By John Boyle
The Seahawks welcomed one middle linebacker back to the practice field Monday, but may have lost another one for the season. Bobby Wagner, who has been out since injuring his hamstring a week into camp, practiced for the first time since suffering that injury.
“He did fine, he made it through practice today, and that’s a really good sign,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “Really judging how he feels tomorrow is probably most crucial. It’s been a long haul for him waiting it out… He’s ready to go, he looked very, very good today.”
There was bad news for the Seahawks at linebacker, however, with Carroll announcing that Heath Farwell likely needs groin surgery after suffering an injury in Friday’s game.
“Heath is going back east to get evaluated,” Carroll said. “He probably has to have surgery on his groin, so that’s a very, very difficult situation for him. He had extensive damage, so everything points to surgery. I think he’s traveling tomorrow to get out there for Thursday possibly.”
Farwell, a backup linebacker and Seattle’s special teams captain last year, was far from a lock to make the roster even if healthy because of the emergence of undrafted rookie Brock Coyle, but now with this injury it’s likely that Coyle has clinched a spot on the team, while Farwell will end up on injured reserve, quite possibly by Tuesday when the Seahawks have to cut their roster down to 75 players (they trimmed the roster from 90 to 82 before Monday’s practice).
Two other injuries that came out of the game were less serious, with tight end Cooper Helfet straining his knee and cornerback Jeremy Lane injuring his groin.
On Helfet, Carroll said the news was better than expected: “He’s still got a sore knee, he’s got a little strain. We’ll have to wait and see, we’re just going day-to-day with that.
On Lane, Carroll said: “He’s got a sore groin from the game. We don’t know how serious it is. We did check it out, it looks like it’s going to be OK, but he’s got to respond and come back. I don’t know, we’ll just check him again tomorrow.”
Linebacker Bruce Irvin, who is recovering from offseason hip surgery, still isn’t practicing, but is “doing great” according to Carroll and should get back on the practice field next week.
“He’s doing great,” Carroll said. “This week is a big week for him to get ready to practice next week. We plan on him practicing next week if all goes well, and we’ll see what that means once we get him out there. He’s working really hard at all of his change-of-direction stuff and full-speed running, all of that’s happening, but we’re going to wait and make sure every day goes well, and hopefully get him out there cranking next week.”
Also on the hopefully-back-next-week plan is rookie receiver Kevin Norwood, who had surgery earlier in camp to remove a bone spur from his foot.
“I don’t think he’ll make it this week to practice, but he is running and he’s on the field doing stuff, and next week would be his chance to get back,” Carroll said.
Continuing on Norwood, Carroll said, “We think we’ve seen a lot of him and we really can evaluate him already based on the work that he’s done.”
And while missing time for a rookie is hardly ideal, Carroll said, “Athletically he’s really talented, he can catch the football like crazy, he runs good routes, he’s strong, he’s very competitive at the point with the ball, we’ve seen all that stuff already, we already know that.”
On left tackle Russell Okung, who played in last week’s preseason game, but missed a few snaps before coming back, Carroll said, “Yeah, he’s OK. He’s just trying to handle the conditioning thing coming back and making sure that he was fresh, we don’t want to overload him. So he made it through, he got back and did fine.
“He works great in practice, he’s making progress, but it’s been a long haul, it’s been a long process… He’s a little farther behind (on conditioning), but we’re really pleased because we’ve a whole week to get him going and another week after that, so we have plenty of time
Also making his preseason debut Friday was center Max Unger, who “did great, probably played a little bit more than we thought he would and did a really good job,” according to Carroll.
DT Tony McDaniel didn’t practice Monday, but Carroll said it was just a rest day.