A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 27:
CenturyLink Field. You remember the place. It’s where the Seahawks play their home games.
But it has been awhile. The Seahawks have not played at home since Oct. 2, and that was only their second home game in the first seven weeks of the season. Those two home games were sandwiched between pairs of road games, and the gap in the second set of road games was extended by the Seahawks having their bye week in the middle.
That will change Sunday, when the Seahawks host the Cincinnati Bengals. The coaches and players are ready to make the most of the situation against a Bengals team that is 4-2 and riding a three-game winning streak.
“Well, I feel like I’ve said this every time we’re coming home – that it feels good to be coming home and to be playing here at CenturyLink,” coach Pete Carroll said. “Getting prepared to do that is exciting for our team.
“Again, it just feels like we haven’t been here very much, but it’s good to be getting back.”
That haven’t-been-here feeling is warranted. The Seahawks opened the season by losing back-to-back road games at San Francisco and Pittsburgh. They then came home to grab their first victory, over the Arizona Cardinals; and almost stole a game the following week in a two-point loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
Then, it was back on the road, where they upset the Giants in the Meadowlands before their bye and then lost a post-bye three-point to decision to the Browns in Cleveland last week.
It’s not a great secret that this team plays better at home, as do most teams in the league. But the special ingredient at CenturyLink Field is the 12th MAN crowd that turns the place into a noise factory when the opposing offense is on the field.
And this week, that opposing offense will be quarterbacked by a rookie – Andy Dalton, whose previous road games have been at Cleveland (win), Denver (loss) and Jacksonville (win).
“It’s an advantage with the crowd noise. It’s a tough place for opposing offenses to come in,” Seahawks quarterback Charlie Whitehurst said. “It’s always good to be home, but especially in Seattle.”
Roy Lewis. Not the Roy Lewis who likely will ride to the rescue of an injury-depleted secondary this week by being activated off the physically unable to perform list and sliding in as the nickel back, but the flipside – which has been Lewis’ A-side during his first three NFL seasons: Special teams.
Lewis was the special teams captain last season, and he has been missed during the first six games this season.
“Roy was a real central figure in our surge last year with bringing our special teams to the front because of his playmaking,” Carroll said. “He was a real big factor for us. When we lost him, it was different.”
That was in December, when Lewis got a season-ending knee injury that required surgery and forced him to begin this season on PUP.
As much as the defense needs him, the special teams also will welcome him back.
“To get him to come back is another boost to that group,” Carroll said. “That’s the obvious place, as well as the nickel back spot, that he can help us.”
Asked about being ready to slip back into his leadership role on special teams, Lewis offered his favorite phase, “Without a doubt,” before adding, “That’s always on the menu.”
IN ’N OUT
Center Max Unger (foot) and tight end Zach Miller (neck/head) had their most extensive practice stints today since being injured in the pre-bye win over the Giants. Running back Marshawn Lynch (back spasms) also did more today than on Wednesday, participating in all phases of practice.
Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (strained pectoral) threw some passes in the early individual drills and also handed off during the 9-on-7 run drill, but Whitehurst continued to get the starter reps with the Seahawks offense.
“This week, I’m preparing to start again,” said Whitehurst, who got the start against the Browns last week. “I’m not sure what will happen.”
Also, cornerback Brandon Browner returned to practice after being excused on Wednesday.
Here’s the official injury report:
Did not practice
S Atari Bigby (hamstring)
S Jeron Johnson (ankle)
QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral)
S Kam Chancellor (knee)
RB Marshawn Lynch (back)
TE Zach Miller (neck/head)
C Max Unger (foot)
Johnson tweaked his ankle early in practice on Wednesday, while Bigby’s hamstring started bothering him before practice today.
For the Browns
Did not practice
LB Rey Maualuga (ankle)
CB Nate Clements (knee)
LB Dan Skuta (groin)
LB Thomas Howard (hamstring)
CB Kelly Jennings (hamstring)
CB Adam Jones (PUP, neck)
Second-year cornerback Walter Thurmond had surgery today on the left ankle that was fractured in Sunday’s loss to the Browns. He is looking at a four-to-six month rehab.
The procedure was performed by team doctors Ed Khalfayan and Mike McAdams at Seattle Surgery Center.
STAT DU JOUR
Middle linebacker David Hawthorne had his second game this season with double-digit tackles against the Browns to take over the team lead with 40. Hawthorne has led the club in tackles the past two seasons, and is looking to become the sixth player in franchise history to make it a three-peat. Here’s a look at Hawthorne’s games with double-digit tackles during his run:
Opponent Total Solo Asst.
Browns 11 7 4
Falcons 10 3 7
Giants 12 9 3
Saints 12 10 2
Chiefs 13 8 5
Panthers 14 11 3
Bears 16 15 1
Cardinals 11 10 1
Vikings 15 11 4
Texans 10 6 4
Buccaneers 10 6 4
The players will hold their final full practice before Sunday’s game on Friday, and then have a walk-thru on Saturday morning.
Due to the closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the club is encouraging fans to arrive early for the game, and WSDOT is suggesting that fans use public transportation options to avoid congestion in the area around the stadium and the viaduct.
Tickets for Sunday’s game are available and can be purchased here.
YOU DON’T SAY
“It’s like having a computer on a jugs machine. It’s like, read the defense, bam, ball; read the defense, push the ball there; read, the defense, put the ball there; read the defense, run it here. It’s hard to stop that.” – rookie cornerback Richard Sherman, who played at Stanford, when asked about Cardinal QB Andrew Luck