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Wednesday in Hawkville: Baldwin bounces back smiling

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Sept. 12:

FOCUS ON

Doug Baldwin. The Seahawks’ second-year wide receiver has had surgery on each of his shoulders and both knees, but the pain of those injuries and surgical procedures was nothing compared to having his two front teeth knocked in while trying to make an end-zone catch in the closing seconds of Sunday’s game against the Cardinals in Arizona.

“That was by far the worst pain I’ve ever felt,” Baldwin said today, when he was sporting temporary teeth while his permanent replacements are being made.

If you think the injury looked gruesome from the outside, you should have seen it from the inside.

“I don’t even know what happened,” Baldwin said. “First thing I know, I had the ball in my hands. The next thing I know, I’m looking up and there’s blood on my shield (on his helmet) and I just feel this rush of pain. And I’m trying to figure out what happened.”

What happened was that Cardinals nickel back Mike Adams jammed Baldwin in the face mask, which then went into his teeth as he fell into the end zone on his lunging attempt to corral a pass from Russell Wilson on second-and-10 from the Arizona 13-yard line.

What followed was 4½ hours of surgery on Monday, when he had double root canals. But it didn’t prevent him from attending a function at an elementary school on Tuesday, or participating in today’s two-hour practice. And last year’s leading receiver is expected to play in Sunday’s home opener against the Dallas Cowboys at CenturyLink Field.

True to his off-the-charts competitive nature, Baldwin feels he should have made the catch – and given the Seahawks a victory.

“It was an opportunity that I had. I had the ball in my hands,” he said. “Technically, according to NFL stats, it’s not a drop. But for me, it’s a drop. For what I want to do in my career and where I want to be, I need to make that play.

“I’m upbeat about it now, because there’s nowhere to go but up from here.”

POSITION WATCH

Right guard. John Moffitt, the incumbent starter, is moving back in to replace rookie J.R. Sweezy, who started Sunday’s opener as well as the last three preseason games while Moffitt was sidelined following surgery to remove particles from his left elbow.

“It’s good to have him back in,” coach Pete Carroll said. “If he makes it through the week solid and healthy, then we’ll get a chance to see John come back for us. Which will be great.”

Moffitt, a third-round draft choice last year, started the first nine games before getting a season-ending knee injury.

But Sweezy, a seventh-round draft choice this year who was playing defensive tackle at North Carolina State a year ago, remains a factor at what Carroll calls “a very competitive position.”

“J.R. did a great job for us,” Carroll said. “All the way throughout, he’s been growing and getting better. He had a hard game this last week. … We feel like we have two guys that can play. ‘Sweez’ has done a remarkable job to get this far. He can only continue to improve and get better with every experience.”

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as released by the team:

Out

WR Charly Martin (chest)

Did not practice

OT Russell Okung (knee)

WR Sidney Rice (knee)

Limited in practice

TE Zach Miller (foot)

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

Full participation

WR Golden Tate (knee)

DE Greg Scruggs (hamstring)

CB Byron Maxwell (shoulder)

Frank Omiyale worked at left tackle for Okung, just as he did in Sunday’s game when Okung went out after the ninth play on the Seahawks’ final 18-play drive. Ben Obomanu filled in at flanker for Rice. With Lynch and Miller limited, rookie running back Robert Turbin and recently signed tight end Evan Moore got a lot of work with the No. 1 offense.

For the Cowboys:

Did not practice

C Phil Costa (back)

S Matt Johnson (hamstring)

NT Jay Ratliff (ankle)

Limited participation

S Gerald Sensabaugh (concussion)

LB DeMarcus Ware (hamstring)

Full participation

WR Austin Miles (hamstring)

WR Andre Holmes (knee)

CB Mike Jenkins (shoulder)

RB Felix Jones (ribs)

S Danny McCray (neck)

RB DeMarco Murray (wrist)

LB Kyle Wilber (thumb)

TE Jason Witten (abdomen)

STAT DU JOUR

Sunday’s game will feature two of the 10 youngest starting defenses in the league. The Seahawks rank sixth and the Cowboys are 10th, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Here’s a look at the Top 10:

Team                           Avg. age

Titans                          25 years, 9 days

Buccaneers                25 years, 286 days

Browns                       25 years, 326 days

Patriots                       26 years, 58 days

Saints                          26 years, 126 days

Seahawks                   26 years, 141 days

Rams                           26 years, 249 days

Chiefs                          26 years, 287 days

Bills                              26 years, 291 days

Cowboys                     27 years, 107 days

The Seahawks’ starters and their ages: Red Bryant (28), Brandon Mebane (27), Alan Branch (27), Chris Clemons (30), Leroy Hill (29), Bobby Wagner (22), K.J. Wright (23), Brandon Browner (28), Richard Sherman (24), Kam Chancellor (24) and Earl Thomas (23).

UP NEXT

The players will have a midday walkthrough and afternoon practice on “Turnover Thursday,” as they continue to prepare for Sunday’s home opener.

YOU DON’T SAY

“This is a really special setting. It’s fun. It’s great to be there and feel it. We also want to take advantage of our home crowd and play well for them, and try to build momentum. … It’s as good a place as you can play in the world.” – Carroll on returning to CenturyLink Field.


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