UPDATE: The team just announced it has placed G/C Lemuel Jeanpierre, the backup to center Max Unger last season, on season-ending injured reserve with an unspecified neck injury. Wide receiver Phil Bates is now signed to the active roster. Bates was on the active roster following the final preseason cuts on Saturday. He then got waived Monday when Seattle added wide receiver and kick returner Bryan Walters to the active roster. Bates cleared league waivers yesterday.
The Seahawks now have a whopping eight wide receivers on their 53-man roster: Paul Richardson, Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Walters, Kevin Norwood, Ricardo Lockette and now Bates.
The Seahawks are finished with their walk-through practice the day before the NFL opener against Green Bay at CenturyLink Field, coach Pete Carroll says pass-rush LB Bruce Irvin is probable to play five days after he returned from hip surgery and WR/PR/KR Bryan Walters will be active for the game three days after the team re-signed him.
Asked if Earl Thomas will return every punt tomorrow night, Carroll smiled and said, "You'll have to wait and see."
Then the coach smiled again.
My sense is that Thomas, who hasn't returned punts in a real game since his final year at the University of Texas in 2009, will be something of a "situational" punt returner and that Walters will get the more routine chances. Like a platoon at a position in baseball. Say, perhaps, Thomas when the Seahawks need a big return late in the half or the game, or when he has a chance to swing field position in the middle of the field, such as a punt from the Packers 20 -- and then Walters when Green Bay is punting from deep in its own end and a fair catch would still get Seattle the ball at midfield.
--Asked what he expects from RB Marshawn Lynch vs the Packers, Carroll said: "Let it rip. He's ready to go" The coach reiterated for about the sixth time this summer that Lynch is in the best shape and running the fastest he has in his five seasons with the Seahawks.
--Carroll said he expects CB Jeremy Lane, who missed last week with a groin injury before returning to practice early this week, to be the nickel back tomorrow night.
--Carroll announced that, in the players' vote, the team captains for 2014 are: Russell Wilson for the offense, Kam Chancellor for the defense, and kicker Steven Hauschka and punter Jon Ryan for special teams.
--Carroll said that finding Clay Matthews amid Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers' many varied hiding tricks moving the pass-rushing linebacker around, will be the key to the game for the Seahawks' offense. It will certainly be the key to Justin Britt's life tomorrow night in the rookie second-round draft choice's first NFL game. The fewer times the Seahawks have to devote a tight end or running back to "chip" on help blocks with Britt, the more options Russell Wilson will have for outlet receivers in the passing game.
--The coach said second-year cornerback Tharold Simon will have relatively minor knee surgery. Simon missed all of his rookie season with foot injuries in 2013.
--Here is the injury report each team submitted to the league today:
OUT: TE Cooper Helfet (knee); G Lemuel Jeanpierre (neck), RB Christine Michael (hamstring), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (hamstring), CB Tharold Simon (knee)
PROBABLE: LB Bruce Irvin (hip), CB Jeremy Lane (groin), WR Kevin Norwood (ankle) GREEN BAY
OUT: C JC Tretter (knee), TE Brandon Bostick (fibula), CB Demetri Goodson (concussion)
PROBABLE: LB Brad Jones (quadriceps)
--If you are going to the game tomorrow night, beware that all those in Packers jerseys may not be Cheeseheads.
The Seahawks issued a statement reminding fans attending home games this season that "undercover law enforcement officers will be outfitted in opposing team jerseys. These undercover police officers assist security and game day staff to quickly detect fans exhibiting unruly and inconsiderate behavior." The team started the practice to much, uh, fanfare last season. The Seahawks are reminding folks that inconsiderate behavior includes:
- "Intoxication or other signs of alcohol or substance impairment that results in irresponsible behavior
- Foul or abusive language or obscene gestures
- Interference with the progress of the game (including throwing objects onto the field)
- Failing to follow instructions of stadium personnel
- Verbal or physical harassment of opposing team fans
- Verbal or physical harassment of stadium guests and staff members
- Smoking or tobacco use on CenturyLink Field property
Apparently this warning, however, continues to have nothing to do with causing false-start penalties on Seahawks' opponents. So as far as that goes, have at it.