RENTON Yes, half of the Seahawks’ starting secondary has hamstring injuries that usually take up to two weeks to heal.
But coach Pete Carroll has a key caveat to three-time All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas and starting cornerback DeShawn Shead being hurt.
“That’s what normal hamstrings are. But these guys... there’s nobody -- I can’t say it that way: I was going to say, ‘less normal than Earl and Shead’-- so I guess I said it. But those guys are rare guys,” Seattle’s coach said Monday afternoon, one day after Thomas left the win over Philadelphia in the third quarter after grabbing his left hamstring while covering with Richard Sherman deep on Sherman’s interception of Carson Wentz.
“We’ll see what happens. We’ll see how they adapt and see what can happen.”
Shead left after six plays Sunday. He felt the same pain in his hamstring he first noticed during a walk-through practice on Saturday.
“DeShawn thought he was going to be able to play. ... Then he felt a little bit of tightening and we thought, ‘Let’s not take a chance.’ That’s when you can really (injure) it badly.”
Thomas has never missed a game since the Seahawks made him the league’s 14th-overall draft pick in 2010. That’s 118 consecutive starts, including postseasons and Super Bowls, to begin his career. He played Super Bowl 49 at the end of the 2014 season with a torn labrum in his left shoulder that required surgery the following offseason.
Shead has played in 55 consecutive games since late in the 2013 season. He’s started all 10 of Seattle’s games this season at cornerback opposite Richard Sherman.
I’m sensing if he gets on the team’s flight to Tampa on Friday, which he will likely will, there is a decent chance he will play Sunday.
After his injury on Sunday Thomas went to the the training table behind the Seahawks’ bench for examination, then after a couple minutes got up and walked away, as if readying to go back in the game on the next defensive series. A team doctor talked to Thomas, apparently about the value and wisdom of getting more treatment and stretching on his hamstring -- because Thomas then went back to the training table for that before sitting out the final 1 1/2 quarters.
Steven Terrell, a veteran special-teams mainstay, replaced Thomas. Terrell ended up playing 37 of Seattle’s 80 defensive snaps against the Eagles.
Usual nickel, inside defensive back Jeremy Lane moved to cornerback after Shead went out against the Eagles. Neiko Thorpe, a special-teams mainstay and kick-cover ace since Seattle signed him Sept. 13 after the opening game, entered in nickel situations to play corner and Lane went back to his nickel spot.
Asked if Terrell will be the free safety and the Lane-Thorpe arrangement in nickel will continue against Tampa Bay and star receiver Mike Evans (who seems likely to get Richard Sherman shadowing him) Sunday, Carroll said: “You’ll wait and see. We’ll show you that on the weekend. And we’ll wait and see how it goes. We’ve got to look at matchups. We’re not far enough into the plan yet.”
PROSISE BROKE HIS SHOULDER BLADE
Carroll said rookie starting running back C.J. Prosise fractured his scapula and that the team won’t know for “a couple weeks” whether the impressive third-round pick will be able to return at any point this season.
It doesn’t sound good right now for the former Notre Dame wide receiver who gained 234 yards rushing and receiving, including 142 on the ground, in his two starts the last two games, wins at New England and over the Eagles. He had a 72-yard run on his second carry against Philadelphia for the game’s first touchdown. Prosise got hurt on the third-to-last play of the first half, when Philadelphia linebacker Nigel Bradham hit him.
"We don't know anything about that right now. We're not going to know that for a couple weeks and how it's turning," Carroll said of Prosise’s fractured shoulder blade.
The coach said the injury will not require surgery.
Thomas Rawls got 40 plays against the Eagles, far more than planned for his first game in two months since he cracked his fibula. Rawls is now the lead back for pehaps the rest of the regular season.
“Oh, he’s banged up now. He threw his body around, like he was in a train wreck,” Carroll said. “But he’ll be taken care of this week. We’ll get him back and we’ll be excited to see him play for us. He played great. He looked terrific. A little bit out of control a couple times, but he’s going to be on the verge of out of control if he’s at his best anyway, so that’s fine with us.
“He’s pretty trashed (Monday).”
Carroll says he’s been happy with the progress of rookie running back Alex Collins, who had just 19 yards on 10 carries over the first 10 games and has fumbled and failed in short-yardage runs earlier this season.
“Alex has made a lot of progress. He’s really done some marvelous stuff since we were in camp,” Carroll said of his fifth-round pick. “He’s kind of restructured his body a little bit. He’s gotten in a different level of conditioning that we’ve seen him change. Lost some weight, trimmed down (he’s listed at 5 feet 10 and 217 pounds). ...
“I really feel comfortable with him fitting in our offense. He can do all of our stuff, third down, first down, short yardage. ... He’ll just figure in.”
He has to. Rookie Troymaine Pope got what Carroll called “a legit high-ankle sprain” against the Eagles. Those usually take a month to heal (unless you are Russell Wilson). So for now it’s Rawls and Collins as the runners for Sunday at the Buccaneers.
If the Seahawks were truly loving the progress Collins has made he wouldn’t have been a healthy inactive while the undrafted Pope, days after getting promoted from the practice squad, played against the Eagles instead of him.
Carroll said George Farmer, on the practice squad, could be an option as a reinforcement at running back.
EXTRA POINTS: The coach said it “looks like” rookie starting left tackle George Fant's shoulder he injured in the first half of the Eagles game is OK enough for him to make his fifth consecutive start on Sunday in Tampa. "He's responded really well,” Carroll said. Fant missed 10 of the offense’s 67 plays against Philadelphia while getting treatment and examinations. Rookie Rees Odhiambo got his first sustained play of his career while Fant was out, and Carroll said he looked comfortable against a very good Eagles defensive front, the best Seattle’s played so far this season in the coach’s mind. ... Strongside linebacker Brock Coyle has a sprained foot and rookie wide receiver Tanner McEvoy has a sprained toe. The team will determine their status for Sunday’s game through the week. ... Coyle has been starting while Mike Morgan comes back from a sports-hernia surgery as the team’s injured-reserve player designated to return. Teams get one of those each season, and its rules state that returning player must practice for two weeks before playing in a game again. Morgan becomes eligible to play Dec. 4 against Carolina.