RENTON — Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond is back after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, and perhaps just as significant is the roster move Seattle didn’t make.
Earlier this week, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made comments indicating a move could involve injured wide receiver Percy Harvin, and with a spot needed to return Thurmond to the 53-man roster, there was speculation that Harvin could land on season-ending injured reserve. Instead, the Seahawks waived cornerback Perrish Cox, who has played sparingly in the past two games since signing with Seattle.
Of course, Harvin staying on the active roster guarantees nothing in terms of him playing again this season — he underwent hip surgery in the summer and has appeared in only one game this season — but at least the door is open to a possible postseason return.
And speaking of nothing being guaranteed, that’s also the case when it comes to Thurmond’s role on the team. Prior to serving his suspension, Thurmond was starting at right cornerback in place of the injured Brandon Browner (who has since has also been suspended for a substance-abuse violation). When the Seahawks were at full strength, Thurmond served as the team’s third corner in nickel packages. With he and Browner sidelined, both Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane have played well, and Carroll said he has not determined how Thurmond will be worked back into the rotation, but did confirm Maxwell will start Sunday against St. Louis.
“Byron has played great football for us, and I think he’s on the kind of rhythm that we want to take out there for a game like this,” Carroll said. “There’s no reason to put Walter in that situation after just one week of practice. But Walter’s ready to play. If he’s active, he’ll be out there helping us out, but it’s really a statement about what Byron Maxwell has done and the way he’s played, so we’re thrilled to put him out there again.”
As for Thurmond, he said he’s feeling good and is ready for game action after a month off. He noted he didn’t feel shunned by his teammates for his suspension, which reportedly was the result of a positive test for marijuana.
“I didn’t have to explain anything to anybody,” he said. “Everyone understood the situation. We’re all human, we all make mistakes. It’s a great group of guys in here. No one was judgmental about the situation; if anything more encouraging than anything, so that was great.
“Life’s about living and learning from your mistakes. If you’re not learning from your mistakes, you’re just going to keep making more mistakes. I’ve gone through a lot of stuff in my life, and I’ve lived and learned from those mistakes. It’s just another hiccup in the road and I’m moving forward from it.”
Jermaine Kearse didn’t practice all week because of an ankle injury, but Carroll said there’s a chance the wide receiver will play. Kearse is listed as questionable.
“He’s going to be a game-day decision, we’ll see how he goes,” Carroll said. “He’s going to run now after practice and we’ll see where he is.”
Everyone else on Seattle’s injury report — aside from linebacker K.J. Wright and Harvin, who were ruled out as expected — is listed as probable, including defensive end Red Bryant, who returned to practice Friday after sitting out the previous two days with a sore knee.
Baldwin to return kicks
Carroll confirmed wide receiver Doug Baldwin will return kickoffs this week after taking over that job late in last week’s game following a fumble by Robert Turbin.
“Doug’s going to get some turns back there, yeah,” Carroll said. “Hopefully not too many.”
Herald Writer John Boyle: firstname.lastname@example.org.