December arrives in Seattle with the threat of snow and freezing temperatures.  A red hot football game Monday night should warm things up at CenturyLink Field.  The 10-1 Seahawks against the 9-2 Saints.

While Seattle is coming off a well-deserved bye week, a few key players will be missing from action.  Walter Thurmond III begins a 4 game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.  Brandon Browner has a groin injury which could keep him out 4 to 6 weeks.  The Seahawks will also know by mid-week, according to coach Pete Carroll, whether Browner has won his appeal of a possible one year suspension for breaking terms of the substance abuse program.

Receiver Percy Harvin was in for 19 plays against the Minnesota Vikings November 17th.  Most everyone thought with the extra time off, his surgically repaired hip would be just fine.  Instead, Harvin has been dealing with enough soreness to keep him out of most of this week’s practices.

“We thought we would have him back coming out of that (Vikings) game, but his hip is still sore, ” said Pete Carroll following Saturday’s practice.  “We are going to list him as doubtful right now.  He’s had a lot of stuff done to help him, so we are going to go all the way up until Monday and see what happens.”

The loss of Browner and Thurmond are more significant for Seattle’s hopes of slowing down Drew Brees and the NFL’s third rated passing attack.  Byron Maxwell will start at right corner with Jeremy Lane taking on the slot receiver.  Second year man DeSean Shead was signed off the practice squad to provide depth in the secondary and handle some of the special teams chores.

“We’ve had guys all year long who’ve had injuries, they come and they go, and players step up and answer the call.  That’s exactly how we look at it, it’s football! ” emphasized Carroll.  “Again we’re disappointed for the guys we don’t have with us, but we’ll carry on like we have earlier in the year.”

The Seahawks’ best defense Monday night might be its run first offense.  New Orleans has allowed  more than 5 yards per carry so far this season.  Carroll suggested his team will stay committed to a heavy dose of Marshawn Lynch pounding the Saints front seven.

ESPN play-by-plan man Mike Tirico and color commentator Jon  Gruden watched Saturday’s work-out at the VMAC.  The Seahawks play very well on ESPN games, going 20-8.  They also own the NFL’s best winning percentage on Monday night games at 19-8 (.704)

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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