RENTON Russell Wilson looks as good as he’s been since the opener, almost as if he never sprained his knee last week.
Jimmy Graham has back spasms but practiced fully Friday for the first time this week and will play Sunday at the New York Jets.
Germain Ifedi is all the way back from his high-ankle sprain and will make his regular-season debut this weekend.
And we will all have to “wait and see” if new running back C.J. Spiller will be active for Sunday’s game to help Christine Michael in the running game that is already missing Thomas Rawls (cracked fibula) and needs to take some of the load off Wilson against the Jets’ nasty defensive front.
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Those were the primary takeaways from coach Pete Carroll’s post-practice address Friday before the team boarded its plane for the East Coast.
Wilson practiced fully for the third straight day since he sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee last weekend against San Francisco. He sprained his right ankle Sept. 11 against Miami. Yet he will play on, for the 78th consecutive time to begin his career on Sunday -- though he expects to be wearing a knee brace.
“Yes, he made it through. He had his best week since that first week when he tweaked his ankle,” Carroll said of his franchise quarterback. “So he looked really good.”
Graham, the star tight end 10 months removed from a major knee injury, missed practices Wednesday and Thursday with a newly listed back ailment. But he returned to work Friday and Carroll said Graham has no restrictions. So even though he’s officially listed as questionable he will play Sunday.
“He had a little back spasms that kind of slowed him down a little bit,” Carroll said. “He worked on it, got it taken care of, and he had a really good day today.”
Wide receiver Victor Cruz is often cited as danger case of coming back from the same injury Graham got in November, a torn patellar tendon in his knee. It took Cruz two seasons to come back from it, because he was set back from various other injuries trying to get over the tricky knee one.
But Carroll said Graham’s back spasms are in no way related to his previous injury.
“No, he’s had a great return,” the coach said. “A great return. He’s really game-ready to go now. He’s had enough plays and games and enough action that there is no restriction on him in any way.”
Ifedi will start at right guard for the first time since the final preseason game Sept. 1 at Oakland. The 31st-overall pick in May’s draft replaces fill-in J’Marcus Webb, who returns to being a swing backup that can play guard or both left or right tackle.
“He had a really great week. He’s going to play,” Carroll said of Ifedi, a star of training camp with his strength and no-nonsense attitude. “We are really excited about that.”
The Seahawks signed Spiller on Wednesday and he practiced for the first time Thursday. Running backs coach Sherman Smith said he thinks Spiller would be able to play Sunday. The Saints released the former Buffalo Pro Bowl back Sept. 13.
“It was pretty exciting to get a guy like that,” Carroll said of the former star at Clemson the Bills drafted in the first round in 2010. “This is a guy I go way back on, way back to recruiting days (when Carroll was at USC until January 2010). So I’ve known of him for a long time. Watched his career. So when we had a chance to get him we grabbed him.
“He had a good week. We’ll see where he fits in come game time.”
I mistakenly asked Carroll if Spiller “could” play on Sunday.
“He could play Sunday,” the coach said.
I tried to improve that with, “Will he play Sunday?”
“He could play Sunday,” Carroll repeated, with a laugh. “Let’s wait and see. You’ll find out.”
Carroll said starting defensive tackle Jarran Reed will be a game-time decision to play because of a new hip injury he began feeling Wednesday. The impressive second-round pick from Alabama is listed as questionable. If Reed can’t play, Tony McDaniel would likely start.
Strong-side linebacker Mike Morgan remains bothered by a sports-hernia-like injury in his abdomen for which he flew to Philadelphia to see a specialist in August. He’s questionable. His time in the defense has been reduced by all the nickel defense Seattle has been playing the majority of games so far this season, though the Jets are running the ball for an average of 130 yards per game featuring Matt Forte. So Cassius Marsh could see more linebacker time Sunday if the Seahawks are in base defense more to defend Forte.
Nick Vannett has a chance to make his debut at tight end. The rookie third-round pick is back from a high-ankle sprain. Carroll said the team has a decision to make on whether to make Vannett active for Sunday’s game. If it does, fourth tight end Brandon Williams could be inactive for the first time this season. But Williams has been a contributor on special teams.