For much of the season, the Seattle Seahawks were the model of stability at cornerback. For the first 12 weeks, in fact, they were the only team in the NFL to use just three players at the position – Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner as starters and Marcus Trufant as the nickel back.
Since then, however, the Seattle CBs have been in a state of flux, and their depth at the position continues to be tested.
When the Seahawks face the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in Toronto, two players seldom used until last week – rookie Jeremy Lane and second-year man Byron Maxwell – are expected to get extensive playing time.
The latest blow came Wednesday, when Walter Thurmond hurt his hamstring in practice. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Friday after the team’s walk-through that Thurmond, who turned in a strong effort in Seattle’s 58-0 win over Arizona, will not play against the Bills.
“He wasn’t hurt out of the game,” Carroll said. “He was hurt chasing a route out here. He didn’t get hit or anything. He just took a step and fired up his hamstring.”
Thurmond had been the replacement at starter for Browner, who last week began serving his four-game suspension for a performance-enhancing drug violation after dropping his appeal.
There had been reports that Sherman’s appeal for a similar violation would be heard Friday, but that wasn’t the case. Sherman was at practice Friday and will play against the Bills. According to NFL.com, his appeal was delayed and a new date had not been set.
Compounding matters for the Seahawks is the hamstring injury Trufant suffered in practice two weeks ago. Trufant has barely practiced since, and Friday was also declared out for the Bills.
“He’s getting better, getting closer,” Carroll said. “We tried him some today. He’s not able to get back at this time.”
That opens the door for Lane and Maxwell to receive the most significant exposure of their brief NFL careers.
Backup receiver Charly Martin also is out with an injured calf and Carroll said he would be placed on injured reserve.
Sidney Rice (foot), Red Bryant (foot) and Kam Chancellor (groin) were listed as probable.