Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll gave us an injury update in his post-practice presser this afternoon and the most notable tidbit was that he boldly and strongly proclaimed that 2011 first-round pick James Carpenter will definitely play this year. "Carp is doing marvelously," Carroll said (video available here, and big ups to John Boyle for transcribing out Carroll's comments). "We were kind of concerned about him not making early progress in the recovery program, but he just kind of jumped about six weeks ago, and he's doing a very rigorous workout, long spells of work on the field.
"We're trying to simulate the time that he would practice, three days a week of hard practicing, then one more day of really hard work to see how he endures it, and he's handling it well. He's not far away from looking like he could practice and play for us, but it's still a crucial time here, we're going to have to make a big decision on how we do this. But he has busted his tail to get back, and we're really, really excited. He's definitely going to play this year. We didn't know that even in July. We weren't sure. But we know that now that he's going to play once he gets back and gets his weeks in to get back on the field. So it's really positive for us."
If Carpenter doesn't have to go on the PUP list, Carroll alluded to the idea of him playing in weeks four or five, and that's an exciting prospect. As we mentioned here earlier, Carroll and Seahawks' GM John Schneider announced that when Carp comes back he'd be seeing time at guard, a position that many believed he's better suited for after playing at left tackle for Alabama. I like to think that if the second-year player can get healthy and onto the field, he'd be a nice impact player on the interior line, both for the run game and in pass pro; as we've talked about here, for Russell Wilson to have success this season, interior line play is going to be pretty crucial. It will be something interesting to watch.
More injury notes after the jump...
Carroll also talked about Marshawn Lynch, noting that "He took a real good turn this week, and the rehab that he's been doing has really been effective, so we think he's going to be fine."
John Moffitt returned to practice today, and as Clare Farnsworth points out, will now have to earn his starting RG job back from the wunderkind, J.R. Sweezy, sort of. I guess. "We're just going one game at a time there, but J.R. has handled it very well," Carroll said. "John is just getting back into it, so we need to see what John's doing. So there's a lot to be evaluated there. But we're comfortable with the way Sweez is going right now. If that's the way it is, then he would be starting. Maybe."
I don't know what the hell that means, but I did mention it here before that I think that the right guard job is more or less open for the taking -- I don't think that Moffitt impressed enough last year to have a grapple hold on that thing, so it should prove to be an interesting battle between those two. If Sweezy emerges, Moffitt still has great value as a backup at all three interior spots, and is likely an upgrade over Lemuel Jeanpierre or Allen Barbre.
Jason Jones will sit tomorrow, and Carroll mentioned that "He'll be back for the opener. . . It's just been a maintenance thing, he's in good shape and he'll be ready for the opener."
Matt Flynn will play, and because of the reps he missed last week, Carroll mentioned that they'll look to play him 'a little longer' this week. Whatever that means. Doug Baldwin is still nursing that hamstring thing, but Carroll said "Doug ran really hard yesterday, I watched his workout at top speed. He's ready to go for us on Monday." I assume this means he's good to go for the season opener as well.