. We just want to make sure that he’s going to be right.”
With Miller hurting, Carroll said new tight end Evan Moore will see more time on the field. Moore played just one snap against Arizona last week.
“Going into last week I had been here for about five days,” said Moore, who signed with Seattle last week after being released by Cleveland during final roster cuts. “And even though I feel like there’s a lot of translation between this offense and where I’d come from, there’s still just a comfort level of understanding the little details. So this week was definitely productive to getting to that point.”
Although he did not practice, Carroll said Moffitt still is expected to start at right guard this weekend.
“His shoulder was a little sore from yesterday,” Carroll said. “He’s going to play, so we wanted to make sure to get him through today. He’ll be fine for the game.”
After sitting out two days with a sore knee, receiver Sidney Rice returned to practice Friday as a limited participant and should be ready to play Sunday, according to Carroll. Rice is listed as probable for Sunday.
Running back Marshawn Lynch (back) also practiced fully Friday and appeared fine running team drills. Lynch is probable for Sunday.
One player Carroll is expecting to help jump start his offense is receiver Golden Tate. The Notre Dame product was a full participant in practice all week after missing the season opener with a sprained knee, and will start at split end.
“He really had a good week,” Carroll said about Tate. “He looked great. He came roaring back on Wednesday, and then on Thursday he did everything. Friday he did everything. He’s ready to go.
“It’s really pleasing to see that he is such a factor to us, hopefully that shows up in the game as well. He’s just emerged as one of our better players, now we need to get that to show on game days.”
Seahawks receiver Charly Martin (chest) is out for the Dallas game. Along with Tate, defensive end Greg Scruggs (hamstring) and cornerback Byron Maxwell (shoulder) were full participants on Friday and are probable for Sunday. ... For Dallas, center Phil Costa (back), safety Matt Johnson (hamstring) and nose tackle Jay Ratliff (ankle) are out. Receiver Miles Austin (hamstring), receiver Andre Holmes (knee), cornerback Mike Jenkins (shoulder), running back Felix Jones (ribs), safety Danny McCray (neck), linebacker Kyle Wilber (thumb), tight end Jason Witten (abdomen), safety Gerald Sensabaugh (concussion) and linebacker DeMarcus Ware (hamstring) are email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @eric_d_williams