2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Seahawks getting to full strength for stretch run

By TIM BOOTH - AP Sports Writer
    2013-11-13 19:18

RENTON, Wash. (AP) - It almost seems unfair to the rest of the league that the best team in the NFC might be the closest it's been to being fully healthy all season going into Week 11.

The Seattle Seahawks are just fine with the possibility that offensive linemen Max Unger, Russell Okung, Breno Giacomini, defensive end Red Bryant and wide receiver Percy Harvin will all be on the field Sunday when they host Minnesota.

That's three-fifths of Seattle's expected starting offensive line for the season, their run-stuffing defensive end and their dynamic new wide receiver, who has yet to play a snap, that could all be rejoining the team heading into the most important time of the season.

Seattle has played the entire season without Harvin due to hip surgery in early August. Okung suffered a toe injury in Week 2 against San Francisco and Giacomini injured his knee a week later. Unger missed two games earlier in the season with an arm injury before sitting out last week with a concussion, the same injury that caused Bryant to miss last week as well.

They are five important pieces the Seahawks were counting on being major contributors throughout the season. And it makes their 9-1 record missing those five for part or all their season more impressive.

''We've had a lot of success and we haven't had 100 percent of our best players out there,'' Seattle safety Earl Thomas. ''No discredit to the guys that have been getting it done for us because they've elevated their game.''

There are still questions about whether all five will play on Sunday, most notably Harvin who was a limited participant in practiced on Wednesday. There was another concerning addition to the Seahawks lengthy injury report on Wednesday with cornerback Richard Sherman sitting out with a listed hip injury, coupled with what coach Pete Carroll has already called a ''significant'' groin injury suffered by Brandon Browner.

Unger and Bryant were both limited participants, as was safety Kam Chancellor with a hip injury. Giacomini was full and Okung was not listed on the injury report as he is not currently on the active roster but allowed to practice.

Seattle's decimated offensive line has improved dramatically the past two weeks, giving up just one sack in the past two games after allowed 10 in the two weeks prior against Arizona and St. Louis. At the same time, Seattle's run game has found a rhythm with Marshawn Lynch coming off season-high performances of 125 yards against the Buccaneers and 145 yards last Sunday against Atlanta.

The Seahawks also added the unique wrinkle of altering the structure of its line by the situation. Against the Falcons, when Seattle would insert rookie Alvin Bailey at left tackle, slide Paul McQuistan from left tackle to left guard and bring James Carpenter off the field on certain downs. McQuistan started the season at left guard before moving to out to tackle when Okung got injured. Bailey, who went unselected in April's draft, also played a brief stint at right guard against Atlanta.

The idea of changing the line on the fly came from offensive line coach Tom Cable. It's odd because offensive linemen and line coaches usually strive for as much continuity as possible.

''There's no doubt that we've had issues and so we had to figure out a way to help the team so if that meant moving those guys in and out last week then it worked,'' Cable said. ''It was good. It's a credit to them. They were ready to play, so we were able to do that. If they're not then you are stuck with what you've got.''

Because three starters are expected to return on Sunday doesn't mean the reserves that have played well recently will go back to the bench. For Okung and Giacomini especially, they have practiced for only two weeks and haven't played in a game since September. They're expecting breaks to come against the Vikings as they both try and build back to full endurance.

''I get the point. You don't want to come back and just rush into things and maybe hurt something else,'' Giacomini said. ''It's fine. We all prepare like we're the starters. We could dress every guy in our (offensive line) room and plug them in. Kind of like a hockey deal, five and five.''

Both Okung and Giacomini said it was beneficial they were going through the rehab process at the same time.

''We're both guys that love the game and we couldn't wait to get back,'' Okung said. ''We were both encouraging each other the whole time along the way.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Julius ThomasNov 27 07:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Arian FosterNov 27 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Jordan CameronNov 27 06:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Latavius MurrayNov 27 04:52p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 27 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Jordan ReedNov 27 03:02p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Dwayne AllenNov 27 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 10:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is out for Week 13 Thursday, Nov. 27. His ankle isn't responding well enough, but the hope is to return for Week 14.

R. Griffin IIINov 27 09:53a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is highly unlikely to return to the team next season, sources within the organization said. Head coach Jay Gruden convinced owner Daniel Snyder [ More ]

Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent DT Jimmy Staten (Seahawks) to their practice squad Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also released OT Andrew McDonald from their practice squad.

Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle, back) was limited in practice for the third straight day Wednesday, Nov. 26, and is questionable for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.

Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains day-to-day, but the team is looking for him to practice symptom-free this week, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Jordan ReedNov 26 04:13p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

R. Griffin IIINov 26 02:53p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III needs more seasoning, and he'll likely do it from the bench for the rest of this season, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 26 02:33p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has an excellent chance to return in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans after missing the last two games.

Mark SanchezNov 26 02:23p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez has thrown six interceptions this year, but all of them haven't been game-changing turnovers. In Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans, Sanchez thrived on [ More ]

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