RENTON — Those who spent energy and resources sorting through the national health care debate might have considered consulting the coaching and training staff of the Seattle Seahawks.
As the Seahawks wrapped up practice Friday in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins at Miami, they have returned to full strength. In fact, going into their 11th game this season, they’re in better health than they were for their season opener.
Left guard James Carpenter (concussion) is back and whether he or John Moffitt will start is a decision coach Pete Carroll said will be made on game day.
Carpenter surprised some with his quick return from last year’s knee surgery, taking over at left guard in the fourth week of the season. But he came out of the Oct. 28 loss at Detroit with concussion symptoms and was replaced by Moffitt, who had earlier started two games at right guard before missing five games with a knee injury.
“James made it through the week (and) had a good week,” Carroll said. “He’ll be listed as probable and we’ll see how that comes out on Sunday.”
Defensive end Red Bryant (foot) took off Thursday’s practice, but also is expected to be back in the lineup, while cornerback Walter Thurmond, who had been on the physically-unable-to-perform list, also is listed as probable and will be a game-time decision.
Starting linebacker K.J. Wright, who missed the last game and a half with a concussion, is listed as probable and should be expected to start.
“We’re really pleased we have everybody available and we have these choices,” said Carroll, who elaborated on some of the less obvious benefits of having full manpower at this point of the season.
“It keeps us competitive at practice, it keeps everybody busting it, and we’re able to practice hard because we have all our numbers. Hopefully that all adds together and allows us to elevate our play going into the final phase of the season.”
Coming off their bye week, the Seahawks are rested as well as healthy – and it made for a good week of practice, Carroll said.
“We had a really good week very energetic,” he said. “The guys feel really good; the week off really helped – physically, everybody’s flying around.
Cornerback Brandon Browner was down briefly during Friday’s practice, but Carroll said it was nothing.
Other Seahawks on the injury list as “probable” include: running back Marshawn Lynch (back), defensive end Greg Scruggs (oblique), cornerback Byron Maxwell (hamstring) and defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (groin).
Miami linebacker Austin Spiller (ankle) was listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report.
The Seahawks (6-4) are well-positioned to contend for at least an NFC wild-card berth, but would benefit from improved play on the road, having gone 1-4 away from home in the first half of the season.
“This is the first game of the second half that we go on the road and we’d like to improve in that area over what we did in the first half of the season,” Carroll said. “It makes a big difference if we get off to a good start here. We want to make sure we play with a lot of energy and see if we can’t get this thing going in the right direction.”Dave Boling: 253-597-8440 firstname.lastname@example.org @DaveBoling