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Wednesday in Hawkville: Upon further review, Zach Miller will play against the Raiders

Posted Aug 28, 2013

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Aug. 28, when the Seahawks held a walkthrough in preparation for Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field.

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Aug. 28, when the Seahawks held a walkthrough in preparation for Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field:

WORD OF THE DAY: ZACH

As in Miller, again. As in the Seahawks’ starting tight end, again. But this time, also as in Miller will make his preseason debut in Thursday night’s finale against his former team.

“Zach” also was the word of the day last Tuesday, when Miller practiced for the first time this summer after sitting out with a foot injury. It’s even more newsworthy this time, because coach Pete Carroll has been saying that the target date for Miller’s return was the Sept. 8 regular-season opener against the Panthers in Carolina. In fact, Carroll said on Monday that Miller would not play against the Raiders.

But Carroll altered that plan when asked about Miller after today’s walkthrough.

“Zach’s going to play. He’s ready to go,” Carroll said. “It surprised us that he jumped back so well. We’ll get him a little bit of playing time. Just get him on the field. He really would like to do that to get a little action before we start the season. So we’re going to put him out there.”

YOU DON'T SAY

“Patriots 30, Seahawks 23.”

Peter King, predicting the outcome of Super Bowl XLVIII in this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated

It isn’t so much a change of heart for Carroll as it is Miller changing everyone’s mind with performance since returning to practice last week.

“He just looks so good,” Carroll said. “He’s ready. There’s no reason not to. He’s full-go. He’s practiced great and he’s really tuned into it, too, so it’s the right thing to do.”

Miller had back-to-back seasons with at least 60 receptions for the Raiders in 2009 and 2010 before signing with the Seahawks as an unrestricted free agent in 2011.

INJURY REPORT: BRANDON MEBANE WON’T PLAY, JAMES CARPENTER WILL

Nose tackle Brandon Mebane (groin), defensive tackles Tony McDaniel (groin) and Jordan Hill (biceps), fullback Michael Robinson (virus), wide receiver Sidney Rice (knee), defensive end Cliff Avril (hamstring) and defensive lineman Michael Bennett (toe) will not play against the Raiders, Carroll said.

But guard James Carpenter and wide receiver Bryan Walters and will play. Carpenter has not played in a game since Week 13 last season.

SCOUT AND ABOUT: DERRICK JENSEN VISITS PRACTICE

Jensen was a scout for the Seahawks for 22 years before being forced to retire because he has ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease). Prior to joining the Seahawks in 1991, he played seven seasons with the Raiders as a fullback and special teams standout. Jensen was accompanied by his son, Davis, and other family members.

“We’re looking forward to him playing,” Carroll said. “It’s necessary for him to get out there and play again. He was really making some progress, then he missed a couple weeks. So it will be great to have him out.”

Walters is expected to return kicks as well as play wide receiver. Walters returned a kickoff for a touchdown against the Seahawks while playing for the San Diego Chargers.

“We’re really excited to see Bryan Walters,” Carroll said.

With Mebane out, Clinton McDonald will start at nose tackle, while Derrick Coleman and Spencer Ware will continue to play fullback in Robinson’s absence.

EX-PLAYER WATCH: AARON CURRY

He was the fourth pick overall in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Seahawks, and regarded as the safest pick in that draft class. But Curry’s career is over. Suddenly. Sadly.

The linebacker tweeted today that he is retiring after being released by the New York Giants on Sunday: “After a lot of prayer. Consulting with God. The best thing for my family and myself is to retire from the @nfl. I enjoyed it #DeliveredDefender.”

Curry had 61 tackles as a rookie and 73 in 2010, but he became expendable after K.J. Wright was drafted in 2011 and the Seahawks traded Curry to the Raiders. He had a career-high 80 tackles for the Raiders that season, but was released last season and signed with the Giants during the offseason.

UP NEXT: RAIDERS, AGAIN

A familiar foe in the preseason finale, as the Seahawks will close the preseason against the Raiders for the eighth consecutive season. Only one of the games was played in Oakland, and it’s the only one the Seahawks have lost – 27-24 in 2010.

The players are off Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The roster must be cut to 53 players by Saturday, and the team can start compiling its eight-man practice squad on Sunday.

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