By Scott M. Johnson Herald Writer
RENTON — When he arrived at Seattle Seahawks camp, buried beneath a tall pile of veteran wide receivers, undrafted Washington State University product Michael Bumpus could have been suffocated by the lack of opportunity.
But the 22-year-old rookie never blinked. He had his sights set on playing as a rookie, and nothing was going to change that.
“Just the way I am, and the person that I am, that was my goal,” said Bumpus, who didn’t make the Seahawks’ final roster but is currently on their practice squad. “I knew the odds were against me, and some things had to happen, but … I just kept grinding.”
As the Seahawks prepare for the second game of the regular season, Bumpus’s opportunity may have arrived. The team’s top four receivers are out — starter Nate Burleson suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opener — and now Bumpus could play his way into the mix for a possible roster spot.
“I’ve been told that this week I’ll be evaluated in practices,” he said. “Hopefully, I instill enough confidence in the management that they’ll bump me up (to the active roster) on Sunday.”
While the Seahawks have four healthy receivers on their active roster, and three others working at the position — backup quarterback Seneca Wallace, hobbled veteran Deion Branch and practice squader Jordan Kent — Bumpus believes he may get a shot to be activated this week.
Two of the active receivers are new to the team and still learning the offense. So Bumpus’s knowledge of the offense might give the WSU rookie an advantage.
Offensive coordinator Gil Haskell said that Courtney Taylor, Logan Payne, Wallace and Bumpus are currently ahead of the curve.
“I know those four guys know what to do on every play and how to do it,” Haskell said. “Now the new kids, (Billy) McMullen and (Samie) Parker, they’re new. They know the system, but they don’t know it our way.
“Hopefully they can get it fast.”
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said he has been more “focused” this week while working with a young group of receivers, adding that even he has no idea who might see playing time Sunday against San Francisco.
“It was different yesterday than it was today,” he said after Thursday’s practice. “It might be different tomorrow than it was today. One thing you’ve seen is that it’s a competitive situation.
“If you have a good day, you’re probably running with the (No. 1 offense) the next day. If you don’t have a good day, you could be here or you could not be here. It’s very competitive and very cutthroat right now.”
Tru nicked up: Cornerback Marcus Trufant missed the final 45 minutes of Thursday’s practice after suffering an undisclosed hand injury.
Trufant’s official status for the game will be made available sometime today.
Forsett gone, Bernard in: Rookie running back Justin Forsett officially joined the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday after the Seahawks released him earlier this week.
Seattle had hoped to add Forsett to the practice squad, but the Colts trumped that by signing him to their 53-man roster.
Instead, the Seahawks signed Oregon State product Yvenson Bernard to the practice squad. Bernard practiced with the team Thursday and said afterward that he hopes to “open up some eyes out there.”
To make room for Bernard on the practice squad, rookie defensive tackle Kevin Brown was released.
Notes: Guard Rob Sims underwent successful surgery on Thursday morning, the team announced. … The only time the Seahawks lost a home opener at Qwest Field was in 2002, when the Arizona Cardinals beat them 24-13 in the first regular-season game ever played at the facility.