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

Giovani BernardOct 31 11:12a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) is unlikely to play in Week 9.

Trent RichardsonOct 31 10:32a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is not on the injury report for Week 9, and should be able to play Monday, Nov. 3.

Rashad JenningsOct 31 10:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) is aiming to return for the Week 10 game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Ronnie HillmanOct 31 09:12a

Updating previous reports, Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) is expected to have his normal workload in Week 9, despite his limited practice repetitions.

DeAngelo HallOct 31 08:52a

Washington Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall (Achilles') tore his Achilles' again at home and had surgery to repair it Thursday, Oct. 30.

Ron JohnsonOct 30 08:22p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (back), DE Michael Bennett (toe), C Stephen Schilling (knee), CB Tharold Simon (knee), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), LB Malcolm Smith (groin), DT Jordan Hill [ More ]

Patrick WillisOct 30 07:52p

San Francisco 49res CB Tramaine Brock (toe) and LB Patrick Willis (toe) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Jimmie Ward (quadriceps) and CB Chris Culliver (hamstring) practiced in full.

Chris MatthewsOct 30 07:42p

The Seattle Seahawks re-signed WR Chris Matthews and TE Brett Brackett to their practice squad Thursday, Oct. 30.

Scott WellsOct 30 07:42p

St. Louis Rams OG Rodger Saffold (shoulder), CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), DT Aaron Donald (shoulder) and S Cody Davis (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Rodney McLeod [ More ]

Luke JoeckelOct 30 07:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars OT Luke Joeckel (concussion) has recovered nicely from the concussion he suffered in Week 8, and he could play in Week 9 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Joeckel [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

Arian FosterOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (knee) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Johnathan JosephOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans LBs Brian Cushing (knee), Brooks Reed (groin) and Jeff Tarpinian (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. RB Alfred Blue (ankle), LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), CB Johnathan [ More ]

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Justin TuckOct 30 06:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin), CB Carlos Rogers (knee) and WR Kenbrell Thompkins (non-injury) did not [ More ]

Anthony CollinsOct 30 06:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Anthony Collins (foot) and LB Brandon Magee (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring) and DE Michael Johnson (hand) were limited.

Brian RobisonOct 30 06:32p

Minnesota Vikings DT Shariff Floyd (ankle, knee), TE Chase Ford (foot), CB Jabari Price (hamstring), CB Josh Robinson (ankle) and DE Brian Robison (glute) were limited in practice Thursday, [ More ]

Louis VasquezOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos S Quinton Carter (hamstring) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Lamin Barrow (concussion), TE Virgil Green (calf), LB Steven Johnson (ankle) and OG Louis Vasquez (illness) [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) was limited in practice for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

Billy WinnOct 30 06:22p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring) and DE Phil Taylor (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Desmond Bryant (wrist), S Jim Leonhard (ankle), LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder), [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Chris JohnsonOct 30 06:12p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson, who carried the ball just three times for seven yards in Week 8, said he's frustrated with his limited role in the offense. [ More ]

Tom CrabtreeOct 30 06:02p

The New Orleans Saints waived TE Tom Crabtree Thursday, Oct. 30.

Patrick PetersonOct 30 05:42p

Arizona Cardinals S Tony Jefferson (head) and TE Troy Niklas (ankle) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Calais Campbell (knee), LB Kenny Demens (knee), S Rashad Johnson [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 30 05:22p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Jamell Fleming (hamstring) and LB Josh Martin (hamstring, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Eric Berry (ankle) and CB Christopher Owens (knee) were [ More ]

Demario DavisOct 30 05:22p

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls (calf, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OT Oday Aboushi (shoulder), CB Phillip Adams (groin), LB Antwan Barnes (knee), OG Willie Colon [ More ]

Keenan RobinsonOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins S Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) and OT Trent Williams (knee) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Ryan Kerrigan (wrist), LB Trent Murphy (knee), CB Tracy [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) practiced in full for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:02p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) will start against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9, barring any setbacks this week in practice, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Mike PounceyOct 30 05:02p

Miami Dolphins OG Daryn Colledge (illness, back) LB Chris McCain (foot) and TE Dion Sims (toe) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Nate Garner (neck), LB Koa Misi [ More ]

Andre BranchOct 30 04:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Will Blackmon (finger), DE Andre Branch (groin), DE Chris Clemons (non-injury), LB Geno Hayes (non-injury) and DT Roy Miller (non-injury) didn't practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB [ More ]

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