Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said fullback Mike Robinson and cornerback Byron Maxwell both have second degree ankle sprains and will not be available this week.
Carroll said with Robinson’s absence the Seahawks may look to add a fullback to the roster. Former Rams fullback Mike Karney had a couple visits with Seattle during training camp but the team never signed him, instead evaluating younger options for the position.
Seattle used tight end Zach Miller as a fullback in running sets against San Francisco with Robinson out.
Both Robinson and Maxwell were core special teams players, and with that unit’s struggles against San Francisco, Carroll said it will be important for the young players to pick it up this week.
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Carroll also said to expect some regular starters like Kam Chancellor and Marcus Trufant to be sprinkled in there as well.
“Byron did a fantastic job in the preseason,” Carroll said. “He was the star player. And so you need a few guys to be the standout guys, and we’ve got to get a couple guys to elevate. Richard Sherman’s done has done a very nice job. (Matt) McCoy’s been on it and done a good job. Dexter’s (Davis) always been a guy we’ve counted on.”
Linebacker David Hawthorne should be full-go on Wednesday after sitting out of Sunday’s game because of a knee issue. Carroll said he decided to keep Hawthorne out because he wasn’t 100 percent healthy, and didn’t to risk him getting more seriously injured.
“We were hoping by not playing him this game he should be back to 100 percent,” Cable said. “He didn’t feel 100 percent at the end of last week. He practiced the whole time, but not to the level that we thought we should go for it. So this week that’s what we’re thinking the situation is – he’ll be able to play.”
The return of offensive lineman Robert Gallery and receiver Sidney Rice is still uncertain, Carroll said. Gallery missed Sunday’s game with a sprained knee, while Rice sat with a sore shoulder. Carroll said he needs to see both out on the field before making an evaluation if they can be available on Sunday.
But if Gallery can play on Sunday, he will start, Carroll said. Which means James Carpenter would go back to rotating at right tackle with Breno Giacomini.
Carroll again praised the defense, saying the front seven got after it, but then singled out the play of young safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas.
“Earl and Kam were really active and very, very effective,” Carroll said. “They cleaned up some of the miscues, or maybe a misfit on a run and made really big-time tackles and hits and things that really showed up, and were impacting.
“It was just that whole center of the defense that was really solid. And probably what was most notable was how consistent it was.”
Carroll said the defense did not get a lot of pressure because San Francisco played pretty conservative on offense and were not committed to throwing the ball, so the opportunities to dial up the pressure were not there.
Carroll said Anthony Hargrove played about 20 plays at both defensive tackle and defensive end, and was effective.
And as far as Tarvaris Jackson getting out of the pocket, scrambling and making plays with his feet, Carroll said he’s asked his quarterback to remain patient in the pocket under the constant pressure he’s under.
“We’ve had conversations about that, and we’d like to stay with it as long as he can,” Carroll said. “The thing that can work at quarterback is, when you’re getting a lot of pressure, your clock can speed up a bit. And we’re trying to make sure that doesn’t happen as we try and settle it al down here.
“And he’s been poised and done a very nice job. He’s really unflappable on the field. I feel like it’s a very strong characteristic that we’re going to need for awhile here as we’re building, and getting these guys strong up front. He gives us a chance to really hang tough in there.”
Carroll said he will work with Brandon Browner to try and cut down on the pass interference penalties. Browner got a pass interference call defending Braylon Edwards in the end zone that led to a first-and-goal situation for San Francisco.
“I don’t want to give them up,” Carroll said. “That’s like a completion for the most part. And I want him to keep playing really aggressive football. And we’ve got to work with his style, and see if we can’t keep his body off of guys unessarily. But I can see it. It’s already happened during the preseason; he’s all over guys. And the officials are a little unaccustomed to guys that big kind of surrounding guys.”