A recap of the day’s activities:
Tyler Polumbus. When the Seahawks traded for the veteran offensive lineman in August, they never envisioned him starting as many games as he has. But it looks like Polumbus could be the starter at left tackle on Sunday, when the Seahawks face the Arizona Cardinals in what coach Pete Carroll is labeling “a championship game.”
The plan was to get first-round draft choice Russell Okung back this week, after he missed the previous two games with a sprained left ankle. But the rookie was very limited in practice the past two days and is listed as questionable, so Polumbus could make his fifth start.
“Ever since I called him Troy, he’s been pretty good,” Carroll cracked today after practice – the final full workout before Sunday’s game in Arizona.
That was way back in September, when Carroll slipped and referred to Tyler as Troy – and Polumbus started the first three games at left tackle because Okung was out with a sprained right ankle.
Regardless of what name the coach calls him, having Polumbus to step in has been pivotal – especially this week, because it allows Chester Pitts to slide to his preferred spot at left guard after he started at tackle last week because Polumbus also was out with a sprained knee.
“Tyler has really been a significant part of stuff,” Carroll said. “His flexibility, being able to play on both side, his smarts in handling stuff in rapid form early on, he’s done a nice job for us.
“He bounced back this week really nice and had a good week of work.”
On Okung, Carroll said, “He’s not quite right. He didn’t enough work for us to get all excited about him. He’s close, though.”
Deon Butler. The second-year wide receiver moved into the starting flanker spot when Deion Branch was traded back to the New England Patriots in mid-October. After catching four passes and scoring a touchdown against the Bears in his second start, Butler has seven catches in the past three games.
“He’s just got to play more physical,” offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said. “It’s a physical game. There are guys that get their hands on him all the time and you have to find a way to get around that.”
Butler is third on the team with 19 receptions, behind split end Mike Williams (35) and tight end John Carlson (22).
ON THE FIELD
The players practiced for 75 minutes in the indoor practice facility, because they will be playing inside at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale on Sunday.
A highlight moment came when wide receiver Ben Obomanu made a nice reaching grab of a pass from Matt Hasselbeck as he was running toward the sideline, got both feet inbounds and then hopped over the bench along the sideline – all in one athletic blink of a sequence.
The official end-of-the-week status report, as issued by the team:
DT Colin Cole (ankle)
WR Golden Tate (ankle)
OG Mike Gibson (ankle)
FB Michael Robinson (hamstring)
OT Russell Okung (ankle)
LB Lofa Tatupu (knee)
DE Raheem Brock (back)
RB Marshawn Lynch (thigh)
WR Mike Williams (finger)
TE Chris Baker (foot)
WR Brandon Stokley (calf)
Tatupu was back after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday. “We just managed him all well long to make sure he’s OK,” Carroll said. “He’s been taking a lot of plays and we count on him so much. Fortunately, he’s such a bright guy and understands everything so well; he can get the stuff out of the walk-thrus. He worked today, so he’s ready to go.”
The same can’t be said of Gibson, who twisted his right ankle in practice this week and was in a protective boot today. Carroll said his status, as well as Okung’s, will be a game-day decision.
Williams, who caught a career-high 11 passes against the Cardinals three weeks ago, was able to practice fully today after being limited on Thursday because he needed stitches on one of his fingers. “He had to kind of adapt to how he’s catching the ball, but he did fine,” Carroll said. “For the first day back, he did great. And there’ll be no issue about it on game day.”
Stokley sat out the end of practice after feeling a twinge in his right calf. “He just got a little tight calf,” Carroll said. “He should be fine.”
For the Cardinals:
LB Clark Haggans (groin)
LB Paris Lenon (ankle)
RB Beanie Wells (knee)
DT Darnell Dockett (shoulder)
LB Will Davis (knee)
LB Joey Porter (knee)
FS Kerry Rhodes (hand)
Wells’ status is expected to be a game-day decision, as it was last week, because of swelling in a knee. That means Tim Hightower is the likely starter. He was replaced by Wells after the Week 7 loss to the Seahawks because of fumbling problems.
STAT DU JOUR
Marshawn Lynch ran for 89 yards in the Seahawks’ Week 7 win over the Cardinals – not only his season high, but his most rushing yards since he went for 127 against the Jets in Week 15 of the 2008 season while playing with the Bills.
The players will have a walk-thru Saturday before flying to Phoenix for Sunday’s game.
Strong safety Lawyer Milloy (37) and defensive tackle Junior Siavii (32) will celebrate birthdays on Sunday.
YOU DON’T SAY
“This is a championship game for us. You’re playing a division opponent and a win that you’ve got to get. We’ve made a big deal about starting off the second half. We’d love to get off on the right foot. It was great to start off the first game of the season with a win and to get rolling. So we’ll see how this goes. Hopefully we’ll be able to get that and start to get some momentum as we go into the stretch here.” – Carroll