A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 2:
Doug Baldwin. Again? Again. Yesterday, when Baldwin also was focused on, the second-year receiver declared himself ready to play in Sunday’s game against the Vikings at CenturyLink Field, despite getting a high ankle sprain just 15 days ago in the loss to the 49ers in San Francisco.
Today, the word came from an even more definitive source: Coach Pete Carroll.
“Doug looks to be ready to go,” Carroll said after practice, when the team took advantage of the dry spell to work outside of the second consecutive day. “He had a full week of practice, which surprised us. Coming out of Monday, we weren’t sure. And then he just practiced on Wednesday, got through it and had a good week. So we’re hoping he’s going to play.”
Baldwin is listed as probable for Sunday’s game.
This shouldn’t be happening. The recovery period for a high ankle sprain started at a month and usually lasts even longer.
“He made a miraculous recovery,” Carroll said. “He had a high ankle sprain that showed up on the MRI and he made it back in a week’s time, which we can’t even explain it. But he pulled it off.”
And Baldwin’s return comes at an optimum time, with Braylon Edwards out because of the same knee issue that forced him to miss last week’s game against the Lions in Detroit and Ben Obomanu going on injured reserve after damaging his wrist against the Lions. Rookie free agent Jermaine Kearse was signed off the practice squad to replace Obomanu and will play against the Vikings.
It’s been a tough season for Baldwin, who was sidelined for most of training camp and all of the preseason with a hamstring injury; had his front teeth knocked out in the season opener against the Cardinals; injured a shoulder in practice that forced him to miss a game; and then got the ankle injury when another player fell into his leg while he was blocking on a punt return.
“It’s been frustrating,” he said. “But that happens. It’s the game of football. So I’ve just got to move on and keep going forward.”
Walter Thurmond. The third-year cornerback completed his second week of practice, and Carroll said the decision on whether Thurmond is added to the 53-man roster will be made before game time.
“Walter had a great week, and he’s had two good weeks. He’s been impressive out here,” Carroll said.
Thurmond began the season on the physically-unable-to-perform list after having surgery on his left leg twice in a five-month period – the second coming in March. He could practice next week, as well, before the team has to determine if he’ll be added to the roster.
Kyle Rudolph. The Vikings’ leader in offensive touchdowns is not Percy Harvin, or even Adrian Peterson. It’s the second-year tight end from Notre Dame. Rudolph is getting more opportunities because former Seahawks tight end John Carlson is sidelined with concussion-like symptoms, and making the most of them with five TD catches among his 27 receptions for 242 yards.
“For a (young) player, he’s got a lot of savvy,” Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “The running game is so big for them, that’s where it all starts. They get you where it’s run, run and he’s blocking out and blocking out. Next thing you know, he blocks out and flips out and gets open – especially down in the red zone.”
Rudolph’s scoring plays have come on passes of 6, 1, 2, 15 and 1 yards.
“He’s a big body-type tight end who gets on you and uses his strength on you,” Bradley said of the 6-foot-6, 258-pound Rudolph.
The official end-of-the-week status report, as issued by the team:
WR Braylon Edwards (knee)
DT Jason Jones (ankle)
OG James Carpenter (illness)
DL Greg Scruggs (oblique)
CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring)
RB Marshawn Lynch (back)
WR Doug Baldwin (ankle)
OG John Moffitt (knee)
DT Alan Branch (not injury related)
Branch was excused from practice today because of a death in his family, but he is scheduled to be back and play on Sunday. Scruggs returned to practice after sitting out yesterday to rest a strained oblique and Carroll said he is ready to go for Sunday. Carpenter left the field during practice, so his status is uncertain.
For the Vikings:
TE John Carlson (concussion)
S Mistral Raymond (ankle)
RB Adrian Peterson (ankle)
CB Antoine Winfield (knee)
WR Percy Harvin (hamstring)
DT Fred Evans (knee)
DT Letroy Guion (ribs)
LB Erin Henderson (elbow)
P Chris Kluwe (left knee)
QB Christian Ponder (knee)
Peterson did not practice today because of soreness in his left ankle, but Vikings coach Leslie Frazier told reporters who cover the team, “He’ll be ready to go on Sunday. We just wanted to give him a little rest prior to the game.”
When Carroll was asked about Harvin’s status, he offered, “He’s going. He’s playing. I’ll help you out on that one.”
STAT DU JOUR
The Seahawks have had mixed results in defending tight ends this season. With Rudolph coming to town, here’s a look at how opposing tight ends have fared against the Seattle defense in the first eight games:
Player, team vs. Seahawks Season totals
Jeff King, Cardinals 2-8 11-102
Jason Witten, Cowboys 4-58 51-487
Jermichael Finley, Packers 4-60 28-265
Lance Kendricks, Rams 2-22 20-165
Greg Olsen, Panthers 2-37 29-347
Rob Gronkowski, Patriots 6-61 43-580
Vernon Davis, 49ers 0-0 25-374
Brandon Pettigrew, Lions 7-74 38-374
The players will hold a walkthrough on Saturday morning.
The team’s annual Tackle Hunger drive will be held at Sunday’s game, so fans are asked to bring nonperishable food or cash donations that will benefit Northwest Harvest. The American Red Cross also will have volunteers at the game collecting cash donations to help victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Also, daylight saving time ends early Sunday morning, so be sure to turn your clocks back one hour on Saturday night to avoid arriving at the game too early.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I don’t talk a lot. I just got out there and try and get the job done. I’m sure we’re going to exchange a few words, but it won’t be nothing serious.” – Sidney Rice, the Seahawks, leading receiver, on facing the team he played for from 2007-10.