--If you’re wondering about the battle for the third tight end spot now that Anthony McCoy is out for the season, well there may not be much of a battle. If Seattle keeps a third tight end, which is not a given, the thought was that Cooper Helfet, RaShaun Allen and Morrell Presley were battling for that spot. But when Carroll was asked about that competition, he spent 30 or so seconds raving about Helfet, who had a couple more nice catches in Sunday’s practice, and didn’t bother mentioning Allen or Presley.
“Cooper has just done a fantastic job, and he did it again today,” Carroll said. “He’s a great catcher, he’s an excellent, excellent catcher. He can catch the ball as well as anyone on the team. His blocking is improving, he played well on (special) teams also. He’s making a real strong bid. I’m really fired up for him. He’s been here a long time with us kind of in the background. He’s the strongest, fastest, smartest he’s been, and it shows up.
--RB Marshawn Lynch saw his workload increase significantly in Sunday’s practice and appeared to be moving like the Marshawn Lynch of old.
“He’s getting a lot closer,” Carroll said. “He had a very good practice today. We’re just trying to do it properly. I really like the way he got after it today. He got stuff in all phases of the practice… This is really the first week I think he has a chance to really compete and he brought a great attitude today.”
--Stephen Schilling, who has mostly been playing guard in camp, saw time with the No. 1 offense at center while Max Unger sits out with a groin injury.
“He shows the versatility,” Carroll said. “He does a nice job under center, we like him there. And he played pretty well at right guard too. That flexibility is real valuable to a guy trying to make the team. It’s helping his cause.”
--Asked his thoughts on the play in Thursday’s game of the two quarterbacks competing for the backup job, Tarvaris Jackson and Terrelle Pryor, Carroll said: “I thought Tarvaris did an excellent job in there. He was very comfortable in the pocket, he read really well, handled everything. He had a little bit better protection when he was in; he had more time to throw the football and he took advantage of it and did well.
“Terrelle I thought did a really good job under circumstances. He showed us a lot of stuff, he made some terrific throw in the pocket, he did a nice job getting out. He wasn’t as effective on the move as we hoped he would be with throwing the ball, getting the ball out. But he did a very good job the first time out, gave us a chance to win the game and unfortunately we didn’t get it done.”
And a few injury updates:
--CB A.J. Jefferson, who left Thursday’s game with an ankle injury suffered while making an interception, has what Carroll called “a substantial sprain. It’s going to be a while, a couple weeks anyway.”
--C Max Unger (groin) should be back to practice by Tuesday, Carroll said, while LT Russell Okung (foot) took part in team activities for the first time in camp, and G James Carpenter (calf) also saw an increased work load after being held out of Thursday’s game.
--LB Korey Toomer, who was one of the stars of offseason workouts but has been sidelined by a hamstring injury, is close to returning, Carroll said: “He’s run the last couple of days and he’s done pretty well. They’re getting him closer. I don’t know if it’s going to be this week or next week, but probably next week for sure he’ll be able to get something done if there’s no setbacks, and we’re hoping to get him some work this week.”
--LB Bruce Irvin, who like Toomer is currently on the physically unable to perform list, is recovering well from hip surgery.
“Bruce is doing great,” Carroll said. “There’s no signs of anything but forward progress with him. He’s running really hard now. It’s still one week at a time to make sure that there’s not setbacks, but his rehab has gone beautifully. We’re very encouraged that he’ll be back… He’s way ahead of schedule, so he’ll back soon. I don’t know when that’s going to be, we’ve got to make sure he’s OK.”
On two more injured linebackers—Malcolm Smith (ankle) and Bobby Wagner (hamstring)—Carroll said, “Malcolm’s getting closer. He’s closer than Bobby at this point.”
Asked if there was a danger of Wagner’s injury could linger into the regular season, Carroll said, “No, we don’t think so. We don’t think that at all.”
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