The good news for Seattle's offense, which struggled badly in a 17-10 loss to Arizona, is that left tackle Russell Okung should be back for a must-win game against the St. Louis Rams despite a sore toe. The news is also encouraging on receiver Jermaine Kearse, who injured his ankle. The bad news for Seattle is that receiver Percy Harvin sounds no closer to returning to action.
"We expect him to play," Carroll said of Okung. "It might be a little sore this week early, but he should play on Sunday."
Okung briefly left the game during Seattle's fourth-quarter touchdown drive but did return to action. This is the same toe that forced Okung to miss eight games earlier in the season, and Carroll said Okung will likely have to fight through soreness the rest of the season.
"We're kind of considering that it's just part of what he's dealing with right now."
On Harvin, the Seahawks aren't even taking the, "We'll see as the week goes on" approach like they have been since Harvin returned from hip surgery last month, with Carroll saying, "He won't practice this week."
Carroll said Harvin hasn't had any new procedures -- he had fluid drained from his hip after returning to practice midway through the season, then had a cortisone shot to relieve swelling in the week following his one game against Minnesota -- but rather is just rehabbing trying to get better.
Asked if he expects Harvin to play again this season, Carroll said. "We'll figure that out before long, I don't have much to tell you about that right now." And if you've been following this ongoing Harvin saga on a weekly basis, you know that's a bit less optimistic of an answer than Carroll has given to similar questions in the past.
As for Kearse, who has become a big contributor in the passing game this season, especially since Sidney Rice went down with a season-ending knee injury, Carroll said the receiver is making quicker progress than was expected a day earlier.
"He made good progress from the game to today; they thought he'd be a little bit worse today," Carroll said. "We'll go day-to-day as we get going here, but it looks like he has a chance to play."
Carroll said rookie Michael Bowie "did a really good job" filling in at right guard for J.R. Sweezy, who was out with a concussion. As for Sweezy, Carroll said, "We've got to wait and see as we get through the week here, but it looks like he should be (back), yes."
Who returns kicks?
Carroll wouldn't say who will handle kick return duties, though it sounds like there's a good chance receiver Doug Baldwin could take over a role he hadn't had since the 2011 preseason prior to returning two kicks Sunday.
Running back Robert Turbin had been handling kickoffs, but lost a fumble Sunday and was replaced by Baldwin, who had two solid returns in the fourth quarter, including a 37-yarder that helped set up Seattle's only touchdown.
"We'll have to wait and see," Carroll said. "Doug did a nice job though. He jumped in there and was really good. I think Doug's last return was a touchdown a couple of years ago in preseason, which he's reminded me of a lot. He looked good back there."
Asked if Baldwin was an option to keep returning kicks, Carroll said, "He's definitely an option."
Cornerback Walter Thurmond is eligible to return this week from his four-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Carroll said they'll wait to see how he'll fit back in after a month layoff, and noted that with the way Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane are playing, there's no need to rush Thurmond back into a big role if he's not ready.
Herald Writer John Boyle: email@example.com.
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