The Seahawks kicked off their practice week for their wild-card game against the Philadelphia Eagles, and joining the team on the field Wednesday was a key part of their defense who has been unavailable for the past two games.
Free safety Quandre Diggs' return to action doesn't guarantee he will play after missing the previous two games with a high-ankle sprain, but it's certainly a positive development for him and Seattle's defense.
"It feels good," Diggs said prior to practice. "I'm excited to get to practice with my guys again. You always miss these aspects of playing the game, practicing, you miss those things when they're taken away from you… I've got to get through the week, and we'll go from there. You never know what'll happen at practice, so I just want to try to put my best foot forward."
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll expressed optimism Monday that Diggs will indeed play this week, and that would be a big development for Seattle's defense considering how well he has played in his five games with Seattle since arriving in a trade with the Detroit Lions. In his four full games prior to the injury, Diggs was responsible for four takeaways—three interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown, and one forced fumble that he also recovered.
"You all saw it and felt it too, you asked us questions about, 'Hey, it looks like things are a little different when he's playing.' It is," Carroll said Monday. "His experience, his savvy, his confidence, it has an effect. So I'm thrilled to get him back out there if that's the case. We need him, we need everything we can get."
Left tackle Duane Brown is also hoping to return this week, but only two weeks removed from knee surgery, there is less optimism about his chances at a return than Diggs'.
"He's working at it," Carroll said. "He's trying to get back. He's going for it. We'll see what he can do. I don't know anything right now. There's nothing he's done on the field yet."
Among the other players the Seahawks are hoping to get back is receiver Malik Turner, who missed Sunday's game with a concussion.
"He's got some tests to do today to get cleared for tomorrow," Carroll said. "Everything is trending towards he's going to be back, but he's got a meeting here right now that he's got to perform in and show that he's OK."
Jadeveon Clowney is still dealing with the core injury that caused him to miss two games prior to returning last week, and Carroll said the defensive end will practice.
"He's practicing and going," Carroll said. "He's doing the best he can so he's ready to go again."
Carroll said Marshawn Lynch is healthy and ready to practice after seeing his first game action in 14 months.
"He's ready to go," Carroll said. "Ready to practice today, no hesitation."
Carroll also gave updates on three players on injured reserve, including the good news that running back Chris Carson won't need surgery for his fractured hip.
"As a matter of fact, I saw Chris yesterday and he was in very good spirits because of that (news that he won't need surgery)." Carroll said. "It's still quite an and extensive recovery, but he has no surgery and he doesn't have to undergo any of those issues. He was really thrilled about that. The recovery will be as quickly as possible. He was really of good attitude about it and all that. He's a great worker. We don't have any problem expecting him to come back."
Asked if Carson should be ready for training camp, Carroll said, "Absolutely, yeah."
As for Rashaad Penny, who had surgery for a torn ACL, Carroll said, "All the expectations are that he'll make it back. It was a legit surgery that's going to call for the full length of time, and it's a little bit less predictable with his recovery than it would be for Chris."
Guard Ethan Pocic, who was placed on injured reserve with a core injury, will need surgery, Carroll said: "He kind of developed over time a core injury that was just too much for him and he couldn't overcome it. We tried like crazy and he stuck it out as long as he could. He's going to have to get fixed up. He's played with it for a little bit of time and it popped up here and he couldn't do anything about it unfortunately.
Go behind the scenes with team photographer Rod Mar as he shares moments from the Seattle Seahawks' Week 17 game against the San Francisco 49ers. Eye on the Hawks is presented by Western Washington Toyota Dealers.