RENTON — Pete Carroll will get to test out his new toy for the first time on Sunday, with defensive end Cliff Avril expected to play against NFC West rival San Francisco.
However, the Seattle Seahawks’ coach likely will not see Brandon Browner manning the right cornerback position of his talented secondary.
Carroll told reporters after practice on Friday that his team’s top free-agent acquisition – Avril – should play for the first time this year on Sunday. He’s been dealing with a nagging hamstring injury since training camp, missing all of exhibition play and Seattle’s season-opening win at Carolina.
But, for Sunday, Avril is listed as probable on Seattle’s injury report.
“He could have played last week,” Carroll said. “Now he comes back and puts another week behind him, and went all the reps and took full-speed work. So we know he’s ready to go.”
Avril said he’s looking forward to experiencing – and benefiting – from the noise created at CenturyLink Field.
“I can’t wait just to get in front of the home crowd,” he said. “Hopefully I can make a few big plays and just show them what I can bring to the team.”
Along with Avril, tight end Luke Willson (oblique), offensive lineman Michael Bowie (shoulder), receiver Sidney Rice (knee), defensive tackle Brandon Mebane (ankle) and defensive tackle Tony McDaniel (groin) all fully participated in practice Friday and are probable for the Seahawks on Sunday.
McDaniel returned to practice after missing Thursday’s workout.
The news on the injury front wasn’t as good for Browner, who did not practice all week due to a hamstring injury, and likely will miss his second straight game.
Browner was listed as doubtful for Sunday.
If Browner can’t play, Walter Thurmond will get his second straight start.
“He has not been able to get as much work as we had hoped,” Carroll said of Browner.
Along with Browner, safety Jeron Johnson (hamstring) did not practice this week and is listed as doubtful.
Defensive end Chris Clemons inched closer to returning from knee surgery in January. He fully participated in practice for a second straight day on Friday but is listed as questionable for Sunday.
“Chris had a great week,” Carroll said. “We were just thrilled. Wednesday was the first day, and you could kind of see him knocking off the rust. Thursday he was good, and Friday again he was good. So he’s going to have a real chance in the next couple weeks to get back and play for us.”
Defensive tackle Jordan Hill (strained biceps) did not practice for a third straight week, and is listed as out for Sunday.
For San Francisco, the only player on the team’s injury report is running back LaMichael James, who’s listed as questionable with a knee injury.
WRIGHT FINED $7,875
Seattle linebacker K.J. Wright was fined $7,875 by the league for unnecessary roughness before a taunting penalty he earned during the Carolina game. Wright had words with Carolina safety Colin Jones after he pulled Jones from a scrum by both legs.
Seattle’s Chris Maragos had recovered a fumble under the pile on the play.
Carolina defensive lineman Frank Alexander also received a $15,750 fine for his ejection after throwing a punch at Breno Giacomini.
“It’s football; that’s the way football should be, I think,” Giacomini said about the play. “I don’t think he should’ve got fined. Maybe a flag, but a fine? I think that’s too much.”
BIRTHDAY TOSS TIME
Carroll turns 62 on Sunday, and it’s become an annual tradition that he attempts to throw a football as far as his age on that day.
Carroll has been blessed that his birthday has fallen around the same time Seattle has played games in the high altitude of Denver the past two seasons.
However, this year Carroll said he’ll have to wait for the elements to cooperate with him closer to home.
“I never have said that I have to do that on my birthday,” Carroll said, smiling. “And I keep looking at that flag (points to the 12th Man Flag at the VMAC), and that flag’s got to get ripping in the right direction.
“I took a little test run, and I need a little bit more elements in my support right now.”