Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Dec. 1:
The big story, of course, is wide receiver Sidney Rice being placed on injured reserve yesterday after getting a second concussion in three weeks during Sunday’s game against the Redskins.
Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times says the concussions weren’t Rice’s only injury concerns: “Rice also came with health concerns, though. He played 16 games only once in his four seasons in Minnesota before signing with Seattle, and in 2010 he played six games as he recovered from hip surgery. Rice’s hip wasn’t a problem this season. His shoulder was in August, causing him to miss the first two games of the regular season. He was limited in practice last month by injuries to his foot and then his knee, and he left two of the past three games after suffering a concussion.”
John Boyle at the Everett Herald has coach Pete Carroll’s explanation for making the move with Rice at this time: “We have to give him time. He’s going to have to sit for a number of weeks before he’d be able to play anyway and so we just want to make sure we take care of him and don’t bring him back too soon and get him right. … We want to protect our guy.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we’ve got Carroll’s take on Rice’s reaction to the news: “It was a tough decision for him to have to take because he’s such a competitor. But he took it in stride, because he knows we’re doing the best thing for him. He just doesn’t want to hear. I told him yesterday, ‘Sometimes somebody has to step in and tell you what you would never decide.’ We had to do that for him. As a competitor, there’s no way he would step out right now. We love that about him.”
Mike Sando at ESPN.com also has his take on the Rice decision, including the fact that the Seahawks have receivers to handle the loss, if those receivers step up: “The Seahawks never had to worry about losing a receiver as talented as Rice in recent seasons. That is because they did not have any receivers as talented as Rice. How bad was their receiver situation in the past? They remain better at the position now, even without Rice. Rookie Doug Baldwin has taken some big hits, however. Can he hold up? Ben Obomanu has suffered from drops in recent weeks. Mike Williams has struggled. So, even though the depth is better than it was, questions remain. The group needs to improve.”
But there’s also tonight’s game against the Eagles at CenturyLink Field.
O’Neil says the only similarity between the Seahawks and Eagles is their 4-7 records: “The records are identical. The explanations are not. At 4-7, the Seahawks are rebuilding while the Philadelphia Eagles are reeling and those two story lines provide the most compelling tension for Thursday’s prime-time intersection.”
Eric Williams at the News Tribune combos the two topics, since the Eagles also will be without a couple of their top players. So not all the stars will be out tonight: “Philadelphia’s main attraction, quarterback Michael Vick, will not play tonight, missing his third consecutive game because of fractured ribs. Instead, understudy Vince Young will get the nod after throwing for 400 yards against New England in a 38-20 loss Sunday. The Eagles also will be without leading receiver Jeremy Maclin, who’s out with shoulder and hamstring injuries. Even electric running back LeSean McCoy and shutdown corner Nnamdi Asomugha are questionable with a toe and knee injuries, respectively, but both are expected to play.”
Boyle also has his “Game Day” look at tonight’s matchup, including a key number: “5. Fourth quarter leads blown by the Eagles this season, the biggest reason why a team many picked to go to the Super Bowl instead has a losing record.”
Sando has “Five Things to Watch” in tonight’s game, including this tasty tidbit: “Marshawn Lynch’s ongoing revival. Lynch has 443 yards rushing since Week 9, most in the league. He has topped 100 yards in three of the Seahawks’ past four games. Lynch appears to be running with more confidence now that his offensive line is opening holes more consistently. The Eagles’ past five opponents have averaged only 85.3 yards per game, down from 140.2 previously this season. Seattle needs a running threat to minimize the Eagles’ pass rush. The hard-running Lynch showcased nationally against New Orleans in the playoffs has marked his game recently as well. Lynch has 212 yards rushing after contact since Week 9, most in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That’s up from 127 yards after contact through Week 8.”
In “Wednesday in Hawkville,” we’ve also got a look at something that was overshadowed by the news on Rice – the fact that sore-shouldered QB Tarvaris Jackson threw, and threw well, for the fourth consecutive day: “In a condensed week when everyone was wondering if the Seahawks’ quarterback would be able to do anything, he did everything. ‘Tarvaris had his best day he’s had,’ Carroll said. ‘He’s turned a corner for us, it looks like, and that’s a great report for me to be able to give you because this was the first week that he participated in all of the action that we had. So that’s a good sign.’ ”