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Seahawks have eye on scoreboard

Sunday's 49ers-Rams game has implications for Seattle in NFC West

  • Wide receiver Mike Williams and the Seahawks play the Buccaneers on Sunday.

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Wide receiver Mike Williams and the Seahawks play the Buccaneers on Sunday.

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By John Boyle
Herald Writer
Published:
  • Wide receiver Mike Williams and the Seahawks play the Buccaneers on Sunday.

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Wide receiver Mike Williams and the Seahawks play the Buccaneers on Sunday.

RENTON — As the Seattle Seahawks spend the early part of Sunday preparing for their game in Tampa Bay, a game already underway could render the weekend moot for the Seahawks before they even kick off against the Buccaneers.
Should St. Louis beat San Francisco Sunday morning, the result of Seattle's game in Tampa will have absolutely no bearing on its chances of winning the NFC West. Win or lose this weekend, the Seahawks can win the division with a win the following week if the Rams take care of the 49ers this weekend.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll plans on keeping an eye on that game, but says it won't impact the way his team prepares for Tampa Bay.
“I'll keep track, I'll know what's going on,” he said. “... It won't change things. We'll be so far into it by that time, we'll be ready to step on the field and go play. That won't have any factor on it at all. Of course that has bearing for the next week but as far as what we're trying to get done this Sunday, it doesn't figure in.”
Carroll insists that, even if Sunday's game has no impact on Seattle's playoff chances, the team won't do anything differently. That includes not just treating the game as important, but also playing starters as if the game meant everything. So don't expect to see Carroll resting certain veterans Sunday even if the game doesn't have a direct impact on the team's playoff hopes. (And by the way, how strange is it that a 6-8 team could be pondering resting players to help its playoff aspirations?)
“It doesn't have anything to do with what we're doing, It really doesn't,” Carroll said. “And it shouldn't. ... We're going to deal with the stuff that we do control. It's classic that everyone would think that's the issue, ‘Oh, now we're going to be all fired up or we're not.' That's not what's going to take place. If it does, then we're not where we're supposed to be yet.”
If the Rams do beat San Francisco and the Seahawks inevitably catch wind of that beneficial result, part of the challenge for the coaching staff will be to keep that news from affecting the team.
“We have to be over and above that stuff and we have to stay with what's at hand,” Carroll said. “That's really the great challenge, I think, as we continue to learn how to compete on a regular basis and play like we're capable regardless of the circumstances. This is a real discipline and I welcome that factor. We need to learn how to let stuff like that sit where it sits and do what we need to do. It's one of our focuses. It's one of the great challenges of becoming a champion and staying a champion, you have to learn how to do that.”
And while the Seahawks can possibly make the playoffs even with a loss this weekend, their opponent could just as easily win its last two games, finish 10-6, and still miss the playoffs. Yet despite the fact that his team could watch the postseason from home while a team with a losing record hosts a playoff game, Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris has no qualms with the NFL's playoff structure.
“You win your division, you go to the playoffs, period, in my opinion,” Morris said on a conference call. “... You get what you deserve in this league and we weren't fortunate enough to win our division and somebody in the NFC West did, no matter what their record was, they deserve to go to the playoffs.”
Injury updates
Cornerback Marcus Trufant (back) didn't practice Wednesday, but is expected to play Sunday.
“He feels really good,” Carroll said. “We're going to keep him quiet today, but he thinks that there is no problem playing.”
The news on defensive end Junior Siavii (neck stinger) was less encouraging.
“This is a really sensitive issue here,” Carroll said. “We've got to make sure we take great care of him. He's not well right now, he's still coming back. So he won't do anything this week at all.”
Siavii, who started at defensive tackle while Colin Cole was out with an ankle injury, made his first start at defensive end Sunday, splitting reps with Kentwan Balmer.
Linebacker Will Herring also sat out Wednesday's practice with a hamstring injury. LB Lofa Tatupu (knee), DE Chris Clemons (ankle) and C Chris Spencer (shoulder) all sat out as well with old injuries, but all should return to practice later in the week.
Hamilton waived from IR
Ben Hamilton, who started six of the first seven games at left guard this season, was waived from the injured reserve list Wednesday. Hamilton left the Oct. 31 game with a serious concussion and was placed on injured reserve, ending his season.
Practice squad changes
The Seahawks added rookie linebackers Michael Johnson and Vuna Tuihalamaka to their practice squad and placed defensive end Derek Walker on practice squad/injured reserve. Johnson, who was previously on Kansas City's practice squad, played at North Alabama, while Tuihalamaka played at Arizona. Both were undrafted.
Herald Writer John Boyle: jboyle@heraldnet.com. For more Seahawks coverage, check out the Seahawks blog at heraldnet.com/seahawksblog
Story tags » Seahawks

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