RENTON — Marcus Trufant was happy just to be outside again.
The Seahawks cornerback, who has spent most of the past three months rehabbing a back injury, returned to practice Tuesday for the first time since summer minicamps.
“First day was good,” said Trufant, who has been on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list since the start of training camp. “I got to run around a little bit and kind of get my feet underneath me a little bit. But it just felt good being out here with the guys, being outside. I’ve been doing rehab for so long it seems like I haven’t seen the sun, or the rain, for a long time, so it’s good to be outside with the guys.”
And Trufant wasn’t the only Seahawk returning to practice after a long absence. Linebacker Leroy Hill, who suffered a groin injury in the season opener, practiced Tuesday for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair the damage. Hill wasn’t always confident he’d be back so soon.
“When I first got surgery, with how I felt after the surgery, I was like, ‘Man, it’s over for me,’” he said. “Just because the pain, it was so much pain. It’s the worst injury I’ve ever had.”
But after taking part in practice, including taking reps with the first-team defense, Hill said, “I feel perfect. I feel completely perfect.”
The hope is that both will return for the Seahawks’ next game, which is Nov. 1 at Dallas. Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said both should be ready to come back from a mental standpoint, it’s just a matter of getting ready physically.
Hill has the advantage of going through training camp and the preseason before his injury, and both will be aided by the fact that the Seahawks will focus on the base fundamentals of their defense during the bye week practices rather than game-planning for an opponent.
“Tru’s a smart man,” Bradley said. “It won’t take very long for him to pick up on the scheme things at the corner spot. It’s just more of a mentality of feeling comfortable with what he can do. … He should pick up on it pretty quick, it’s just the movement.”
By starting the season on the PUP list, Trufant was not eligible to practice with the team or play in the first six games. Tuesday was the first day he could practice, and the Seahawk have until the 10th game to decide whether to activate him or place him on injured reserve. All signs right now, however, point to Trufant being activated.
“I want to play right now,” he said. “I wish we had a game this week. But it’s one of those things, I’m working hard and I hope that I can play in Dallas, but we’re going to kind of see how things go.”
The return of two veterans will be a big boost to a defense that just lost its leader, middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu, who tore a pectoral muscle in Sunday’s loss to Arizona. There was no new news on Tatupu Tuesday, but even if he doesn’t need season-ending surgery as the team hopes, he likely will be out for part of the season.
“All of those things are great signs,” safety Deon Grant said of Hill and Trufant coming back. “That’s what we need, especially losing a guy like Lofa.”
Guard Rob Sims, who has an ankle injury and is expected back for the Dallas game, was on the sideline Tuesday, but didn’t participate in practice.
Running back Edgerrin James also missed practice, though his absence was excused for personal reasons. James, a single parent, told the Associated Press last week he planned to head back to Florida this week to see his children.
The team practices again this morning then is off until Monday.
Seahawks cut LT Williams
Kyle Williams, who started at left tackle in Sunday’s loss to Arizona, has been waived by the Seahawks. Williams, a third-year player who was undrafted out of USC, has gone back and forth between Seattle’s active roster and practice squad, and also started two games last season when Walter Jones’ season was cut short by a knee injury.
The Seahawks have Damion McIntosh, a veteran tackle they signed last week, and could also get Sean Locklear back from an ankle injury after the bye, though his status is still unknown, as is the status of Jones.
Herald Writer John Boyle: email@example.com. For more Seahawks coverage, check out the Seahawks blog at heraldnet.com/seahawksblog