Seahawks Insider Blog

Bryan Walters out, Doug Baldwin in for kickoff returns, Paul Richardson for punts Sunday at Carolina

As you can see and hear above, coach Pete Carroll was classy and with the proper perspective on this awful day in Western Washington. He began his post-practice comments at Seahawks headquarters today here in Renton with condolences and thoughts to the people of Marysville following the shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School this morning that left two students dead.

As for the far less important matters of football games:

Doug Baldwin has gone from angry to featured to now, for Sunday's game at Carolina, multi-tasked.

It appears the Seahawks' wide receiver will be the kickoff returner against the Panthers. That's because coach Pete Carroll just declared usual return man and wide receiver Bryan Walters out because of concussion he got banging his head off the ground following a tumbling try at a reception either in a practice Wednesday or in last weekend's game at St. Louis.

Carroll said Baldwin has been lobbying to do both kickoff and punt returning this week with Walters sidelined, but he will do only one.

You can barely make out at the end of the video above Baldwin over my left shoulder following practice jokingly telling a smiling Carroll, "Stop lying."

"Doug Baldwin will be involved in returns. Paul Richardson will be involved in returns," Carroll said. "All our backups that have been involved in that are ready to go."

Rookie Richardson, the second-round draft choice from Colorado, has been catching punts out of ball-fed machine in practices for months. He apparently will be the third punt returner Seattle has used in seven games. Earl Thomas did it against Green Bay until Carrll thought the All-Pro safety was committing too much of his renowned focus away from defense to excel on punt returns. Walters has had 12 returns for a 9.1-yard average with eight fair catches in the last five games.

Baldwin has returned five kickoffs in his four-year career, including two this season. Percy Harvin began the season as the Seahawks' primary kickoff returner.

The team got better injury news on defensive end Michael Bennett. He practiced Friday and is ready for the game Sunday after missing yesterday because of a toe injury.

Carroll said Byron Maxwell will miss his second consecutive game because of the calf he strained Oct. 12 against Dallas. That means Tharold Simon will make his second consecutive start at right cornerback in his second NFL game Sunday against Carolina. Simon made it back Thursday and Friday to practice after he sprained his ankle last weekend against the Rams.

Robert Turbin will again be the fullback Sunday, for the 25 percent or so of snaps Seattle has been using a fullback in games. Carroll said starting fullback Derrick Coleman will likely miss at least six games because of his broken foot. Coleman had surgery this week.

Carroll said again that middle linebacker Bobby Wagner is going to be out "a while." Wagner, who is still in a cast from his big toe up past his shin because of his turf-toe injury, is leaving this afternoon on the team's flight to North Carolina to see a specialist.

Center Max Unger will miss his third consecutive game with a sprained foot. Stephen Schilling will make his third NFL start at center on Sunday.

Carolina has declared both of its starting guards as out, Amini Silatolu and Trai Turner. That  means the Seahawks will be trying to revive its pass rush (four sacks in the past five games, and just seven on the season) against an offensive line that will start four -- count 'em, four -- undrafted free agents.

Talk about an opportunityt.

The entire injury report is here: