By Chris Cluff
As Seattle Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant comes off perhaps his best game of the season, it will be interesting to see how the Seahawks fit CB Walter Thurmond into the secondary.
The Seahawks released little-used wide receiver Charly Martin on Tuesday, seemingly making room for Thurmond to come off the Physically Unable to Perform list, where he has been all season as he comes back from a broken leg. They have to activate him by no later than next Monday or else put him on season-ending injured reserve.
Trufant is coming off a game in which he forced and recovered a fumble that helped Seattle score its first touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings. If Thurmond is activated, the Hawks will have 11 defensive backs again. They had that many before last week, when they let Danny Gorrer go.
The Seahawks have started to use more of the Bandit package they had utilized so much in Pete Carroll’s first two years, so Carroll and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley likely will find ways to fit Thurmond in. They have been using Jeron Johnson as the main dime back and have used him as the Bandit, too. Thurmond could step into his role.
WIDEOUTS AND INS
The Hawks dropped to five receivers with the release of Martin. He had not played much anyway, and Carroll told reporters this week that Braylon Edwards will return from the knee problem that sidelined him the past two games.
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell called one of his better games of the season Sunday, making sure to get the ball to Sidney Rice and Golden Tate in various ways. Russell Wilson found them for three touchdowns, and it is clear the Hawks intend to get both involved as much as they can.
With Ben Obomanu on IR and Martin gone, the Hawks are certainly thinner at the position, with Rice, Tate, Doug Baldwin, Edwards and Jermaine Kearse.
Carroll told reporters that linebacker K.J. Wright and left guard James Carpenter are undergoing tests for concussions. Carpenter was a surprise scratch Sunday and Wright apparently was hurt on the first play against the Vikings.
“We’ve got to give them a couple days here to figure it out,” Carroll told reporters, per The News Tribune. “The process is already under way — the testing and the stuff that’s going on. And we’ll know more by Wednesday.”
The Seahawks didn’t seem to miss Carpenter. John Moffitt returned from a four-week absence and played every snap at left guard in Carpenter’s place as the Hawks ran for a season-high 195 yards on 45 carries.
After five weeks of using the same lineup — Russell Okung, Carpenter, Max Unger, Paul McQuistan, Breno Giacomini — the Hawks put out their fifth different combination of the season. Also, Unger was lost for a couple of series with dislocated fingers, and Lemuel Jeanpierre came in and played well, too.
It was an excellent performance up front.
WILL WRIGHT END THE STREAK?
The defense has started all 11 first-team players in every game this season, despite a couple of iffy injury situations, so the question is: Will Wright become the first starter to miss a game? After leaving the Vikings game with an injury, his absence probably was part of the reason Adrian Peterson ran all over the Hawks’ defense. His replacement Mike Morgan was out of position and in chase mode more than once.
Wright has not been the major playmaker he seemed on the verge of becoming in the preseason, but he still leads the team in tackles despite missing almost all of the Minnesota game. His 65 stops are one more than Kam Chancellor, who continues to play almost every snap in almost every game. Chancellor reportedly suffered a bruised thigh, but since he played every snap against the Vikings and should be good to go next Sunday against the Jets.
But will Wright be?
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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.