Leroy Hill. The team’s starter at weak-side linebacker that past 4.5 season is back after being reinstated by the league following his one-game suspension. The question now: Just how to use him?
“He’s a really good football player. So we’re going to try to get him involved, if he’s able,” coach Pete Carroll said. “So we’re just going to have to find that out during the week.”
Before missing the season opener, Hill also was sidelined for much of training camp and the preseason because of a sprained knee. So working him back into a role will be a work in progress.
“I’m hoping he’s going to be in there playing and he’ll get in the rotations,” Carroll said.
Carroll said a final determination probably won’t be made until Friday on just how much Hill will play in Sunday’s game against the Broncos in Denver, and in what role. Carroll added that Hill also could be used on special teams.
“He does have special teams assignments going in. So we’re counting on him playing,” Carroll said. “We just don’t know how much and how extensive.”
Hill is ready for anything that comes his way.
“I’ve been mostly just rehabbing my knee,” he said. “That’s 100 percent now. I’m ready to go. The brace is just for protective reasons. I feel like I’m 18. I’m ready to go.”
In practice, Hill got his reps on the scout team that works against the Seahawks offense, as David Hawthorne continued to work on the weak side with the No. 1 defense.
As for playing special teams, Hill smiled and then laughed before offering, “I played special teams five games in my career. If I’ve got to get back to it, I’ll figure it out and we’ll just do it on the go. If I can play linebacker, I can play special teams.
“I’m ready to get to it.”
Russell Okung. The first-round draft choice did not practice today and will not play Sunday, but he is making progress in returning from the high ankle sprain that has sidelined him for the past 3½ weeks.
When might Okung be ready to step back in at left tackle?
“I do ask every day,” Carroll said. “They tell me at 10 miles per hour (running on the treadmill) he’s at 90 percent weight bearing. I said, ‘OK, what if we slowed it to eight miles per hour? Could he be at 100 percent weight bearing?’ ”
Carroll wasn’t trying to be flip, he just has no idea when Okung might be ready. Until he is, Tyler Polumbus will start at left tackle.
Wide receiver. Split end Mike Williams did not practice to rest a bruised thigh, so Ben Obomanu stepped in with the No. 1 offense and rookie Golden Tate also got some snaps with the Seahawks’ offense after being inactive for Sunday’s season opener.
“He’s a terrific talent. I love what he’s done to show us that he can make plays,” Carroll said of Tate, the team’s second-round draft choice. “The consistency is what you’re looking for and sometimes in young guys you just don’t see the fine points or the details enough where you can count on them to get lined up right and run those exact depths and get everything really crisply run.
“Golden is in the game plan this week. We’re trying to get him in. We’re trying to fit it together, and if we can get that done we will.”
ON THE FIELD
The players practiced for 1 hour, 45 minutes, starting in warm, muggy weather and finishing in a steady rain. And Obomanu wasn’t just playing in Williams’ spot at split end, he was making plays.
The official report, as issued by the team:
OT Russell Okung (ankle)
Did not practice
DE Chris Clemons (ankle)
OT Sean Locklear (personal)
LB Matt McCoy (quad)
WR Mike Williams (thigh)
OT Chester Pitts (knee)
OG Mike Gibson (back)
Raheem Brock worked with the No. 1 defense at the “Leo” end spot for Clemons. Mansfield Wrotto, who was re-signed Tuesday, was at right tackle with the No. 1 line for Locklear – who was excused for what Carroll said was a family issue.
For the Broncos:
Did not practice
S Darcel McBath (forearm)
OL Ryan Harris (ankle)
OL Chris Kuper (knee/ankle)
LB Wesley Woodyard (hamstring)
WR Eddie Royal (groin)
WR Demaryius Thomas (foot)
A FINE 59
Today is Carroll’s 59th birthday. Asked if he had any birthday wishes, he said, “No, I’m good. I just want to have a really good ‘Competition Wednesday’ is what I’m looking for.”
The players will practice at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday and 11:30 a.m. on Friday. The team will fly to Denver on Saturday for Sunday’s game.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I need ear muffs (cupping his hands on the sides of his head). That has nothing to do with this team. What has happened in the past, as far as I’m concerned, has nothing to do with what we are now.” – Carroll, when informed that the Seahawks’ only two wins in their past 12 road games have come against the Rams in St. Louis