By Chris Cluff
After all of the early-week handwringing about the lack of available wide receivers in Seattle, it turns out the Hawks will have one more than they initially bargained for as Doug Baldwin will play Sunday against Minnesota.
“Doug looks to be ready to go,” coach Pete Carroll told reporters, per The News Tribune. “He had a full week of practice. He surprised us. Coming out of Monday we weren’t sure, and he just practiced on Wednesday, got through it and had a good week. So we’re hoping he’s going to play.”
Baldwin missed the Detroit game last week with a high ankle sprain, an injury that typically shelves players for a month or longer. He said he could have played last week, but he also admitted “it wouldn’t have been pretty.”
“Before the game last week, I knew for a fact that I would be back this week,” he told the TNT.
“He made a miraculous recovery,” Carroll said, per Seahawks.com. “He had a high ankle sprain that showed up on the MRI and he made it back in a week’s time, which we can’t even explain it. But he pulled it off.”
Of course, it remains to be seen how well he can play. The Hawks will be without Ben Obomanu, who was placed on injured reserve with a broken wrist, and Braylon Edwards, whose swollen knee kept him out last week as well.
The Hawks promoted Jermaine Kearse from the practice squad, and he will fortify a unit that is led by Sidney Rice and Golden Tate and also includes seldom-used Charly Martin.
After a summer full of injury woes, Baldwin was just getting going when he was injured against San Francisco in Week 7. After just four catches in September, during which he missed the Green Bay game with a bad shoulder, he rallied for five catches for 111 yards and a touchdown in wins against Carolina and New England. But then he got hurt again, adding the ankle to a list of 2012 owies that includes a hamstring and broken teeth.
**It looks like the Hawks will go with the same starting five on the offensive line for the sixth straight game — which qualifies as a recent record for them. Right guard John Moffitt is listed as probable, and Carroll told reporters he would be used as a backup along the interior if he plays. For the past five weeks, the starting line has been (left to right): Russell Okung, James Carpenter, Max Unger, Paul McQuistan, Breno Giacomini. At some point, Moffitt figures to unseat McQuistan, who has been a bit of a weak link at right guard.
**Carroll apparently is still playing coy about whether the team will activate cornerback Walter Thurmond from the Physically Unable to Perform list. “Walter had a great week,” the typically upbeat coach told reporters. “And he’s had two great weeks. He’s been impressive out here. We wanted to see what today looked like in practice and all that, and we’re going to make our decision before game time.” The Seahawks could hold out one more week before they have to decide whether to activate him or keep him out for the season.
**Carroll lamented the missing inside pass rush of Jason Jones last week at Detroit, and it looks like the Hawks will not have Jones again as he rehabs a bum ankle.
**Defensive tackle Alan Branch is expected to play after missing practice Friday due to a death in the family.
**Even though Carpenter is questionable with a so-called illness, there is no word of any kind that he might not play.
OUT: WR Braylon Edwards (knee), DT Jason Jones (ankle).
QUESTIONABLE: CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring), DE Greg Scruggs (oblique), OG James Carpenter (illness).
PROBABLE: OG John Moffitt (knee), RB Marshawn Lynch (back), WR Doug Baldwin (ankle), DT Alan Branch (death in family).
PUP: CB Walter Thurmond (leg).
IR: DE Dexter Davis (hip), TE Cameron Morrah (toe), RB Vai Tuau (knee).
OUT: TE John Carlson (concussion).
QUESTIONABLE: S Mistral Raymond (ankle).
PROBABLE: RB Adrian Peterson (ankle), CB Antoine Winfield (knee), WR Percy Harvin (hamstring), DT Fred Evans (knee), DT Letroy Guion (ribs), LB Erin Henderson (elbow), P Chris Kluwe (left knee), QB Christian Ponder (knee).
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Chris Cluff worked as a sports editor and writer for The Seattle Times for 11 years and has written two books on the Seattle Seahawks. Since leaving the Times, he has written about the Seahawks and Seattle sports for Bleacher Report and the blog he shares with a fellow sportswriter, outsidethepressbox.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com.