By Chris Cluff
The Seahawks will be down yet another cornerback this week and also have lost another receiver, but there isn’t a lot of reason to be concerned because the Hawks have more cornerbacks and the receiver is not Sidney Rice.
Walter Thurmond, who started at corner for the suspended Brandon Browner and injured Marcus Trufant last week, is back on the sideline for the game against the Bills in Toronto after pulling a hamstring this week.
It’s the latest setback for Thurmond, who suffered a torn ACL his senior year at Oregon, slipped to the fourth round of the 2010 draft and then suffered a broken leg last season. He had just returned to the field after the long rehabilitation process from the break.
Thurmond will be replaced by Byron Maxwell, another recent draft pick (sixth round in 2011) who has had his own trouble with hamstrings and other ailments. Rookie Jeremy Lane also figures to play a lot.
“Those guys did well last week and got extensive play,” coach Pete Carroll told reporters Friday, per The News Tribune.
The Hawks also suddenly placed receiver Charly Martin on injured reserve with a calf injury. But the good news is that Rice will play despite a foot injury.
Rice was in a walking boot Wednesday and missed practice Thursday, too. But he was running full speed Friday.
“He’s got a sore foot, but he’s fine,” Carroll said. “I don’t think there’s any issue with that at all.”
The Hawks have now lost two receivers in the last two weeks; they released Braylon Edwards last week. They are pretty thin at receiver after Rice, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin. Jermaine Kearse is the only other wideout on the active roster, but the Hawks have three on the practice squad. And Baldwin tweeted a cryptic message about a Deon Butler “sighting” that might mean the former Seahawk is on his way back.
Meanwhile, linebacker Leroy Hill will return to his starting spot after sitting the past two games with a sprained ankle. But, as expected, Malcolm Smith will play plenty.
“He has extraordinary speed, and it shows up on the field,” the coach said of Smith, who started the past two games in Hill’s spot. “Malcolm has played very well the past two weeks. … He’ll play a lot in this game.”
OUT: CB Marcus Trufant (hamstring), CB Walter Thurmond (hamstring).
PROBABLE: DE Red Bryant (foot), SS Kam Chancellor (groin), RB Marshawn Lynch (back), WR Sidney Rice (foot).
IR: DE Dexter Davis (hip), TE Cameron Morrah (toe), WR Ben Obomanu (wrist), WR Charly Martin (calf) .
OUT: C Eric Wood (knee), RB Fred Jackson (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Marcell Dareus (shoulder), CB Justin Rogers (foot), CB Leodis McKelvin (groin), S Jairus Byrd (shin), WR Donald Jones (calf), DE Mark Anderson (knee) , OG Andy Levitre (knee), DT Spencer Johnson (knee) , LB Nick Barnett (knee).
PROBABLE: DE Mario Williams (wrist), S Da’Norris Searcy (hand), LB Chris White (thumb), OG Kraig Urbik (knee), RB C.J. Spiller (shoulder), TE Lee Smith (knee), TE Scott Chandler (groin) , CB Aaron Williams (knee), DT Kyle Williams (ankle), CB Ron Brooks (hip).
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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.