A recap of the day’s activities:
John Carlson. The Seahawks’ tight end, of course. But also the other John Carlson – his father – as well as his mother, Jo. Carlson’s parents have logged some serious frequent flyer miles this season, traveling from their home in Litchfield, Minn., to watch their son play.
They’ve been to Indianapolis and Dallas for road games, as well as to Seattle for four games.
This week, John comes to them. Litchfield is roughly 70 miles west of Minneapolis, where the Seahawks play the Vikings on Sunday.
“I’m doing them a favor,” Carlson said. “It’s a short commute for them compared to coming out here out here for games.”
Carlson is excited about playing his first regular-season game at the Metrodome, for several reasons.
“First of all, it’s a big game,” said Carlson, a huge Vikings fan growing up. “They’re having a great year, and we really have our backs up against the wall. We really need to win the game. So that’s exciting.”
There’s also the Family Reunion aspect. Carlson is expecting 15 family members to attend the game. In addition to his parents, his brother, Alex, will be there. Alex and his wife just had a baby, so Carlson will see his 3-month-old niece for the first time.
Then there’s the Litchfield Connection. His former high school sold more than 200 tickets, to benefit the football program and put a few more Carlson fans in the stands.
“It shows how supportive the town is of athletics and their local people,” Carlson said. “It was a great place to grow up.”
Right cornerback. It’s looking like Kelly Jennings will start against the Vikings, because Josh Wilson has yet to be cleared to practice after getting a concussion in last week’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.
“There’s a slight chance,” coach Jim Mora said after practice when asked about Wilson’s availability. “When you’re dealing with a concussion we want to make sure he’s OK – completely OK – before we put him back out there.
“We’ll see where he is Sunday, but we’re kind of planning as if he won’t be there.”
Mora also announced what had become apparent: Wilson has won the starting job over Ken Lucas, who started six of the first seven games on the right side while Wilson was subbing for Marcus Trufant on the left side.
But when Trufant returned to the starting lineup two games ago after spending the first six games on the physically-unable-to-perform list, Wilson moved to the right side.
“Josh has kind of won the position,” Mora said. “If he’s healthy, he’s there. If he’s not playing, then it’s kind of we’re going to go with Kenny (Lucas) or Kelly (Jennings) depending on who we feel is maybe performing a little bit better at the time.”
This week, it’s Jennings over Lucas – if Wilson can’t play.
“Kelly has gotten better and you’ve seen his confidence grow,” Mora said. “He’s made plays on the ball and it’s really good to see him make that kind of improvement. Kelly has been a hard worker for a long time and to see him kind of bear the fruits of that is good.”
The Seahawks defense has faced an impressive run of wide receivers – the Colts’ Reggie Wayne; the Cardinals’ trio of Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston (twice); the Cowboys’ Miles Austin; and the Lions’ Calvin Johnson.
Now comes the Vikings’ Sidney Rice, who had 201 receiving yards against the Lions last week.
“When you watch him on film, he’s like Go-Go Gadet,” Mora said, setting off a gaggle of guffaws with the reference to the animated character with bionic gadgets built into his body.
“His arms just extend out, honestly, and he just sucks the ball in. He makes tremendous catches all over the place, all over his body. He can catch it anywhere with his hands. He’s big. He’s physical. He’s fast. He’s playing with great confidence. And Brett (Favre) loves throwing it to him. He can handle the fast ball. Brett will zing that thing in there and he just reaches out and snatches it.”
The official end-of-the-week report, as released by the team:
RB Julius Jones (chest)
CB Josh Wilson (concussion)
DT Craig Terrill (shoulder)
C Chris Spencer (thumb/back)
CB Marcus Trufant (concussion)
Terrill practiced after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday, but on a limited basis. Spencer was limited Thursday because of a sore back, but he took part in every phase of practice today. If Wilson can’t play, Mora said that safety Jamar Adams will be active Sunday for the first time since being signed off the practice squad two weeks ago.
For the Vikings, Pro Bowl cornerback Antoine Winfield (foot) is doubtful. He has missed the past two games. Wide receiver Bernard Berrian (hamstring) and former Washington State cornerback Karl Paymah (ankle) are listed as questionable. All three were limited in practice today.
YOU DON’T SAY
“First of all, you just get a kick out of watching him play. Because he plays with so much passion for the game and you really respect that. And then to see a guy with his experience, at his age, doing the things he’s doing, having the success that he’s having, it’s an amazing thing. It really is. He might be having the best year he’s ever had in his career, and he’s going to go to the Hall of Fame.” – Mora, on Favre