RENTON — Thursday night games are the scourge of NFL teams’ existence.
Ever since the NFL began holding a game on Thursdays in 2006, its arrival has been met with dread by the teams when their number is called. Players hate them because it gives them so little time to recover physically from the previous weekend’s exertions. Coaches dislike it because it takes them off their routine and gives them limited time to prepare for their opponent.
But if ever there was a time when the Thursday game was greeted with some level eagerness, this is the week for the Seattle Seahawks.
Seattle plays its Thursday night game this week when it hosts the Los Angeles Rams at CenturyLink Field, and the Seahawks are hoping the quick turnaround serves to bury the memories of Sunday’s 38-10 thrashing at the hands of the Green Bay Packers.
”We’re kind of happy to have it come,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. “Both teams are at the disadvantage of the short week, so we compete every step of the way to get on track as fast as we can to put together a great game plan. There’s no time. We don’t get to sit on what happened one way or another, win or lose, and we have to turn out. We’ve done that quite decisively, I hope, so we’ll see how we take to that.”
The Seahawks are coming off by far their worst defeat since Russell Wilson took over as starting quarterback at the beginning of the 2012 season. In Wilson’s previous 86 starts, encompassing both the regular season and the playoffs, Seattle’s worst loss was last season’s 27-17 defeat, which also happened to be against the Packers at Lambeau Field. The Seahawks turned the ball over six times Sunday, and Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers was able to pick the Seattle secondary apart as the Seahawks were unable to generate any kind of pass rush.
The net result was a game video that Carroll said the team won’t bother reviewing.
”We’re going on,” Carroll said when asked whether the team will go over the video of the Green Bay game. “We really don’t have time. We have to go.
“Everything has to be accelerated, we’ve got to crank it right up,” Carroll added. “There’s times when we would show highlights and stuff (prior to a Thursday game) when we can, but there’s not enough of them to worry about right now.”
While Carroll is eager to get on with things and get to the next game as quickly as possible, the players aren’t completely on board with the theory that the four-day turnaround is the best thing for the Seahawks.
“No,” was defensive end Cliff Avril’s reply when asked if he was happy to have a quick turnaround. “Physically it’s terrible. The league claims they care about player safety, but everybody has a Thursday game. But you have to prepare for it, and it is what it is. Get right, and we get a long weekend afterwards, so that’s I guess the positive in it.”
Avril, who at 30 is one of the older players on the team, went on to describe his typical week with regards to recovery. He said the worst soreness following a Sunday game doesn’t set in immediately, but instead hits somewhere from Monday night to Tuesday morning. He said it isn’t until Thursday that he starts feeling better — illustrating the challenge the players face getting ready for a Thursday game.
“You just have to put things in overdrive in terms of your recovery process,” Avril said. “I started recovering on the plane (Sunday) night, from icing your knee to whatever you have to do. Getting up early (Monday) morning and getting in the cold tub and getting massages before we even start meetings, different things like that. It’s all about accelerating the process so hopefully you can feel better in a day or two.”
So the Seahawks are accelerating their recovery process to get ready for Thursday’s game against the Rams. They’re hoping they can accelerate distancing themselves from Sunday’s loss to Green Bay, too.
The only Seahawks player to come away from Sunday’s game with a significant injury was back-up running back Troymaine Pope, who re-aggravated a sprained ankle that sidelined him for Seattle’s 14-5 loss at Tampa Bay two weeks ago. Carroll described the injury as “pretty severe.” … Carroll said linebacker Brock Coyle, who missed the previous three games because of a foot injury, has a chance to return this week. However, Carroll was less optimistic that defensive end Damontre Moore, who missed two of the previous three games because of a foot injury of his own, would be ready in time. Fullback Will Tukuafu, who also sat out Sunday, remains in the concussion protocol.
For more on the Seattle sports scene, check out Nick Patterson’s Seattle Sidelines blog at www.heraldnet.com/tag/seattle-sidelines, or follow him on Twitter at @NickHPatterson.