A recap of the day’s activities:
Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu. The Seahawks’ starting wide receivers were back on the practice field today after sitting out last week’s game against the 49ers in San Francisco because of injuries.
Having Williams and Obomanu not only practice, but make catches was a huge step in a needed direction as the team prepares for Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons at Qwest Field. While this game is a battle of NFC division leaders, the South-leading Falcons have a best-in-the-conference 11-2 record, while West co-leading Seahawks are 6-7.
Today, Williams made a nice catch between defenders, while Obomanu stretched out to grab a pass along the sideline.
Williams has missed most of the past two games, after spraining his ankle on the first series against the Carolina Panthers 10 days ago. The team’s leading receiver also sat out the previous week’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs because of a strained left foot.
“It feels OK, I feel OK,” Williams said. “I’m excited. It’s been a very frustrating last few weeks. I was trying to get into my groove, but then had a couple of bumps. I’m excited to get back out here and bring the energy and try to be a shot in the arm for our group and for our offense.”
Obomanu got what coach Pete Carroll called “a severe laceration” on his right hand while making a catch against the Panthers. The injury required multiple stitches and he is practicing – and will play – wearing a protective devise.
“It’s one of those things that’s going to be day-to-day,” Obomanu said. “We have to figure some things outs – what works and what makes it comfortable; and at the same time what protects your hand as well.”
Obomanu moved into the lineup as the starting flanker for the Week 10 game against the Cardinals in Arizona and caught 16 passes for 346 yards in his four starts – including a five-catch, 159-yard outing against the Chiefs.
Asked if also having Williams back opposite him at the splint end spot enhanced his situation, Obomanu smiled before offering, “I think we were complementing each other pretty well. I actually help him out, too, to have him go out and get some good catches.
“Me and Mike both realized how important it was for us to come back out and practice, in order to help Matt (Hasselbeck), help this offense and help this team Sunday.”
ON THE FIELD
The players practiced outside for 65 minutes on a windy afternoon along the shores of Lake Washington.
Obomanu slapped an exclamation point on the “Competition Wednesday” workout by coming off a defender to catch a Hasselbeck pass on the final play of practice.
Earlier in the session, punter Jon Ryan filled handled the field goal-kicking chores as well, because Olindo Mare sat out with sore left hamstring. With Ryan kicking, wide receiver Ruvell Martin replaced him as the holder. Ryan drilled both attempts. After the second, one of his teammates broke into “O Canada” – a salute to Ryan, who is from Regina, Saskatchewan.
SACK IT TO HIM
Chris Clemons has become the first Seahawk to register double-digit sacks since Patrick Kerney led the NFC with 14½ in 2007.
The team’s “Leo” defensive end picked up another half sack after a scoring changing was made on a first-quarter play against the 49ers. The sack originally was credited fully to Aaron Curry, but he’ll split it with Clemons – who now has 10.
Clemons’ previous career high was eight sacks in 2007, when he was playing with the Oakland Raiders.
The official report, as released by the team:
Did not practice
WR Brian Stokley (hamstring)
DE Chris Clemons (ankle)
CB Roy Lewis (knee)
CB Walter Thurmond (hamstring)
K Olindo Mare (hamstring)
C Chris Spencer (shoulder)
QB Matt Hasselbeck (wrist)
WR Ben Obomanu (hand)
WR Mike Williams (ankle)
In addition to Williams and Obomanu, OG Chester Pitts also returned to practice today. He has been sidelined the past three games with a sprained ankle. But Mike Gibson continued to work at left guard with the starting unit, while Pitts got his reps with the No. 2 line.
With Spencer limited, Chris White subbed for him in team drills; while Raheem Brock filled in for Clemons.
For the Falcons:
Did not practice
DE John Abraham (groin)
LB Curtis Lofton (knee)
WR Roddy White (knee)
DT Jonathan Babineaux (shoulder)
OT Tyson Clabo (ankle)
LB Stephen Nicholas (knee)
RB Jason Snelling (hamstring)
LB Coy Wire (head)
Abraham, Lofton and White were given the day off by coach Mike Smith to rest injuries. But it is a significant trio to have miss practice, as White leads the NFL with 99 receptions, Abraham last week became the 25th player in league history to reach 100 sacks for his career and Lofton leads the team with 100 tackles.
Snelling returned to practice after missing the past two games. His return Sunday would relieve some of the burden from leading rusher Michael Turner, who carried 52 times for 200 yards and scored four touchdowns in the two games Snelling missed.
STAT DU JOUR
Matt Hasselbeck needs 94 passing yards for the seventh 3,000-yard season of his career. He already holds the franchise record with six (2002-05, 2007, 2009). Dave Krieg had four (1984-85 and 1989-90) and Jim Zorn three (1978-80).
YOU DON’T SAY
“We will be good when we play really good, and we are not there yet. We are not consistently playing the way a good team plays, where you don’t hurt yourself and you don’t put yourself in bad situations and give away opportunities to your opponent. We are still working on that. We’ve seen what we can do when we play like that. We have played terrific football at times. So we know it’s there, but the great challenge is to find the consistency to bring it back time and time again.” – Carroll