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Thursday in Hawkville: A “homecoming” game in Houston

Posted Sep 26, 2013

The Seahawks’ game against the Texans in Houston on Sunday will be a homecoming of sorts for eight players who are from Texas, and realize just how important the sport is in their home state.

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Sept. 26, when the Seahawks continued to prepare for Sunday’s game against the Texans in Houston:

WORD OF THE DAY: EYES

As in, the eyes of Texas will be upon eight homegrown Seahawks in Sunday’s game against the Texans at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.

It’s the only time this season, and just the second time since 2010, that the Seahawks will play in Texas. So the game is a homecoming of sorts for All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas (Orange), defensive linemen Red Bryant (Jasper) and Michael Bennett (Alief), cornerback Jeremy Lane (Tyler), linebacker Mike Morgan (Dallas), running back Christine Michael (Beaumont), wide receiver Stephen Williams (Houston) and long snapper Clint Gresham (Corpus Christi).

Bennett has purchased 30 tickets for family and friends, while Thomas has turned the ticket duties over to someone else. “I’ve got a lot of family and friends coming, but I told them don’t call my phone this week,” he said with a smile. “I don’t need any distractions.”

In case you haven’t noticed, football is kind of a big deal in the Lone Star state.

“High school football in Texas is huge. It’s almost like college,” said Morgan, who was Prep All-American at Skyline High in Dallas before going to USC and signing with the Seahawks as a rookie free agent in 2011.

“Some of the smaller towns, they shut down the whole town and everybody goes to the game. I don’t know if you ever saw “Friday Night Lights,” but it’s like that. They love their football down there in Texas.”

There won’t be a lot of free time for the players on what is a business trip, even if their chosen profession is playing football. Morgan will have at least 20 family members and friends in town for the game.

“It will be good to see them,” he said. “But it’s definitely a business trip. My main focus is to go out there make sure we win the game. Family comes after that.”

INJURY REPORT: FOUR STARTERS RETURN TO PRACTICE

The official report, as issued by the team:

STAT DU JOUR: SEPTEMBERS TO REMEMBER

Sunday’s game matches two of the best September teams in the NFL. The Seahawks have the third-best record in the opening month of the NFL season since 2003; while the Texans have the best September record in the league since 2010, and the Seahawks are one of six teams tied for fifth. Here’s a look at the leaders in each category:

Best September records from 2003-present
Team Record Pct.
Colts 25-10 .714
Patriots 24-10 .706
Seahawks 24-11 .686
Cowboys 23-11 .676
Broncos 25-12 .676

Best September records from 2010-present
Team Record Pct.
Texans 10-3 .769
Bears 9-3 .750
Ravens 9-4 .692
Patriots 9-4 .692
Seahawks 8-5 .615

Did not practice
OT Breno Giacomini (knee)
SS Jeron Johnson (hamstring)
RB Spencer Ware (ankle)

Limited in practice
DT Jordan Hill (biceps)
C Max Unger (arm)

Full participation
DL Michael Bennett (groin)
CB Brandon Browner (hamstring)
DE Red Bryant (back)
WR Jermaine Kearse (ankle)
RB Marshawn Lynch (not injury related)
LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring)
OG J.R. Sweezy (back)

The Seahawks’ injury situation improved dramatically, as Bennett, Bryant, Kearse and Lynch returned to practice after sitting out Wednesday, and Unger was back on a limited basis. Rookie Michael Bowie continued to work at right tackle for Giacomini.

For the Texans:          

Did not practice
LB Tim Dobbins (hamstring)
CN Kareem Jackson (illness)
CB Johnathan Joseph (toe)
LB Darryl Sharpton (hip, foot)

YOU DON'T SAY

“I don’t really leave my house. Football, football and the stadium, that’s about it. It’s between home and the stadium. Other than that, I don’t really do too much. It’s pretty difficult.”

Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, on life after success

Another

Limited in practice
OT Duane Brown (toe)
TE Owen Daniels (not injury related)
TE Garrett Graham (hip, groin)
WR Andre Johnson (shin)
FS Ed Reed (hip)
OG Wade Smith (knee)

Full participation
LB Brian Cushing (knee, ankle)
RB Arian Foster (thumb)
CB Brice McCain (knee)
C Chris Myers (back)
OT Derek Newton (knee, calf)
WR DeVier Posey (Achilles)
QB Matt Schaub (ankle)
RB Ben Tate (shoulder)

The Texans got Johnson and Smith back on a limited basis after their leading receiver and starting left guard did not practice Wednesday.

SHOW AND TELL: A WALLET WITH A WALLOP

As Russell Wilson stepped to the podium in the auditorium at VMAC for his weekly Q&A session, the second-year quarterback turned it into a show-and-tell session. Wilson couldn’t wait to share the wallet Allison had made him. She is one of the cancer patients he visits each week at Seattle Children’s Hospital on the players off day.

“So before we get started,” he said. “The best part of my week, I go to Children’s Hospital every Tuesday. This 11-year-old girl, she made me this Seattle Seahawks wallet. So it’s one of a kind. But the coolest part about it, it’s made out of duct tape.

“You guys have to check this out afterwards. It’s like perfect.”

Once he was done, Wilson was perfectly happy to pose for photos with his perfect wallet.

PRACTICE SQUAD SHUFFLE: WIDE RECEIVER ARCETO CLARK RE-SIGNED

day, another practice squad move. This time it’s wide receiver Arceto Clark being re-signed. The rookie from Mississippi State was originally signed on June 4 and with the team during training camp and the preseason, but released on the roster cut to 53 players on Aug. 31.

To clear a spot on the eight-man squad, defensive tackle Michael Brooks was released – for the fourth time since Aug. 31. He had been re-signed last Friday.

UP NEXT: ON TO HOUSTON

The team will fly to Houston on Friday afternoon, following a morning practice. The Saturday walkthrough will be held at a local high school.

On Sunday morning, Ed Werder will provide updates and insights on the game from Reliant Stadium during ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown.”

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