RENTON Kam Chancellor did not practice Wednesday. Neither did the guy whose passes Chancellor and the Seahawks are going to be trying to stop Sunday night in the desert.
Carson Palmer also missed practice Wednesday because of injury. Palmer was in Arizona, where the Cardinals (3-3) are preparing to host the NFC West-leading Seahawks (4-1) in a division game Sunday night. Palmer left Arizona’s home win over the Jets Monday night late with what the team described as a strained hamstring, though Palmer said after the game he merely had a cramp from dehydration.
The Cardinals still listed Palmer with a hamstring injury.
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Arizona coach Bruce Arians on Wednesday morning brushed off a question about Palmer’s health on a conference call with Seattle-area media.
“He’ll be fine,” Arians said of the 36-year-old QB, who missed one game this plus the end of Arizona’s home loss to the Rams on Oct. 2 with a concussion.
Back up here, Chancellor did some running tests in the morning before practice then was standing and watching drills in the afternoon.
Chancellor at strong safety is the key to communication in the back of the Seahawks’ defense -- as we all saw during last weekend’s game against Atlanta when he was out and the Seahawks blew two coverages for Falcons touchdowns.
Will he play Sunday night in Arizona?
“Day to day. I can’t tell you,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen for the weekend. As a matter of fact, he’s running right now, in between walk through and practice today to see how he does. So I don’t know.”
Chancellor’s availability is likely to remain a question all the way up to game time Sunday.
Carroll was very optimistic on Luke Willson’s prognosis, one day after the No. 2 tight end had arthoscopic surgery on his knee he injured last weekend when Christine Michael fell onto the back of his legs in the end zone while Michael was running for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Carroll said the surgeon found less damage in the cartilage and ligaments than the Seahawks first believed was in the knee.
“Luke had surgery (Tuesday) and I think he’s going to make a miraculous return,” Carroll said. “I think he’s as upbeat as you can imagine. Very minimal stuff they had to do to him. Everybody is pleased about that. We’re really kind of expecting him to break records coming back. We’ll see what that means, but he’s going to respond very well.
“Yeah, we’re hoping within weeks.”
Until then, rookie third-round pick Nick Vannett is picking a great time to be fully recovered -- finally -- from his high-ankle sprain the tight end from Ohio State got in the second preseason game in mid-August. Vannett is going to get far more playing time in Arizona than the five snaps he got in his NFL debut last week, and offensive line coach/running game coordinator Tom Cable said Vannett and fellow backup tight end Brandon Williams will assume the fullback/H-back blocking duties Willson was doing some of before he got hurt.
Or, as offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said, “We call him ‘Wolverine.’”
Michael Bennett practiced fully on Wednesday and said everything was fine with his right knee he injured when Atlanta offensive tackle Jake Matthews cut blocked him in the third quarter last weekend. Bennett and Carroll said the Pro Bowl defensive end will play against the Cardinals.
Defensive end Frank Clark also practiced and will play at Arizona. He missed last week’s game with a strained hamstring.
Carroll explained why the team put Garrison Smith on injured reserve Tuesday two days after he played 19 snaps against Atlanta. The Seahawks re-signed Sealver Siliga to replace Smith. My News Tribune colleague Todd Milles talked to Siliga on Wednesday about his return after an injury settlement with Seattle coming out of the preseason, and will have that in a Seahawks notebook story we will post online tonight.
“He came out of the game. We didn’t realize it, but he had something wrong,” Carroll said of Smith. “He had a cartilage issue and he had to get operated on. It kind of sprung up late Monday and he was feeling really uncomfortable, got some tests and sure enough he needed some work done. We had to take care of business.”