RENTON – After leading the team in receptions as a rookie, receiver Doug Baldwin has nearly spent more time in the training room than on the football field in his second season with the Seattle Seahawks.
“This is the second-most-frustrating season of my career in playing football,” said Baldwin, calling his junior season at Stanford during Jim Harbaugh’s tenure the most frustrating because of inconsistent playing time. “They went to Detroit, and I was stuck at home watching it on TV, and that killed me. I have to play football.”
Baldwin missed most of training camp with a hamstring injury, which affected his ability to develop timing and a rapport with rookie quarterback Russell Wilson.
Baldwin busted his front two teeth out in the final drive of a losing effort in the first game of the season at Arizona. And he sat out Seattle’s win over Dallas with a shoulder issue.
But after missing last week’s game against Detroit with a high-ankle sprain, Baldwin vowed to return early and has been ruled healthy enough to play this weekend at home against Minnesota.
It’s a quick recovery for Baldwin. Typically, high-ankle sprains can take four to six weeks to recover from.
“Before the game last week, I knew for a fact that I would be back this week,” Baldwin said. “If allowed, I would have been able to play (against Detroit). It wouldn’t have been pretty, but I would have been able to be out there.”
Baldwin practiced all week, and has been listed as probable on Seattle’s injury report.
“We’re just hoping he can stay out on the field,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s a really good player. And he’s a guy that we like to go to and utilize. But he has just not been able to stay healthy unfortunately.
“He made a miraculous recovery. He had a high-ankle sprain that showed up on the MRI, and he made it back.”
With Baldwin available, Seattle should have five receivers active for Minnesota. However, one of those players will not be eight-year veteran receiver Braylon Edwards, who has been ruled out for a second straight week because of a swollen knee.
Joining Edwards on the inactive list for a second straight week is defensive tackle Jason Jones, who’s been ruled out with an ankle issue.
Greg Scruggs (oblique) returned to practice as a limited participant Friday after missing practice Thursday, but Carroll said he expects the rookie defensive lineman to be available.
Cornerback Byron Maxwell (hamstring) and offensive guard James Carpenter (illness) also were listed as questionable.
University of Washington and Lakes High product Jermaine Kearse is expected to be active and play on special teams after being elevated from the practice squad to the active roster this week.
“We’re looking for him to be a factor on special teams, and he fit a normal role for us during a lot of the work this week,” Carroll said about Kearse.
Carroll said offensive guard John Moffitt, who has missed the past five games with a knee issue, also will available.
“Right now, John’s ready to fill in for us,” Carroll said. “And he’s ready to play if we need him. He can play both guard spots, and he can also play center for us, which is great.”
Carroll would not say if cornerback Walter Thurmond will be activated from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list to the active roster.
“Walter had a great week,” Carroll said. “And he’s had two great weeks. He’s been impressive out here. We wanted to see what today looked like in practice and all that, and we’re going to make our decision before game time.”
Defensive tackle Alan Branch was excused from practice on Friday due to a death in the family but is expected to play on Sunday, Carroll said.
Former Seahawks tight end John Carlson has been ruled out by the Vikings because of a concussion he suffered two weeks ago at Arizona. Safety Mistral Raymond is questionable due to an ankle injury. Running back Adrian Peterson (ankle), receiver Percy Harvin (hamstring), quarterback Christian Ponder (knee) and cornerback Antoine Winfield (knee) are listed as probable on Minnesota’s injury report, but all four are expected to play on Sunday.Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@ thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @eric_d_williams