RENTON — A day after saying he was getting frustrated feeling as if he was “being held back a little bit” in his return from a knee injury, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin got the news he’d been waiting for — clearance from the team to return to play Sunday at Arizona.
“He had a great week,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said in announcing after Friday’s practice that Baldwin will play after missing the last two games with a sprained MCL suffered in the first half of the opener at Denver. “He looked terrific. He’s just raring to go just as much as anybody could, so we are excited to have him back out there. He’s a big part of our club and means a lot to us, so that will be great to see him out there.”
Carroll said he’ll still need to assess how Baldwin looks on gameday before determining how much he can play.
But Baldwin on Thursday declared himself “ready to go” and pick up where he left off before being injured in Denver, which snapped a streak of 89 straight games played, which had been the fourth-longest for any current NFL receiver.
Baldwin’s return helps gives the Seahawks a fairly healthy roster as they head to Arizona with just two players declared out — linebacker K.J. Wright and defensive end Rasheem Green.
The rest of the 53-man roster has at least a chance to play with Carrol saying two players listed as doubtful — offensive lineman Ethan Pocic and running back C.J. Prosise — had good days Friday and may be available.
Along with Baldwin, three other players were also listed as questionable — running back Chris Carson, defensive end Dion Jordan and safety Delano Hill.
But while Carroll said Carson would officially be a gametime decision with a hip issue from the Dallas game when he had a career-high 32 carries, all indications pointed to Carson playing.
“We’ve just got to make sure he’s okay,” Carroll said. “He just felt a little something so we just took it easy on him. He had a bunch of carries last week as we all know and warranted a little bit of a break. Just have to make sure he’s okay.”
Carson talked to reporters after practice and indicated he’s fine.
“I feel pretty good,” he said. “My body was sore, of course, but over time I felt pretty good.”
Wright will miss his fourth straight game after having arthroscopic surgery to repair a knee injury suffered in the third preseason game at Minnesota. Green, a third-round pick out of USC, is out with an ankle injury, apparently suffered last Sunday against Dallas.
“He has a legit ankle (injury),” Carroll said. “He’s bouncing around on it pretty good but he won’t make it (this week).”
The Seahawks earlier in the week promoted Branden Jackson to add depth at end with Green out. Mychal Kendricks will again start at weak-side linebacker in place of Wright — the Seahawks received word earlier in the week that Kendricks will be available for Sunday’s game, though the NFL is continuing to weigh whether he will be suspended after pleading guilty to a felony insider trading charge. Sunday’s game will be the third Kendricks will play for Seattle but the Seahawks are unsure if he will be available beyond this week.
Pocic sat out last week with an ankle injury and figures to again be replaced at left guard by J.R. Sweezy. Prosise missed last week’s game with an abdomen injury.
Prosise didn’t practice Friday but Carroll said Prosise does not appear to have a significant injury and may be available Sunday.
“He had an appointment for his (injury) and he came back in pretty good sted so he has a chance to play this weekend,” Carroll said.
Pocic was listed as a limited participant on Friday after being out earlier in the week and may be able to at least provide depth in an emergency on Sunday.
Carroll said Jordan will be a gametime decision.
If Carson has any issues playing then the Seahawks’ running back depth could be tested if Prosise were also to miss the game. Seattle has only two other tailbacks on the 53-man roster — Rashaad Penny and Mike Davis. Former Washington Husky Lavon Coleman is on the practice squad and could be called up by Saturday if the Seahawks need another player in the backfield. Fullback Tre Madden can also fill in at tailback if needed.
Jordan was also injured against Dallas and has not taken part in practice this week.
Quarterback Russell Wilson was listed on the report both Thursday and Friday as a full participant with a hamstring issue that arose in the Chicago game, but he will play.
And as for Earl Thomas — who a week ago sat out practice while later admitting he was protecting himself — he was listed as a full participant in practice Friday as he also had been on Thursday.
Carroll said Thomas had an “excellent” week of practice. “He really did,” Carroll said. “He looked great.” Thomas was given a rest day on Wednesday with Carroll indicating the team and Thomas have come up with a plan for how he will practice during the week. The Seahawks did not practice in helmets during the open portion of practice on Friday, unlike last week.
Arizona did not rule out any players nor do the Cardinals have any players listed as doubtful.