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Thursday in Hawkville: Getting an early start on early starts
WORD OF THE DAY: EARLY
Sunday’s game kicks off at 1 p.m. in Charlotte, which makes it a 10 a.m. start in Seattle. And the Seahawks had better get used to playing early – body time, at least – because they’re also scheduled for early kickoffs against the Texans in Houston (Week 4), Colts in Indianapolis (Week 5), Falcons in Atlanta (Week 10) and Giants in New Jersey (Week 15).
“I think it’s going to be a great thing for us, just because we’ve been practicing at 10 o’clock,” quarterback Russell Wilson said. “I think that is something that’s real.”
In their first three seasons under Carroll, the Seahawks have won in Chicago (three times) and also at the Giants in 10 a.m. starts. But they’ve also lost seven times – at St. Louis, Detroit and Miami last season; at Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Dallas in 2011; and at St. Louis in 2010.
But this team is better than those teams, and should be better prepared for the early starts.
“At the end of the day, though, if we’re ready mentally, it doesn’t really matter when we play or what time we play. We’ll be ready to play and make sure that we try to bring our ‘A’ game.”
INJURY REPORT: BRANDON BROWNER SITS OUT
The official report, as issued by the team:
|STAT DU JOUR: BEST, AND NOT-SO-BEST, ON OPENING DAY|
The Seahawks are 13-24 in previous season openers, but the Panthers are 6-12. Here’s a look at the four teams in the NFL with an opening-weekend winning percentage of less than .400 and the four who are .600-plus:
Did not practice
CB Brandon Browner (hamstring)
DE Chris Clemons (knee)
OT Michael Bowie (shoulder)
DT Jordan Hill (biceps)
Browner watched practice after being limited on Wednesday because of a sore hamstring. Carroll will provide a status update after practice on Friday. But Avril, Mebane and McDonald took part in all phases of practice after being limited on Wednesday.
For the Panthers:
Did not practice
RB Kenjon Barner (foot)
DT Dwan Edwards (thigh)
S Mike Mitchell (calf)
Limited in practice
LB Jon Beason (knee)
CB James Dockery (thumb)
WR Domenik Hixon (hamstring)
OG Amini Silatolu (hamstring)
Full participation in practice
TE Ben Hartsock (foot)
FB Mike Tolbert (hamstring)
PLAYER WATCH: WALTER THURMOND
At the start of training camp, the oft-injured, fourth-year cornerback was wondering what his role might be this season. All-Pro Richard Sherman and Browner were entrenched as the starters and Antoine Winfield, a three-time Pro Bowl corner while with the Minnesota Vikings, had been signed in free agency to fill the nickel back role.
|YOU DON'T SAY
“We came in the first day and (offensive line) coach (Tom) Cable put up all those preseason rankings and then took them down and tore them up and threw them in the trash.”
Sidney Rice on one way to handle the heightened expectations for this season
Then Winfield “ran up against Walter Thurmond,” as Carroll put it, and decided to retire after being released on the roster cut to 53 players. So Thurmond has won the nickel job. Thursday, he also was working on the right side with the No. 1 defense in Browner’s absence, with Byron Maxwell taking over in the nickel when Thurmond slid inside.
“Walter is probably one of our best corners, and I think he’s one of the best corners out there once he gets out there and shows what he can do,” Sherman said. “I think we’re very excited that he’s healthy and that he gets a chance to come out here and compete because he’s a great asset to our defense.”
PRACTICE-SQUAD SHUFFLE: JAMESON KONZ RETURNS
To clear a spot on the eight-man squad, rookie guard Ryan Seymour, a seventh-round draft choice this year, was released.
Konz is listed as a defensive end, but he also played some tight end in practice.
UP NEXT: NO REPEAT FRIDAY
The team will fly to Charlotte after its “No Repeat Friday” practice for Sunday’s opener.