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Wednesday in Hawkville: Leon longing for return to end zone

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 7:

FOCUS ON

Leon Washington

Leon Washington

Leon Washington. Yes, it was the Jets who traded the returner/running back to the Seahawks in a draft day deal in 2010.  Yes, it’s the Jets who are coming to CenturyLink Field on Sunday. And yes, Washington would like to do you-know-what against his former team.

“Would I like to return a touchdown against the Jets? Yes,” Washington said today, punctuating the obvious statement with a huge smile before adding, “Would I like to return a touchdown against the Rams? Yes. Would I like to return a touchdown against the 49ers? Yes.”

Washington has returned seven kickoffs for touchdowns in his NFL career that began in 2006, when the Jets selected him in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. Only one player in the 92½-year history of the league has returned more – the Browns’ Josh Cribbs with eight.

But it’s been a while since Washington has found the end zone with a kickoff or punt return – Week 14 of his first season with the Seahawks, and against the 49ers. That’s too long, as he views the situation. So why not end the drought against the team he used to play for, and represented in the Pro Bowl as the AFC returner after the 2007 season.

“We’re right on target,” Washington said. “We feel like we execute very well in practice. We just have to take advantage of opportunities during the game. Second half of the season, I remember last year we got really good. So I feel like we’re going to do the same thing this year.”

During the Seahawks’ 5-4 start, Washington has averaged 29.1 yards on 15 kickoff returns, which ranks sixth in the league. His punt return average, once as high as 14.5 yards, has dipped to 8.5, which ties him for 13th in the league.

And yes, playing in Seattle is different than playing in New York.

“Our fans here are passionate about their team, but it seems like the fans there, they feel like they own the team,” Washington said with a chuckle.

PLAYER WATCH

Marshawn Lynch. But this time, it’s through the eyes of Jets coach Rex Ryan, who also faced Lynch when he was running for the Bills and even sat in on a pre-draft visit with Lynch in 2007 when he was coming out of Cal and Ryan was defensive coordinator for the Ravens.

“He’s a tough dude, let’s just put it that way,” Ryan said today during a conference-call interview. “He’s one tough, tough rascal.

“Having to go against him – I’ve gone against him several times – he’s a guy that really is a physical back. … He’s a very powerful, physical runner and you never assume that this kid’s down.”

As for Lynch’s visit with the Ravens, Ryan said, “As he left, we were going back and forth. I said, ‘You come here, you’re going to get your butt kicked in practice.’ He’s like, ‘Man, I’ll show you.’ But I really liked him. As soon as he left, I’m like, ‘Oh, I hope we get that kid.’ ”

MARTIN RETURNS; THURMOND ACTIVATED

Wide receiver Charly Martin rejoined the team midway through practice, and cornerback Walter Thurmond was activated to the 53-man roster.

Martin was released from the 53-man roster on Tuesday and re-signed to the practice squad today after he had cleared waivers. Thurmond, who began the season on the physically-unable-to-perform list, takes the roster spot that opened when Martin was released. The club had until Monday to add Thurmond to the roster.

Martin fills the practice squad spot that opened Tuesday when rookie wide receiver Lavasier Tuinei was released.

MORE MIDSEASON HONORS

Eight Seahawks landed on the All-NFC West midseason team selected by NFC blogger Mike Sando at ESPN.com: defensive end Chris Clemons, nose tackle Brandon Mebane, cornerback Richard Sherman and free safety Earl Thomas on defense; center Max Unger and Lynch on offense; and returner Leon Washington and coverage man Heath Farwell on special teams.

In what Sando labeled his “tough call,” the 49ers’ Alex Smith was the choice over the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson at quarterback: “Alex Smith edges Russell Wilson at quarterback based on a stronger start to the season and his nearly perfect game against Arizona in Week 8. Wilson is gaining ground and looks like he could become the best quarterback in the NFC West quickly. He already has a better feel for the pocket. I’ll be surprised, at this rate, if Wilson isn’t the choice for the season-ending all-division team. There is still time for Sam Bradford to factor in as well.”

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as issued by the team:

Did not practice

DE Red Bryant (foot)

OG James Carpenter (concussion)

SS Kam Chancellor (quadriceps)

WR Braylon Edwards (knee)

RB Marshawn Lynch (back/wrist)

DT Clinton McDonald (groin)

LB K.J. Wright (concussion)

Limited in practice

DT Jason Jones (ankle)

Full participation

WR Doug Baldwin (ankle)

OG John Moffitt (knee)

C Max Unger (finger)

Wright and Carpenter were scheduled for more tests today, which they must pass before being cleared to return to practice. Mike Morgan and John Moffitt continued to replace them at strongside linebacker and left guard, as they did in Sunday’s game against the Vikings. Robert Turbin worked for Lynch, Greg Scruggs took over for Bryant and Jeron Johnson stepped in for Chancellor in practice.

Jones returned to practice after missing the past two games with an ankle injury.

For the Jets:

Did not practice

DT Kenrick Ellis (knee)

RB Joe McKnight (ankle)

Limited in practice

TE Jeff Cumberland (wrist)

C Nick Mangold (ankle)

OG Brandon Moore (hip)

DT Sione Pouha (back)

RB Bilal Powell (shoulder)

LB Bart Scott (toe)

S Eric Smith (knee)

Full participation

DT Mike DeVito (finger)

WR Clyde Gates (shoulder)

S LaRon Landry (heel)

LB Calvin Pace (shin)

QB Mark Sanchez (back)

OG Matt Slauson (knee)

STAT DU JOUR

No back in the NFL has more 100-yard rushing games than Lynch, who is second in the NFL in rushing (881 yards) to the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson (957). Here’s a look at Lynch’s five triple-digit efforts, when he also has scored his four rushing touchdowns:

Opponent (week)                    No.   Yards   Avg.   TD

Vikings (Week 9)                      26      124      4.8       1

Cowboys (Week 2)                  26       122      4.7       1

Rams (Week 4)                         20      118      5.9       1

Lions (Week 8)                         12       105      8.8       1

49ers (Week 7)                         19      103      5.4       0

Who’s chasing Lynch? Peterson, the Texans’ Arian Foster and Patriots’ Stefan Ridley each have four 100-yard games.

UP NEXT

“Competition Wednesday” gives way to “Turnover Thursday” as the players continue to prepare for Sunday’s game.

The Seahawks are even in turnover differential, with 13 takeaways and 13 giveaways; while the Jets are minus-1. Only 11 teams have turned the ball over more than the Jets (14).

YOU DON’T SAY

“We have to fix ourselves before we really worry about who we’re playing. Now with that being said, this week is probably about as difficult of a challenge as a team can face. Here’s a team that’s 4-0 at home, with wins over Dallas, Minnesota, Green Bay and New England. It starts with the running game, of course. But, oh by the way, the quarterback has a 120 rating at home, which would be the best in the National Football League. So that’s certainly going to be a challenge. And on defense, they’re the fourth-rated defense in the National Football League. They’re a big, physical group with some guys that can really rush the passer. So it’s definitely a huge challenge for us.” – Ryan

YOU DON’T SAY, PART II

“Oh he definitely likes it. I like them, too. Every pass he’s thrown I’ve called.” – offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell on wide receiver Sidney Rice throwing the ball, which he did for a 25-yard completion – and a 118.8 passer rating – to tight end Zach Miller against the Vikings