Now for a (not very) new Seahawks storyline.
The NFL on Thursday decided to drop its $75,000 fine it was set to impose against Marshawn Lynch for not talking to the national media following January’s NFC Championship Game — provided the Seahawks’ running back will “make himself available to reporters now,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported.
Of course, Lynch has shown he has his own way of making himself available to reporters, with blaring rap music at his locker drowning out all else in the days between games, then unique ways of conducting interviews in the few times he’s done them postgame recently.
That includes following December’s key NFC West showdown at Arizona. That night he answered each of a dozen questions while standing just inside the Seahawks’ locker room door at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale with “Thank you for asking. I appreciate it.” Then he departed.
As always, the next time this agreement will be tested is when a member of the national media visiting the Seahawks’ locker room complains to the league that Lynch isn’t talking to him or her.
MOVING ON FROM CHANCELLOR
Asked about Kam Chancellor on the team leader’s 28th day of his holdout that has no end in sight, coach Pete Carroll said again following Thursday’s practice “everything’s as it’s been.”
Carroll said the focus now is on determining whether DeShawn Shead or Dion Bailey will be the fill-in starter for Chancellor. Bailey has started the last two weeks in practice and in last week’s exhibition game at Kansas City.
The coach referred to Bailey as “a unique player.”
“At this point ... the opener’s coming. We have to get our guys ready to play,” Carroll said.
It was a noticeable inference the Seahawks aren’t waiting for Chancellor to show up before they start the regular season.
THOMAS “GETTING READY” FOR OPENER
Earl Thomas won’t play in San Diego — and there’s no reason for him to while still in a red, no-contact jersey while the first-team free safety for much of practice.
Carroll said his All-Pro who had shoulder surgery Feb. 24 “is getting ready to be in shape to play for the opener. His timing is getting down, his calls. You can see him fitting in, the intensity that he brings is starting to show up. That’s important.”
SHERMAN, SIMON TO PLAY AT SAN DIEGO
Carroll said All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman will play in San Diego after missing the first two preseason games, including last week as a precaution with lingering effects from a hip-flexor strain.
Cornerback Tharold Simon will play what he said would be “a few snaps.” Those will be his first since he allowed two touchdowns in the Super Bowl after Jeremy Lane broke his arm and shredded his knee in the first quarter of the Super Bowl on Feb. 1. Simon had surgery to repair torn labrum in his shoulder in the offseason.
Mohammed Seisay, out with a groin injury since soon after Seattle acquired him this month from Detroit for a sixth-round draft choice in 2016, returned to practice. Carroll isn’t sure if Seisay will play against the Chargers. But it’s likely Seisay will play in Thursday’s preseason finale against Oakland.
LB Bruce Irvin will play against the Chargers on Saturday. He missed two practices this week to go through the team medical staff’s concussion protocol after he got hit in last Friday’s exhibition at Kansas City. … Carroll said WR Chris Matthews (shoulder sprain) and backup QB Tarvaris Jackson (high-ankle sprain) appear set to return to playing next week against Oakland and then be ready for the regular season. … DT Jesse Williams got sick this week and missed a couple practices. But Carroll said the Australian who had his cancerous kidney removed at the University of Washington Medical Center in May will play his third consecutive preseason game at San Diego. Carroll reiterated Williams “has a chance to help us” as a big run-stuffer and blocker-occupier in the middle behind Ahtyba Rubin. … Rookie S Ryan Murphy will play against the Chargers on defense and special teams. The Seahawks have seen next to nothing from their seventh-round draft choice from Oregon State. He missed the rookie minicamp in May and then organized team activities into June because he had to wait for his college class to graduate per NFL rules. Then he got hurt and missed most of this month.