A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 26:
James Carpenter. When the Seahawks’ first-round draft choice went down during a midweek practice last November, the severity of his knee injury left the coaches expecting the worst.
The thought then, and also as late as this summer, was that Carpenter would not be ready to return until midseason. But as the team reaches the midway point of the season with Sunday’s game against the Lions in Detroit, Carpenter will be starting his fifth consecutive game at left guard.
The efforts that allowed Carpenter to return ahead of schedule, and put his promising career back on schedule, have earned him the Ed Block Courage Award that is presented annually – and voted on by the players – to the player who is a role model of inspiration, sportsmanship and courage.
“I appreciate the team thinking that I worked hard getting through my injury,” Carpenter said. “So it’s an honor to be chosen.”
His rapid return – from the injury and to the lineup – has been more than Carpenter could have hoped for. He started the season opener as a rookie at left guard and then the next eight games at right tackle before his injury.
“It did surprise me,” Carpenter said. “I know that it was kind of a bad injury, but I had a lot of people motivate me to get back and it worked.”
Coach Pete Carroll said after practice that Carpenter was so deserving of the honor that it was “an avalanche of votes for him.”
“This is a most-deserving recipient of the Ed Block Award,” Carroll said. “He surprised us, really. James had a terrible injury – one that we couldn’t predict how long it was going to take him to get back. We thought it was going to be quite a bit longer rehab. And he struggled for a long time in his early rehab to get going. But once he turned the corner, he just flew through it and just shocked us with his ability to get back.
“That’s total determination. That’s totally competing every single day to get himself to where he could have a chance to get back on the field. He just surprised the heck out of us.”
Carroll aided the cause by showing clips of Carpenter running during his rehab in the team meetings.
“Just to give him a little encouragement,” Carroll said. “And they were wowed by the way he was working and how he worked. I think it fit together really well and he did a marvelous job.”
Jason Jones. The rush-tackle who was signed in free agent to help boost the Seahawks’ pass rush has been listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game because of an ankle injury, but he did make the trip to Detroit. If Jones can’t play, rookie Greg Scruggs will work in the nickel line.
“It’s a really big deal if we can get him out there,” Carroll said of Jones’ availability against a Lions team that averages 46 passes a game. “We’re starting to learn how to rush together and we have a chance to get pretty good here if we grow together. Unfortunately, Jason’s a big deal. He’s been involved in a lot of stuff and been a factor.”
Split end. Golden Tate and Braylon Edwards will both play the position against the Lions after sharing reps in practice, Carroll said.
Tate, the starter, has just 13 receptions and was not happy with his performance in the loss to the 49ers in San Francisco last Thursday night, when he did not catch a pass and was among the players who dropped a pass.
“Golden worked very hard to make sure he was competing every single play, to be in the right spot and do the right thing,” Carroll said. “So he put together a solid week. I’m expecting him to make some plays and help us.”
The fourth quarter. Say what? The Lions have been roaring in the final quarter this season, when they’ve scored 80 of their 133 points, produced 992 of their 1,926 yards and thrown all seven of their TD passes – five by Matthew Stafford and two by backup Shaun Hill.
In the other three quarters, the Lions have scored 21, 16 and 13 points.
The official end-of-the-week status report, as issued by the team:
WR Doug Baldwin (ankle)
CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring)
DT Jason Jones (ankle)
OG John Moffitt (knee)
RB Marshawn Lynch (back)
Moffitt will be a game-day decision, Carroll said, after missing the past four games. Carroll also said no decision has been made on whether to activate cornerback Walter Thurmond from the physically-unable-to-perform list, even though he practiced all week.
“He did a nice job,” Carroll said. “It’s really cool to see him out here. He’s practicing like crazy and he’s showing the speed and the quickness that he’s noted for. … When he’s back out there, he’s going to give us a boost that will be great to have out there. And we’re getting close.”
Thurmond has not played since fracturing his right fibula in last season’s Week 7 loss to the Browns in Cleveland.
For the Lions:
DE Jacob Lacey (concussion)
S Amari Spievey (concussion)
LB DeAndre Levy (hamstring)
DE Cliff Avril (back)
CB Dwight Bentley (shoulder)
S Louis Delmas (knee)
WR Titus Young (knee)
TE Brandon Pettigrew (knee)
LB Stephen Tulloch (knee)
DT Corey Williams (knee)
WR Calvin Johnson (knee)
Johnson did not practice today after being limited on Thursday.
STAT DU JOUR
The Seahawks’ special teams haven’t gotten a lot of mention this week, but that’s about to change. Entering Sunday’s game, coordinator Brian Schneider’s units lead the league in average starting position by their opponents and are third in average starting position. Here’s a look at the leaders in both categories:
Average drive start, kicking team
Team No. Avg. start
Seahawks 29 19.4
Bears 35 19.5
Raiders 26 20.0
Browns 33 20.2
Dolphins 27 20.2
Average drive start, receiving team
Team No. Avg. start
Vikings 31 26.2
Bills 46 25.0
Seahawks 27 24.6
Giants 33 24.4
Ravens 35 24.2
The team flew to Detroit this afternoon after the players had a midday practice. They will hold a walkthrough in Detroit on Saturday.
This game concludes a stretch where the Seahawks have played four road games in a five-week stretch. They will have back-to-back home games against the Vikings (Nov. 4) and Jets (Nov. 11) before getting their bye week (Nov. 18).
YOU DON’T SAY
“I don’t think we’ve done very well. At least we got a game (in Carolina) at this point so that we know we can figure out a way. But until we take care of the ball and get it on the road it’s hard.” – Carroll on this stretch of four road games in five weeks