Back in Seattle after a "terrific football game" in New England, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll met with reporters to discuss his team's 31-24 victory over the Patriots, as well as the health of his team, which continues to improve.
As has been evident for a couple of weeks now, quarterback Russell Wilson continues to get healthier, and with his improved health comes more of the mobility that is such a big part of his game. Whether it was on the third-down conversion to Jimmy Graham on Seattle's touchdown drive at the end of the half, or the throw to Doug Baldwin that capped that drive, Wilson was making plays Sunday that he hasn't been able to for much of the season.
"I don't think there's any question that that was the best he has looked," Carroll said. "He showed the most quickness in transition to begin the movement—there was a time when he really couldn't get started fast, so he had to have space to move and get going, so you just didn't see him move at all; he wasn't even trying to. But now he was alive. He was alive in that game, he was all over the place, very effective, and found three or four plays that might not have happened otherwise that were really great. I think he's really close to being all the way back, but I think he'll get a little bit better too. I think he'll be a little more fluid and all of that. But it was great to see him play like that. He had good quickness, good burst, good change of direction, and just led us to some really exciting plays."
Wilson's continued improvement isn't the only thing that has Carroll fired up about the health of his roster heading into this week's game against Philadelphia. Running back Thomas Rawls, who has been out since Week 2 with a fibula injury, is on track to play against the Eagles after returning to practice last week.
"I'm really excited about this one, because Thomas is practicing to play this week," Carroll said. "That's where it is. We've come to that conclusion. He got himself ready to play this week mentally, and he's ready to go at it. We've got to get through the days and get through the work and all of that, but with some optimism here, at the end of the week he can come out playing. I'm really hoping it's going to come together."
On Rawls' conditioning, Carroll said, "He looked great this past week. But we'll be careful as we enter into it to make sure he's ready and can handle it. We'll know much more by Friday or Saturday."
Defensive end Michael Bennett, who is recovering from arthroscopic surgery, isn't expected back this week, but nothing beyond that has been ruled out.
"I'll see him tomorrow and I'll know more," Carroll said. "I think it would be miraculous to think he could do it this week, I don't that's really in the cards. But after this week is over, then there's some chances, maybe he'd be able to come back, I don't know.
Tackle Bradley Sowell and tight end Luke Willson, who have both been out with knee injuries, could have played Sunday, but the Seahawks felt the right thing to do was give them one more week to recover. Both should be able to make it back this week, Carroll said.
"They could have gone, they could have played in the game; we thought it was better to not," Carroll said. "Let's go another week. Both of those guys were pressing, but when it got right down to it, it was the right thing to not go. This week they'll both enter into the week really secure in the thought that they should be able to play this week, so we'll see how that fits together with the roster and all that."
And speaking of the roster, linebacker Mike Morgan, who has been on injured reserve after having sports hernia surgery earlier this season, is nearing a return. Morgan was designated as "returned to practice" on Monday's NFL transactions, and having been on IR for six weeks, he can now begin practicing and can return to game action in two more weeks.
"Mike has two weeks to get ready," Carroll said. "He's in great shape, I've seen him running, loved what he's doing on the field, so we'll just get him back into football shape with us, and in couple weeks we'll get him ready to go."
Carroll confirmed that linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis was the only player to come out of Sunday's game with a new injury having left the game with a hamstring injury, the severity of which is not yet known.
See some of the action from Sunday Night Football, Seahawks at Patriots during Week 10 at Gillette Stadium.