RENTON — No one player can fix a floundering offense on his own, but the Seahawks still hope Sidney Rice can be a difference maker.
Rice, a former Pro Bowl receiver who signed a five-year deal with the Seahawks in the offseason, has missed his first two regular-season games with his new team because of a shoulder injury. He is listed as probable for Sunday’s home opener against Arizona, and all signs point to Rice playing after he participated in full practices all week.
Now the question is how much he can do for an offense that has been among the league’s worst through two games. The answer, the Seahawks hope, is that Rice can do a lot.
“He’s a big factor,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “This was a big move that we made to go get Sidney and we’ve had in mind that he’d be a huge factor for us and help other guys get open and help the running game and all of that because you’ve got to pay attention to him. He’s that good of a player. So as we work him back in, we’ll see the impact as we build with it, but it’s great to have him back.”
Rice’s return should be especially welcome for quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who was Rice’s teammate for four seasons in Minnesota.
“It’s been kind of tough,” Jackson said of playing without his top target. “We still have to execute and guys still have to step up, but it would have been great to have him the past two games being that I’m very familiar with him.”
Rice’s injury is one that likely won’t heal completely during the season — he has a labrum tear that could require offseason surgery — but he said he isn’t worried about how his shoulder will hold up to game action.
“No, I’m fine,” he said. “If there were any questions, I’m sure coach and those guys wouldn’t even have me out there. I feel comfortable, I’m ready to go. … I’m not worried about it. Whatever happens happens. I should be able to tolerate whatever it is and have no problem out there.”
Guard Robert Gallery (groin), fullback Michael Robinson (ankle) and CB Byron Maxwell (ankle) are all listed as out. Robinson could return next week, Carroll said, but Maxwell is further behind. Gallery, who underwent surgery earlier in the week, is expected to miss four to six weeks. Linebacker Malcolm Smith, a big special-teams contributor, is listed as probable with a hamstring injury.
Carroll rips report of rift
Pete Carroll walked off the practice field Friday with his arm around general manager John Schneider, then the two jokingly put their hands up as if they were about to fight. They were making light of a report on the website ProFootballWeekly.com, which stated that the two aren’t getting along and that there is tension in the relationship.
But while Carroll made light of the situation coming off the field, he clearly wasn’t happy with the report, issuing a strong denial at the start of his Friday meeting with the media.
“That’s extraordinarily irresponsible,” he said. “It’s inaccurate, it’s lazy, and I wouldn’t believe a word they said. That’s so far from true. John and I are as close as you can get. I’ve never been closer with anybody I’ve ever worked with and every decision we make, we make together. They don’t even understand, so whatever that was — I don’t know who those guys were or where they came from, but they were just dead wrong.
“It’s just weak that somebody would say stuff like that. They know nothing, they never talked to us, they’ve never seen us. They know nothing about what we’re all about.”
Herald Writer John Boyle: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more Seahawks coverage, check out the Seahawks blog at heraldnet.com/seahawksblog.