The Seahawks hope to have All-Pro middle linebacker Bobby Wagner for Sunday's game against Carolina, but his availability will likely be a game-day decision, head coach Pete Carroll said.
"We're going to go day-to-day," Carroll said of Wagner, who strained a pectoral muscle Seattle's Week 5 loss at Cincinnati, but was able to finish the game. "He feels a lot better than he did at game time when he was hurt. We're just going to see how it goes. It'll go all the way to the game, for sure. He's determined to play, he wants to play and thinks he can, but we won't know until we get to it."
Running back Marshawn Lynch, meanwhile, is expected to play Sunday after missing Seattle's last two games with a hamstring injury suffered in a Week 3 victory over Chicago. Lynch likely will be held out of Wednesday's practice, but that's common for the veteran back even when he is fully healthy.
"He should be ready to go," Carroll said. "We're going to do the week so that he'll practice full-go tomorrow and Friday. He went through the walk thru today and he's going to run today for conditioning purposes, but he looks great and he looks like he's ready to go."
Asked if Lynch could handle his usual workload right away, Carroll said. "That's what we anticipate. We've got to make it through the week."
Presuming Lynch is healthy, he would go back to his usual starting role, with Thomas Rawls going to a backup role. Rawls, however, will still be involved after rushing for 169 yards on 23 carries against the Bengals.
"Sure, heck yeah," Carroll said when asked if Lynch would return to the starting job. "I think he has earned that. But Thomas will be there for him when Marshawn needs a break. We're excited to see what Thomas can do too. He has really made a big statement about how he fits in with our style of play. We're thrilled about that, so we won't hesitate. There has always been a rotation there to some extent. We want to keep Marshawn as fresh as we can and keep him at a really high tempo, so we'll do that like we've done in the past, but Thomas will be the No. 2."
Carroll is expecting Kevin Pierre-Louis back after the linebacker missed the last two games with a hamstring injury.
"We anticipate that he will," Carroll said. "He'll go limited action today, then he'll have a full Thursday and Friday, and we expect him to play."
Pierre-Louis is a big contributor on special teams, so his return would be important regardless of other injuries, but it could be even more significant if Wagner isn't able to play. In the past when Wagner is unavailable, the Seahawks have usually turned to K.J. Wright to fill that spot, and Pierre-Louis is Wright's backup at weakside linebacker.
"He'll be ready to play," Carroll said of Wright playing middle linebacker. "We're going to see what happens, and we've got to see what happens with KPL and we've got to see how Brock (Coyle) makes it through the week, but it all really depends on what happens with Bobby."
Carroll said it still looks like defensive tackle Jordan Hill will be out a few weeks after injury a quadriceps muscle against the Bengals.
Cornerback Marcus Burley will be out again this week following surgery on a broken thumb last week, but he isn't expected to be sidelined for long.
"They think he can play after two weeks from the surgery, so that's a very positive response," Carroll said. "He'll be playing in a cast, but they fixed it in a way that it's really safe and secure to do that, so that's a really positive turnaround for that one."
Defensive end Demarcus Dobbs "has a chance" to return this week after missing the past two games with a shoulder injury, Carroll said.