A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov 28:
Red Bryant. As his teammates prepared for their next step by practicing in the rain today, the team’s run-stuffing defensive end watched with a boot on his sore right foot.
Bryant has plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot that has forced him to sit out a day of practice for the past month.
“His foot is really bothering him,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s had it for a long time, but it’s kind of flared up here in the last couple of weeks. It’s affected him some – enough that we’ve got to slow him down in practice.”
With Bryant watching, Jason Jones worked in his place with the No. 1 line.
Asked if he expected Bryant to play in Sunday’s game against the NFC North-leading Bears in Chicago, Carroll said, “I don’t know that yet. We’ve got to wait and see.”
The Seahawks need him because the Bears rank 10th in the league is rushing offense, averaging 121.9 yards a game. And the running game, led by Matt Forte, sets up the Bears’ play-action passing game. Also, in the Seahawks’ 38-14 victory in Chicago last season Bryant returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown and helped limit the Bears to 221 offensive yards.
“You know me,” Bryant said. “I’m going to find a way to be out there.”
OKUNG MAN OF THE YEAR
Left tackle Russell Okung has been voted the Seahawks’ Man of the Year.
The honor goes annually to the player who represents stellar performance both on the field and in the community, and the list of past winners includes Jim Zorn, Dave Brown, Steve Largent, Jacob Green, Eugene Robinson (four times), Jon Kitna (twice), Matt Hasselbeck, Shaun Alexander and Marcus Trufant. Each player has a photo hanging in one of the hallways at VMAC.
“Truly an honor to be among these men and voted on as the 2012 Seahawks Man of the Year,” Okung said via Twitter. “Thank you to all that voted.”
A RARE HONOR FOR WASHINGTON
Players from losing teams usually don’t get selected for one of the weekly NFL honors, but Leon Washington is the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week after returning a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown against the Dolphins on Sunday.
Washington’s scoring return was the eighth of his career, which tied the NFL record.
How did Washington find out about the honor? “I just found that out. My wife tweeted me that,” he said.
“You want to win the game, but that just shows how much hard work we put into this thing. Early in the season, it wasn’t looking pretty. But the guys just stuck with it and after that bye week we self-scouted what we need to do. So we got back to what we do and it worked out big for us.”
Washington also won the weekly honor after he returned two kickoffs for scores in a 2010 game against the Chargers. The only other return specialist in franchise history to be honored twice was Charlie Rogers (1999 and 2001).
The official report, as issued by the team:
Did not practice
DE Red Bryant (foot)
LB Leroy Hill (ankle)
Limited in practice
RB Marshawn Lynch (back)
DE Greg Scruggs (oblique)
Hill sat out to rest the ankle he sprained in Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins, but Carroll expects him to be able to play against the Bears. Malcolm Smith subbed for Hill with the No. 1 defense.
James Carpenter and John Moffitt each got reps at left guard with the No. 1 offensive line, and Carroll said he has yet to decide which player will start against the Bears.
For the Bears:
Did not practice
LB Lance Briggs (ankle)
TE Kellen Davis (ankle)
WR Devin Hester (concussion)
WR Alshon Jeffery (knee)
OG Chris Spencer (knee)
CB Charles Tillman (ankle)
Limited in practice
RB Matt Forte (ankle)
DT Stephan Paea (shoulder)
OG Edwin Williams (shoulder)
STAT DU JOUR
In the past five games, a Seahawks defense that had been allowing an average of 70 rushing has yielded 775, or an average of 155. Of those 775 rushing yards, 607 have come against the 49ers (175), Vikings (243) and Dolphins (189). And 265 of those yards have come on nine runs – including a 74-yarder by the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson – for an average of 29.4 yards.
“The running game (defense) has not been as effective consistently,” Carroll said. “We’ve found our way into making fit errors on runs that there’s been a lot of big runs. The runs, one after another, we’re OK. But we’ve allowed explosive plays. … That’s enough to give them the yards that make it look like a big day.”
With that said, here’s a look at those “explosive” runs against the Seahawks:
Dolphins 22, 21 (Reggie Bush); 20 (Daniel Thomas); 19 (Ryan Tannehill)
Vikings 74, 28, 24 (Adrian Peterson)
49ers 37, 20 (Frank Gore)
“Competition Wednesday” gives way to “Turnover Thursday” as the players continue to practice for Sunday’s game against the Bears.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I think that we’re very determined, and very disappointed in that outcome last week because we had a chance on both sides of the ball to win that football game. We’re disappointed that that didn’t get done. It was such a big opportunity for us. But we’ve spent time already – Monday and today – to get ready for today’s practice. I felt at the walkthrough that everybody was in it and we’re gone. We’re into the next plan. I think that’s what has to happen. So I feel we’ve responded well.” – Carroll when asked about the mood of the team after Sunday’s loss