If Pete Carroll's reaction to seeing Chris Carson run at practice is any indication of the running back's status for next week, we should certainly expect to see him back at full strength.
"Man, I wish you guys could see Chris right now," Carroll said as he stared off toward the field at Carson before even taking any questions in his Friday press conference. "He's killing it!"
Carroll said that he expects Carson, center Ethan Pocic and cornerback Shaquill Griffin to play in Week 12's game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Carlos Hyde performed well in Carson's place on Thursday, contributing 79 of the Seahawks' 165 yards on the ground. It was the smashmouth brand of football that the Seahawks have been known for during the Carroll era.
"As far as [Carson], I think the most obvious illustration is look at what we looked like with Carlos [Hyde]. Look at him running and attacking the line of scrimmage, and hunting guys on the sidelines, catching the check downs and going to knock somebody out, chasing a guy out of bounds to try and run over somebody.
"[The] toughness that that shows and that impact is what Chris brings, Chris is that. During the night I was imagining if we had Carlos and Chris running, what that would be like in terms of the style of play."
On the other hand, tight end Greg Olsen could be out for at least the next month. Olsen suffered a torn plantar fascia on a non-contact play while running a route on Thursday night, and had to be helped off the field.
"I've heard it's a four-to-six week deal," Carroll said. "I don't know that, but that's what they threw around last night, that if he does have a ruptured thing on his foot, then it's a four-to-six week recovery. So we'll see what that means."
Meanwhile, Carroll says that he was impressed by rookie guard Damien Lewis' move to center this week. It wasn't planned, but with Pocic out and Kyle Fuller suffering from a high ankle sprain, Carroll says Lewis started taking reps at center this week and looked very comfortable. There were some shaky snaps Thursday, like one on the Seahawks' first drive that led to a sack, but it was otherwise a mostly clean game for the rookie from LSU.
"He was so comfortable with it on the practice field, breaking the huddle, making the calls," Carroll said. "I couldn't believe that he could do that in one day's time. He'd been snapping the football all year, last week was his first real go-around because of the necessity when we were banged up, and then this week he has to start.
"There was a number of things, but all in all he played a great football game under the circumstances, and it shows the versatility that he has and really the great mind he has as a ball player. He handled it … It does give us the flexibility to go down the road knowing that we've got a first-class guy to put in the spot, because he's physically capable of playing center."
On the defensive side of the ball, Carroll said that the team put together its "most complete" performance of the season, and it's hard to argue based on the way the unit played on Thursday. Arizona came into the game leading the league in rushing yards per game, but were held to just 57 yards in last night's game, and top wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was limited to just 51 yards receiving.
Carroll credits a productive accountability meeting this week as a big reason for the defense's improvement. The meeting was an opportunity for players to show what they know about playing their spots in Seattle's scheme, and Carroll says players responded in a big way.
"There's a lot of interaction, this isn't the first time the guys talked or anything, but this just was the best I've ever seen," Carroll said. "I've never seen a better meeting for guys holding themselves accountable, and really illustrating the command of what we're doing.
"It was just clear. I was glad that I was there to hear it to capture it, to make sure that they realized what had just happened. Because it was a big statement about everybody [knowing] exactly what they need to do, and also that they're willing to go do it and how they're going to do it. All of that is such important stuff."
With the Seahawks entering a favorable part of their schedule that includes games against the Eagles, Giants, Jets and Washington Football Team, Carroll hopes the defense can keep the momentum rolling as playoff time approaches.
"The guys have arrived," Carroll said. "I can't keep telling you, 'Okay, soon we're going to be feeling like we've played together, [or] we need some more time.' We've made it to that point, and now we really need to play good football. There's no reason why we shouldn't."
Other injury updates:
CB Quinton Dunbar (knee): "We hope another week will be enough to get him back," Carroll said. "He'll be week-to-week. He has to sit out this week coming up, then he could be one of the guys to come back off the three-week IR."
DE Darrell Taylor (non-football injury) and RB Rashaad Penny (ACL): "From the information I'm getting, we're pretty sure Darrell is coming back," Carroll said. "I'm not sure if Rashaad's going to get back this week coming up or the next week, but they're really close."
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