By John Boyle Herald Writer
RENTON — When the Seattle Seahawks return to practice Wednesday in preparation for Super Bowl XLVIII, they’ll do so with a pretty healthy roster.
Head coach Pete Carroll indicated Monday that his team sustained no serious injuries in Sunday’s 23-17 victory over San Francisco in the NFC championship game, and on top of that, Seattle will likely have Percy Harvin back as well.
Harvin, Seattle’s rarely-used receiver who missed all but one game during the regular season with a hip injury, then missed Sunday’s game with a concussion, will likely be back on the field Wednesday, Carroll said.
“I think he has a very good chance to practice based on how he was on the weekend,” Carroll said. “He was in pretty good shape on the weekend. He still has to go through a couple of clearances and all that, but we’re kind of counting him to be ready, I think he should be.
Carroll did, however, concede, “What do I know? I’ve got to check with the doctors, but that’s kind of what I’m hoping.”
Even if Harvin isn’t cleared for Wednesday’s practice, there’s little doubt he would be back the following week as Seattle prepares for its Feb. 2 showdown with the Denver Broncos.
Receiver Doug Baldwin, who suffered what Carroll called a “hip-pointer thing” that briefly took him out of Sunday’s game, will be limited this week, Carroll said, but will “be OK for the game.” Linebacker K.J. Wright, who played for the first time in six weeks since fracturing a foot, has a bit of soreness, Carroll said, but should be OK. Carroll added that defensive tackle Brandon Mebane had a sore ankle and foot that could limit him this week, and that after a physical game, running back Marshawn Lynch would likely get some rest.
Speaking of Wright, his return now gives the Seahawks something of a good problem, trying to figure out how to divide playing time at three spots between four players. Wright was eased back into the game, paying 16 of 55 defensive snaps, and he actually took time away not from Malcolm Smith, who took over for Wright at weakside linebacker following the injury, but for strongside linebacker Bruce Irvin.
Asked what the plan will be going forward, Carroll said, “I don’t know. We’ll figure it out. (Wright) played a lot, played well. I don’t know that answer, and we don’t need to know that yet, but what a great asset for us now. … We’re thrilled to have him back.”
Cornerback Jeremy Lane, a standout on special teams, especially as a gunner on punt coverage, ran into a new obstacle Sunday, literally.
While covering one punt in the first half, Lane ran into, or was hit by — replays don’t make it clear who initiated contact — an unidentified person on San Francisco’s sideline.
Carroll said he is looking forward to hearing back from the league about that play.
“I was really disappointed that it didn’t get called, because there is an official that’s on that, and (Lane) was obstructed out of bounds,” Carroll said. “By intent? I don’t know, I can’t tell that, who knows? But it did happen, and to tell you the truth, I’m not sure the rule, but I think the rule is that’s part of the bench, that’s part of their team, and they’re not allowed to do that, they have to make way. We saw it during the game, so I made a big deal about to the officials so it wouldn’t happen again. It just surprised me, because there is an (official) who’s tracking the gunner. We’ll find out the ruling, I don’t really know what that is.”
Herald Writer John Boyle: firstname.lastname@example.org.