Pro bowl safety Earl Thomas III is having such a phenomenal season, his absence at Friday practice was curious and cause for concern.  Have no fear, Earl will play Sunday when the Seahawks host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Coach Pete Carroll told reporters Thomas is sick, so they sent him home to get well for the first of 5 home games left on Seattle’s schedule.

Running back Marshawn Lynch returned to practice after resting a sore knee for a couple days.  Carroll promised a heavy dose of number 24 against the Bucs.

“He’s going to get more involved than last week, I can say that,” said Carroll.  “We have to play better so he gets more opportunities.  There’s no place to point that he didn’t get enough of his plays called.  We only had 40 plays, and that’s where you get messed up.”

Establishing the run game against Tampa Bay’s tough defense will be challenging.  Anchored by 6′-4″, 300 lb Gerald McCoy, the Buccaneers are holding opponents under 95 yards per game on the ground.

While Seattle has lost receiver Sidney Rice with a season ending torn acl, and Percy Harvin is still not in game shape after hip surgery, there was some encouraging news on the team’s injury front.  Carroll says both starting offensive tackles could be on the practice field next Wednesday.

“We’re real encouraged with Russell Okung’s recovery.  Every day he’s worked he’s showed he can handle the rehab,” said Carroll.

Okung tore big toe ligaments in the week 2 victory over San Francisco.  Right tackle Breno Giacomini had loose particles, and later some fluids drained from his knee.

Fullback Derrick Coleman and safety Jeron Johnson are both ruled out of Sunday’s game with hamstring injuries.

The Buccaneers are short-handed at running back with Doug Martin’s shoulder injury keeping him out another game. Jeff Demps is not available  due to a groin injury. Former Washington Husky and 49-ers safety Dashon Goldson has been dealing with a knee injury and is listed as questionable.

Bill Swartz, 1090TheFan

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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