RENTON – One of the best run defenses in the league the first half of the season, the Seattle Seahawks may have to get some extra work in on tackling dummies this week.
For two of the past three weeks, the Seahawks have allowed a 100-yard rusher. They allowed a 100-yard rusher twice in the 22 games before that.
The runners to top 100 yards recently are two of the most talented backs in the NFL, San Francisco’s Frank Gore and Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson.
Still, at the midpoint of this season, the Seahawks were considered one of the top defenses in the league. But that moniker is now being questioned because Seattle’s defense has given up an average of 167.3 rushing yards a contest over the past three games.
The Seahawks had been holding teams to an average of 70 rushing yards entering the Week 7 game in San Francisco, good for No. 2 in the league.
Peterson’s total of 182 rushing yards on Sunday was the most a Pete Carroll defense had allowed an individual runner during his 3-year tenure in Seattle.
The Seahawks have allowed just four players to run for over 100 yards in the past two years – Peterson and Gore (131 yards) this year, and Dallas’ DeMarco Murray (139) and Washington’s Roy Helu (108) last season.
Carroll said his defense is playing inconsistently up front.
“It wasn’t similar style of runs,” Carroll said about his defense’s struggles against San Francisco and Minnesota. “But it was similar in that we made errors. So the good part for us is that they’re really easily corrected.”
One of the things Carroll will have to figure out to help improve things defensively this week is his overall depth at linebacker.
Outside linebacker K.J. Wright suffered a concussion on Minnesota’s first offensive play of the game, and did not return to the field.
Carroll said he doesn’t know what the status of Wright will be for Seattle’s upcoming game against the New York Jets.
Mike Morgan was substituted for Wright, and Carroll described his play as “adequate.” Morgan finished with three tackles, including one on Peterson for a 1-yard loss.
Making matters worse for Seattle is the fact that Wright also serves as the backup middle linebacker to rookie Bobby Wagner, so Carroll might have to look at bringing in a player if the second-year pro can’t make it back onto the field for Sunday.
With Wright questionable, the Seahawks have only five healthy linebackers on the active roster.
“We’re calling some guys to step up because it gets kind of thin quick,” Carroll said. “K.J.’s been the backup (middle linebacker) in our minds if we had to change that, so that does affect us.
“Mike Morgan did an adequate job in the game. He got caught a couple times in the game, and got out of position a little bit. But Mike played pretty well, and he maintained his snaps on special teams, too. But from the next step, it gets a little crazy here, so we might have to do some things.”
The decision to activate cornerback Walter Thurmond from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list has not been made, according to Carroll. According to the new collective bargaining agreement, the Seahawks have until 21 days after Thurmond’s first practice to activate him from the PUP list. Thurmond’s first practice was Oct. 22, the Monday after Seattle’s 13-6 loss to San Francisco. The third-year pro is returning from a severe broken leg that cut short his 2011 season. Thurmond has been working as a nickel cornerback with the starting defense in practice. … Carroll said he won’t have an update on offensive lineman James Carpenter (concussion) until Wednesday. … Safety Kam Chancellor suffered a thigh bruise against Minnesota, but should be OK to practice this week. … Defensive tackle Jason Jones (ankle) and wide receiver Braylon Edwards (knee) are expected to return to practice after missing the past two games.Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@ thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @eric_d_williams