A recap of the activities on Day 5 of NFC divisional playoff week:
Lofa Tatupu. The Seahawks’ middle linebacker had yet to be cleared after the concussion he got in last week’s upset of the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints in the first round of the playoffs. But he did participate in the team’s helmet-less, pad-less walk-thru and is expected to play Sunday in the divisional playoff game against the Bears in Chicago.
“Not officially cleared yet, the docs still have to weigh-in on all this,” coach Pete Carroll said after the walk-thru. “But Lofa did a good job today. They’re checking him out to see how he is afterwards, but he was fine today and the signs are really good that he’ll play.”
Tatupu got his concussion while making a stop of former Seahawks running back Julius Jones for no gain on a fourth-and-1 play against the Saints.
Wide receiver Ben Obomanu has been signed to a three-year contract extension, the team announced today.
Obomanu, a seventh-round draft choice in 2006, moved into the starting flanker spot at midseason and has 30 receptions for a 16.5-yard average four touchdowns.
Devin Hester. The ridiculous regularity with which Hester has returned punts and kickoffs for touchdowns was covered in this story. But Carroll also has a history with the Bears’ Pro Bowl returner. Turns out Hester was disappointed that Carroll did not recruiting him at USC, and he even talked to Carroll about it before the Week 6 game.
“I tried to cool him down, because I didn’t want him to take it out on us,” Carroll said. “But yeah, we missed him somehow. I’ve asked around since then, because I missed him. I couldn’t remember what happened in recruiting because he came all the way from Florida.
“But he reminded me that he played in the California-Florida All-Star game, and he was player of the game. Like I should have known that, you know. But we just missed him. That’s how it goes sometimes.”
Hester ended up going to the University of Miami. And in that Week 6 game, he returned a punt 89 yards for the touchdown.
ON THE FIELD
The players held a 40-minute walk-thru in the indoor practice facility at Virginia Mason Athletic Center before the team flew to Chicago for Sunday’s game.
The official end-of-the-week status report, as issued by the team:
MLB Lofa Tatupu (head)
C Chris White (not injury related)
White was excused to tend to a family matter, Carroll said, and will join the team in Chicago.
For the Bears:
They listed no one on their injury report.
KIND OF BLUE
“Blue Friday” got off to a flapping-good start for the second consecutive week. Marilyn Niehaus, widow of longtime radio voice of the Mariners Dave Niehaus, raised a 12th Man flag atop the Space Needle this morning. She was joined by her children, Greta Niehaus Dunn and Andy Niehaus.
At City Hall, Seattle mayor Mike McGinn also ran a 12th Man flag up the flagpole and issued a proclamation proclaiming this “Seattle Seahawks ‘Blue Friday.’ ”
“I’m thrilled to be part of that, thrilled to be in the middle of all this fun everybody is having,” Carroll said. “There’s nothing like playoff time and the city has kicked it into full gear.
“It’s awesome to be part of it al.”
There also was a 12th Man flag raised on Two Union Square in downtown Seattle, and the aches at the Pacific Science Center will go “Seahawks Blue” at dusk.
Sunday, “We Are 12” cheer cards will be available in issues of the Seattle Times.
STAT DU JOUR
Matt Hasselbeck has thrown a touchdown pass in nine consecutive playoff games, including a franchise-postseason record four against the Saints last week. With one against the Bears, Hasselbeck will become the seventh QB in league history to do it in 10 consecutive games.
YOU DON’T SAY
“He’s very good in his preparation. He’s very smart in his preparation. He knows what to look for as he’s getting ready for a game. If you do what he thinks you’re going to do, and he has any time in the pocket whatsoever, he’s going to slice and dice you. That’s well-known throughout the league.” – former Seahawks QB and now ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer, on Hasselbeck