A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 30:
Three blasts of the horn. That’s the daily signal that practice is over – three toots from the air horn manned by assistant equipment manager Kyle Stillwell.
Today, the horn blasted three times for the final time this season, as the Seahawks will play their finale on Sunday against the Cardinals in Arizona. It’s the first time in Pete Carroll’s two seasons as coach that he knew his players were practicing for the final time, because last year the Seahawks made the playoffs and got to the divisional round before losing to the Bears in Chicago.
“I did say something to them. I did applaud the fact that here we are (23 weeks) into it, or whatever it is, and they practiced like crazy today,” Carroll said. “And with great attitude and energy and all that. That’s a tribute to what’s going on in the locker room, because they brought it out on the practice field again.
“And that’s going to help us always be effective and do the best we can do.”
Still, there was an odd feeling in the locker room after the final practice.
“It’s a little weird,” center Max Unger said. “It was a pretty quick season, though. You think back and the season just went by real fast. We were just talking about it, and it feels like we’re packing our bags to go to Pittsburgh right now.”
That was for the Seahawks’ Week 2 game against the Steelers. Part of the reason the season seemed to go so quickly is that it took so long for this season to finally get here after the 136-day lockout that erased the spring minicamps and OTA sessions. So once training camp opened, it’s been a mad dash to the finish.
“It’s a little surreal,” Unger said. “But you don’t really think about it because you’re working away, then you pop your head out and it’s all over.”
Middle linebacker David Hawthorne, wide receiver Ben Obomanu, right tackle Breno Giacomini and defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove returned to practice today. Hawthorne and Obomanu sat out Wednesday and Thursday, while Giacomini and Hargrove did not practice Thursday.
“Guys that were banged up, it looks like they’re going to make it back,” Carroll said. “So we’ll go in pretty healthy.”
Giacomini and Hargrove are listed as questionable for Sunday’s game, and their final status is expected to be determined after they work out Sunday.
Here’s the official end-of-the-week status report:
OT Breno Giacomini (abdominal)
DT Anthony Hargrove (calf)
CB Kennard Cox (hamstring)
QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral)
DT Clinton McDonald (concussion)
LB Malcolm Smith (concussion)
MLB David Hawthorne (knee)
WR Ben Obomanu (knee)
S Jeron Johnson (illness)
For the Cardinals:
OT Brandon Keith (ankle)
S Rashad Johnson (knee)
QB Kevin Kolb (head)
RB LaRod Stephens-Howling (hamstring)
RB Beanie Wells (knee)
S Kerry Rhodes (ankle)
CB Patrick Peterson (Achilles)
CB Michael Adams (shoulder)
S Sean Considine (foot)
Kolb continues to experience concussion symptoms, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt told reporters after the team’s practice today. So it looks like John Skelton will start at quarterback on Sunday.
Four other starters also were limited in practice: leading rusher Beanie Wells, cornerback Patrick Peterson, free safety Kerry Rhodes and kickoff returner LaRod Stephens-Howling. Whisenhunt said Peterson’s status will be a game-day decision.
STAT DU JOUR
If you don’t know that Marshawn Lynch is the NFL’s leading rusher over the past eight games, you haven’t been paying attention. But it’s even more impressive when you look at the other backs who trail Lynch and his 855 yards during that stretch – and those who aren’t even in the running. Here’s the list:
Player, team Att. Yards Avg. TD
Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks 192 855 4.5 9
Reggie Bush, Dolphins 141 751 5.3 6
Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars 152 627 4.6 5
Arian Foster, Texans 143 692 4.8 6
Chris Johnson, Titans 140 684 4.9 3
One final walk-through on Saturday morning before the team flies to Phoenix for Sunday’s season finale.
The players will clean out their locker on Monday morning, prior to a final team meeting.
YOU DON’T SAY
“This is an important game for us and we’d really like to play well. We know (the Cardinals) are doing really well and they want it just as badly as we do. So it’s going to be interesting to see how it goes. We’re looking forward to it.” Carroll on teams that started 2-6 (the Seahawks) and 1-6 (the Cardinals) playing for the chance to finish 8-8