RENTON, Wash. – The last time Seattle coach Pete Carroll lost consecutive games was his first season at Southern California – nine years ago.
It’s not something he’s accustomed to facing.
“Well, I’m not sleeping as well as I like and I’m just racking my brain, competing to figure out what I can do to help. Like I said, that’s what my job is,” Carroll said. “How am I taking it? I’m OK about taking it; I’m just anxious about fixing it and helping everybody see what we can do better and move in the right direction.”
The Seahawks’ coach at least got some good news on Wednesday, when he announced that quarterback Matt Hasselbeck had been cleared to return to practice following his concussion two weeks ago against Oakland. Hasselbeck was a full participant in practice and is expected to start on Sunday at Arizona.
Seattle also welcomed back defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, who was also a full participant in practice after missing the past four games with a lingering calf injury.
While there are injuries to other players on Seattle’s defensive line, the Seahawks’ run defense has fallen from being one of the top run-stopping units in the league early in the season when Mebane was healthy to ranking 19th in the league after giving up 197 yards to the New York Giants last Sunday.
Putting all of the drop on Mebane’s injury isn’t fair, but his absence was certainly noticed.
“It’s been a lesson learned. I never really missed four games just playing in my entire career period,” Mebane said. “Things like this happen so I think it was just a test for me, test me if I was going to give up or just keep striving.”
The returns of Mebane and Hasselbeck are key for a team reeling at the midpoint of the season, having been outscored 74-10 the previous two weeks.
The excitement surrounding Carroll’s first season back in the NFL peaked three weeks ago when the Seahawks beat Arizona 22-10 at home and moved to 4-2, clear leaders of the NFC West. It marked just the third time since the start of the 2008 season that Seattle won back-to-back games.
Now injuries, and deflating routs at the hands of Oakland and the New York Giants brought Seattle crashing down.
The last time Carroll lost back-to-back games was Sept. 29 and Oct. 6, 2001, in his first season as USC’s coach – losses to Stanford (21-16) and Washington (27-24).
Quarterback J.P. Losman is back with the Seattle Seahawks after being cut by the team at the end of training camp. Losman was signed on Wednesday, a day after the team released rookie Zac Robinson and he was signed by Detroit. Seattle also re-signed center Chris White to the active roster. … The Seahawks also signed safety Josh Pinkard, offensive tackle Breno Giacomini and receiver Antonio Robinson to the practice squad.
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