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Friday in Hawkville: Lynch questionable for opener

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Sept. 7:

FOCUS ON

Marshawn Lynch. The Seahawks’ leading rusher has been listed as questionable for Sunday’s season opener against the Cardinals in Arizona after another practice in which he was limited, but also looked effective.

He has not played since the second preseason game because of back spasms, and coach Pete Carroll said after today’s 90-minute practice that Lynch’s status remains day-to-day.

“He made it through all of the work. He looks good,” Carroll said. “But it’s still day-to-day. We’ve got to see how he responds tomorrow and it takes us all the way to game time to make sure everything is alright. But he did do well during the week.”

The designation of questionable on the injury report means there is a 50-50 chance that Lynch will play.

CALLING ALL CAPTAINS

The players have elected center Max Unger (offense), end Red Bryant (defense) and Michael Robinson and Heath Farwell (special teams) as the captains for the season. Robinson is the only holdover from last season.

Unger and Bryant accepted their honor on behalf of their linemates, and as an indication that the rest of the team recognizes that the offensive and defensive success starts up front.

“That was unexpected,” Unger said. “It’s really cool and I’m pretty happy about it. It’s definitely a line thing. We’re trying to solidify the O-line in the offense and have that a constant. So I think us representing the offense shows that.”

Offered Bryant, “It’s a huge honor. I can’t even put into words how appreciative I am for my peers to think so highly of me. But there’s no question that this is for the whole D-line. A lot of times the big guys, we don’t get a lot of recognition. So this is saying a lot that Max and I were voted on by the players, and I think we’re real good on the line on both sides of the ball.”

OPPONENT WATCH

John Skelton. The Cardinals’ fifth-round draft choice from 2010 has beaten out Kevin Kolb, last year’s high-priced, free-agent acquisition, for the starting quarterback job. And it’s not surprising. Skelton was 5-2 as the starter last season while subbing for an injured Kolb, and he is 7-4 in two seasons with the club.

“Ultimately, in evaluating all of the factors and all the different things that we looked at, we felt at this time that John gave us the best chance to win going forward, and that’s the decision we made,” Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said this week. “It was definitely a tough decision.”

The 6-foot-6, 244-pound Skelton has prompted comparisons to the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger, because of his size but also his ability to move in the pocket and make things happen. Whisenhunt, assistant head coach/offensive line coach Russ Grimm and offensive coordinator Mike Miller came to the Cardinals after coaching with the Steelers.

“It’s funny because we were watching that last night,” Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said when asked about the Big Ben/Big Skel comparisons. “On third down, some situations where he got out of the pocket and made things happen on the run, he was tough to bring down and guys were trying to swarm him.

“So we were like, ‘There he looks like (Roethlisberger). And there he looks like him.’ Like last year, when we were getting ready (for the Week 2 game against the Steelers). I think there are a lot of comparisons; a lot of things that they do that are very similar. He makes plays on the run.”

INJURY REPORT

The first Friday status report of the season, as released by the team:

Out

OG James Carpenter (knee)

DE Greg Scruggs (hamstring)

WR Golden Tate (knee)

Doubtful

CB Byron Maxwell (shoulder)

Questionable

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

Probable

QB Matt Flynn (elbow)

Flynn was limited in practice to rest the elbow on his throwing arm, but Carroll said he will be ready for the game. Maxwell did not practice and his status will be a game-day decision, Carroll said. With Tate out, Braylon Edwards will start at split end.

For the Cardinals:

Questionable

OG Adam Snyder (elbow)

CB Greg Toler (hip)

RB Beanie Wells (hamstring)

Probable

TE Rob Housler (hamstring)

RB LaRod Stephens-Howling (groin)

S Rashad Johnson (abdomen)

LB O’Brien Schofield (knee)

WR Andre Roberts (ankle)

UP NEXT

The team will have a walkthrough on Saturday before flying to Phoenix for Sunday’s season opener.

YOU DON’T SAY

“It’s a big matchup right off the bat. It brings the intensity and the focus that you love about the first game. Such a huge buildup and it’s so much fun to get this season ready to go and starting, and just getting through the week of practice and preparation and seeing the players elevate. It makes it exciting.” – Carroll on opening against a division opponent


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