The Seahawks returned to work following their bye week on Monday, and while the big story of the day was the return of Russell Wilson—you can read more about that here—there was plenty of other news to come out of Pete Carroll's press conference, including more potentially good news on the injury front.
More on that, plus other takeaways from Carroll's Monday presser:
1. Chris Carson should return to practice Wednesday.
While Wilson and two other Seahawks on injured reserve—receiver Dee Eskridge and cornerback Nigel Warrior—returned to practice on Monday, running back Chris Carson did not. That was not, however, necessarily a sign of bad news for a player who was hoping to get back this week, as Carroll noted last week.
Carroll had said last week that Carson would have to go through more tests Monday to determine if he can get back this week, and while Carson, who has missed the past four games with a neck injury, wasn't on the field Monday, Carroll said the word from team doctors is that he should be able to go when the team returns to practice on Wednesday.
"What I was told today is that Wednesday he'll be on the field," Carroll said. "We'll see how that goes."
2. It's too soon to know if Dee Eskridge will play on Sunday.
Rookie receiver Dee Eskridge, Seattle's top pick in this year's draft, has been out since suffering a concussion in Week 1, but he was able to return to practice on Monday. While getting Eskridge back on the practice field is very good news, it's too early in the week to know if he'll be ready to play in this weekend's game after such a long layoff.
"I can't tell you that right now," Carroll said. "He looked good running around today, that's all I know. Let's see where he is tomorrow and the next day. These guys have been out a while; they they've been working out hard, but they deserve some chance to get reacclimated to football, and I can't tell you—particularly with the new guy, he has not played very much with us, so let's see. He always does things well though. He looks good. He's explosive and fast and catches the ball and quick and shifty and all of that, so let's see what happens. This was just a preliminary day's work, so I can't take much away from that yet."
3. Interest in Odell Beckham Jr.?
Odell Beckham Jr., a three-time Pro-Bowl receiver, was waived by the Browns on Monday, meaning the Seahawks and 30 other teams have the option to put in a claim on him ahead of Tuesday's deadline. If Beckham isn't claimed, he will become an unrestricted free agent.
Asked Monday if the Seahawks will put in a claim on Beckham, Carroll didn't say Seattle would, but he also didn't say it wouldn't happen.
"You'll have to wait and see how this all goes," Carroll said. "As you as you would think, we're aware of what's going on and we've been involved to understand it and competing to know what's happening. And we'll let you know how it all happens."
Asked a follow up about potentially targeting Beckham, Carroll said, "He's a really good football player, he's as talented as you could be in the years past. You're always looking for guys that can do special stuff. Forever, I've shared with you guys that we're looking for uniqueness and people that are different than other people and give you different dimensions to their play. So that's what we're trying to figure out and investigate and see if there's a chance and all that kind of stuff if it makes sense."
4. The Seahawks are preparing for Aaron Rodgers to play.
The Packers were without quarterback Aaron Rodgers for Sunday's loss to the Chiefs, the result of a positive COVID-19 test last week. Rodgers, who is unvaccinated, can't return to the team until Saturday at the earliest, but while his status is still up in the air at this point, the Seahawks are going into the week expecting to face the reigning league MVP.
"It is an interesting situation," Carroll said. "They have to see how they come out this week too, and we'll see what happens. We're going to prepare like we're going to see their best guys, and that's the way we'll go, and we'll expect that we'll see Aaron back out there. If that's not the case, then we'll have seen the game of (Packers backup quarterback Jordan) Love and we'll know more about what we need to do there, but we've got to prepare for their best guys. And the way it looks, protocols and format and all that, he should be back out there."
5. Third down was a focus during the bye.
Eight games into the season, the Seahawks rank second to last in third-down conversion rate at 31.3 percent, so it's hardly a surprise that getting better on third down was a focus as coaches spent the bye week looking to get better.
"We spent a lot of time on this," Carroll said. "We got some real good info and direction that we're heading, so hopefully it'll turn. It's amazing, in a game where you get 10 shots at third down, the difference between being the best and being down by the bottom of it is like two conversions a game. So we've got to pick up our wins. That comes from the quarterback of course—protection is a big deal—but we've got to find our guys who are going to make our plays in those situations. We need Tyler, we need DK, we need Gerald and those guys to really help us to convert; it's an all-on effort. We've got concepts we're going to look at during this week in particular as we get started, and some ways we play our guys and all of that. There's a lot going on. We have to get better here to improve as a team—we need to stay on the field, and that's the way to do it."
Photos from Seahawks practice on Monday, November 8 at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton.