SEATTLE – Russell Wilson made it through practice well enough this week that the Seahawks didn’t even bother giving him a designation on the official injury report for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.
“He had his best week since the first week (before suffering a sprained ankle against Miami),” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Friday. “He looked really good.”
So Wilson, who suffered an MCL sprain in his left knee last week against the 49ers, will start Sunday against the Jets as will two other players there had been injury questions about – guard Germain Ifedi and tight end Jimmy Graham.
Graham sat out practice on Thursday with back spasms. But Carroll said he “worked on it, got it taken care of and he had a really good day (Friday) and was full go.”
Ifedi, the team’s first-round pick and projected starting right guard, has yet to play after suffering a high ankle sprain on Sept. 7. But Ifedi was a full participant in practice the last two days and like Wilson, did well enough that wasn’t even given an injury designation for Sunday.
“He had a really good week and he’s going to play so we are excited about that,” Carroll said.
Ifedi will slide back into the starting job at right guard which will enable the team to use J’Marcus Webb in a utility backup role at guard and tackle. Webb started the last three games at right guard in place of Ifedi but spent training camp playing primarily at both tackle spots.
Ifedi was one of the standouts of training camp, and while the coaches at times had to temper his willingness to engage in extracurricular tussles with any and all defensive players, they also liked the tenacity he brought to a rebuilding offensive line.
“He is a big, tough guy now and he’s got a style about him that he’s really physical,” Carroll said. “Everybody in the game would love to have a guy like that. He’s got a lot to learn, of course. He’s young and this is his first official start, so he’s going to improve and get a heck of a lot better. But he brings a really good attitude, really good toughness.”
Also listed as questionable are RB C.J. Prosise (wrist), DL Jarran Reed (hip), TE Nick Vannett (ankle) and LB Mike Morgan (hip).
Carroll said Vannett, who has yet to play after suffering a high ankle sprain in the preseason, “had a really good week” and will be available to play. With three other tight ends, though, the team will have a decision to make about who to make active on Sunday and there is a chance Vannett could be inactive this week.
“But it’s great to see him back out here,” Carroll said. “We eased him into the week so he didn’t have a complete week. But he did a good job. Looks like he’s back and the next couple of weeks should really be a factor to help us out.”
Carroll said Reed has a hip issue that first crept up in the win over the 49ers Sunday and worsened during the week. Carroll said it will be a gametime decision if Reed can play. Tony McDaniel would likely start in place of Reed and also help in fill in snaps for Reed would likely be Garrison Smith, who saw his first action as a Seahawk last Sunday and made four tackles.
Also likely a gametime decision is strongside linebacker Mike Morgan, who is dealing with a sports hernia issue. Morgan saw a specialist in Philadelphia for the ailment during training camp and Carroll said it flared up again this week.
“We are trying to figure that one out,” Carroll said. “It looks like he could play this week but he’s struggling a little bit to get through the week so we’ve got to take care of him.”
Carroll also said newly-acquired running back C.J. Spiller will be able to play Sunday.
“He had a good week (of practice),” Carroll said of Spiller, a seven-year veteran who was signed on Wednesday to add depth to a running back spot hit with injuries early in the season. “We’ll see where he fits in when we get to gametime.”
Also worth watching will be how Christine Michael bounces back after getting 20 carries against the 49ers Sunday. The only time Michael has had more was in the wild card playoff win last year against Minnesota, when he was then relegated to second-team duty the following week when Marshawn Lynch returned.
Michael has had 15, 10 and 20 carries in the first three games this season, the most he has ever had in a three-game span in his career.
Carroll said Michael made it through fine and practiced fully this week but acknowledged that Michael will have to learn how to deal with weekly bumps and bruises that come with being a starting tailback now that he is expected to shoulder the bulk of the workload with Thomas Rawls sidelined for a few more weeks.
“He ran the ball 20 times last week and did great,” Carroll said. “Came out of it and handled it well. I don’t see any reason (he can’t bounce back this week). But you have to develop that kind of capacity to keep coming back week after week. That’s something that’s very special about running backs and he hasn’t had the opportunity to show that yet.
“I don’t see any reason why not. He works hard at his conditioning and he takes care of himself. He’s really on it. As we’ve been saying, he’s doing a remarkable job of turning it around and being really serious about everything that he’s doing. So he has a shot to. We’ve all watched. You guys have watched this emergence through the offseason and into preseason. He did very well and was very steady. Given the opportunities in the games he’s come through in a nice way. So right now I don’t see any restriction on him.”
Baldwin receives death threats
The Associated Press reported that Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin has told “60 Minutes Sports” that he’s received death threats in the wake of his decision to speak out about the need for reviewing police tactics.
In a transcript of the interview released Friday, Baldwin says that in the wake of expressing support for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick he has received death threats.
“I had a few. A couple of people told me to watch my back,” Baldwin is quoted as saying. The interview is scheduled to air on Showtime next Tuesday.
Baldwin called for a review of training policies for law enforcement across the country last week in the wake of a pair of police shootings, saying the message NFL players are trying to send with their actions during the national anthem now needs follow through.
Baldwin says that despite the threats, he will not stay silent, adding “if something was to happen to me, I think that would just further prove my point that there are issues in our culture, in our society that need to be changed.”
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