Carroll: Baldwin out with high ankle sprain; Thurmond, Moffitt set to return to padded practice

Head Coach Pete Carroll addressed the media this afternoon as part of his weekly Wednesday press conference ahead of this afternoon’s 1:30 p.m. practice and preparations for their Week 8 road contest with the Detroit Lions.

Carroll was quick to mention that Doug Baldwin, last year’s leading receiver, will not play Sunday in Detroit and is a couple weeks away with a high ankle sprain. With Baldwin out, third-year receivers Golden Tate and Charly Martin are expected to step in and work in the slot receiver role.

Carroll said defensive tackle Jason Jones will sit out practice today to rest a sore ankle, while linebacker Malcolm Smith has been cleared to return to practice today from a concussion.

The big news from Monday’s “bonus” practice session was the return of cornerback Walter Thurmond and guard John Moffitt. Thurmond returned for the first time since October 2011 after a long rehabilitation process from a broken leg and Moffitt saw his first action since tweaking his knee in late September. Both Thurmond and Moffitt will be back in pads today for the first time since their respective injuries.

Carroll said Moffitt’s status will be monitored day-to-day as he eases back into padded practices. Thurmond will remain on the PUP list for now and continue to practice with the team. On Thurmond, Carroll said, “We’ve always thought of Walter as a starting nickel player” and also suggested Thurmond as an option on the outside. Thurmond has a three-week window to practice (which started last week), during which time the team can add him to the 53-man roster at any time. They will have until Nov. 5 to activate him.

Carroll called Sunday’s game against the Lions a “big turnaround game” against a “very, very difficult team.” Carroll pointed to Detroit’s active defense – with their speed on the edges and aggressiveness up the middle – as an area where they excel, and emphasized the play of wide receiver Calvin Johnson – the Lions’ “Megatron” receiver – as a key player his defense must contain.

As far as who will cover the 6-5, 236-pound Johnson on the outside, Carroll said he is comfortable with either Brandon Browner or Richard Sherman handling that responsibility.

“They’re different in style,” Carroll said of the 6-4, 221-pound Browner and 6-3, 195-pound Sherman. “But both have been effective for us.”

Our Insiders Clare Farnsworth and Tony Ventrella will be back with more following today’s player availability and practice session. And in case you missed it, stay tuned to for Carroll’s full video press conference.

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