After multiple surgeries, months of rehabilitation for two serious injuries, and two weeks of practice, Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane finally will get his chance to return to game action this week.
While Lane, who suffered a broken arm and a torn ACL on an interception return in Super Bowl XLIX, has not yet been activated off physically unable to perform list, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made it clear Monday that Lane will be added to the 53-man roster before Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"Jeremy's coming back this week," Carroll said. "He'll be back up this week. We'll see how far he can take it. We're going to get him on the roster, we're excited to get him back. I told him that this afternoon, this is his week to go for it."
How exactly Lane fits back into the defense remains to be seen, Carroll said. After such a long layoff, Lane has "been a little sluggish at times" bouncing back from hard workouts the previous day, but Carroll has seen enough progress to feel confident in bringing back the player who was Seattle's nickel corner when healthy last season.
"We'll just determine it late in the week what that means, but he has practiced well and looked good out there," Carroll said. "… We're hoping he'll turn the corner, and we're going to go for it with him now."
While Lane has played mostly as a nickel corner in the past, he has played on the outside as well, and Carroll said Lane will compete for time at both spots.
So far this season, Cary Williams has been the starting right cornerback, but he was replaced late in Sunday's win over the 49ers by DeShawn Shead, and Carroll said the competition is on at that spot, and that Lane could factor into the mix there.
As for the play of Shead, who has now played significant snaps this season at right cornerback, left cornerback, nickel corner and strong safety, Carroll said, "He did all right, he played solid. They caught a couple balls on him. He's a real good football player. I always say that to you because he's such a good all-around player. He's a runner, a hitter, a playmaker—he knocked the ball out on the kickoff return—he's our best guy at forcing fumbles in practice. He's the most productive, consistent guy at that. If he's on the field more, he'll knock some more balls out, that's just how he plays, and sure enough, he had a great clean strip on the ball that rolled out of bounds on us. So we'll see how that goes."
Marshawn Lynch Update
As expected, running back Marshawn Lynch traveled to Philadelphia Monday to see a specialist who will evaluate his abdominal injury on Tuesday.
Carroll said he did not know yet if surgery is a possible option for Lynch while in Philadelphia, but he also couldn't rule it out, "I don't know that about the surgery. It could happen. I don't know that. That's a possibility, but he went back there for the evaluation to find out what's next, and there are a couple of choices possibly depending on what the doc feels is necessary, then we'll just wait and see what that all means."
Carroll did not express optimism when asked if there was a scenario in which Lynch could get a clean bill of health and play Sunday against the Steelers.
"I don't know about that now," Carroll said. "It's legitimately bothering him. He would have played yesterday if he could have, so I don't know that."
The early news is positive on center Patrick Lewis, who left Sunday's game with an ankle injury, though it's still too early to make a final determination on his status for this week.
"He seems to be OK," Carroll said. "He's got a chance to play this week. It seems like it's a minor ankle sprain. We'll have to wait and see though, we don't know that for sure yet."
Carroll said Doug Baldwin, his team's leading receiver, is "kind of in the same boat" as Lewis after also leaving with an ankle injury: "He's optimistic that he's going to be able to play. It's going to take us a couple of days before we even get him out there. Thursday, Friday, we'll see where he is."
On Bruce Irvin, who missed Sunday's game with a knee injury, Carroll said it would be "a pretty big recovery" for Irvin to get back this week.
"It would be pretty special if he could pull that off," Carroll said. "He feels good, but he hasn't pushed himself laterally yet, so we don't know that. That won't happen until Wednesday, Thursday either, so it's going to be late in the week for him. The other guys played and did a nice job. Frank (Clark) got a lot more plays this week and pressured well, Cassius (Marsh) was in there, so they both contributed and got near the quarterback and did some good stuff, so it was a good game for those guys to be a part of and kind of take a little more responsibility."
Receiver Paul Richardson, who also missed Sunday's game, could need another week to recover from the hamstring injury sustained in his first game back off the PUP list.
"He's got to get out there and run fast and see how it feels," Carroll said. "He's got good strength and good flexibility and stuff. He's done everything the trainers have asked of him so far, but we just have to wait and see. The hamstring thing is almost always 10-14 days, so it will take all the way until the end of the week with him too. And we're going to err on the side of getting him back, we're going to wait if we have to, but we'd love to get him to play."