A recap of the day’s activities:
Leon Washington. Special teams coach Brain Schneider had been talking about getting the Seahawks’ league-leading kickoff returner some work returning punts, as well. It happened in Sunday’s game against the Raiders in Oakland, and Washington had a 43-yarder among his trio of punt returns.
Because of that, and the fact that rookie punt returner Golden Tate sprained an ankle against the Raiders, Washington will return punts and kickoffs in this week’s game against the New York Giants at Qwest Field.
“Leon is an exciting, electric football player, obviously,” coach Pete Carroll said during his weekly day-after Q&A session. “We need to keep him in those situations. We need to keep getting the ball in his hands on both kickoff and punt returns. He’s just too good. So he’ll do that for us this week.”
After Tate returned the first two punts against the Raiders, Washington got his first chance this season on the third – and broke that 43-yard return.
“He threw a great return on that big one,” Carroll said. “He had a couple of terrific moves on that one, all but scored and put the ball on the 27-yard line for us.”
This double duty is nothing new for Washington. He was the AFC Pro Bowl returner in 2008, when he averaged 25.6 yards on kickoffs and 10.4 on punts while playing for the New York Jets. But he does have a steel rod in his right leg, the result of surgery to repair a severely broken leg last season.
This season, Washington is averaging 33.7 yards on 19 kickoff returns and 27.0 yards on his three punt returns.
Roy Lewis. The plan going into Sunday’s game was to have Lewis start at right cornerback for the sidelined duo of Kelly Jennings (hamstring) and Walter Thurmond (head). But that was altered at the last minute because it would have cut into Lewis’ contributions on special teams and as an extra corner in the nickel, dime and “Bandit” defenses.
That’s why Nate Ness started against the Raiders.
“Because of Roy’s special teams work and his nickel work we just made a late decision that he’s too valuable,” Carroll said. “We would have had to take him off some of that stuff, and he had a great game in both spots.
“So I like that decision. It was a challenge for Nate and Kennard Cox, who played out there (at right cornerback). But there’s a role that Roy is filling for us leading the special teams that’s just too significant.”
Where to begin? With the good news.
Jennings and Thurmond should return to practice on Wednesday, Carroll said, and there’s also a chance that left tackle Russell Okung will be able to practice after also sitting out Sunday’s game with a sprained ankle. Matt McCoy, who leads the special teams with eight coverage tackles, also should be back after sitting out with a sore hamstring.
But the defense could be without end Red Bryant for a while because of the sprained knee he got against the Raiders. Also in question for this week because of injuries they got Sunday are tackle Tyler Polumbus (sprained knee) and guard Ben Hamilton (concussion), the starting left side of the line; and nose tackle Colin Cole (sprained ankle).
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has a slight concussion after being sacked a career-high eight times by the Raiders, but Carroll said he expected Hasselbeck to play against the Raiders.
Wide receivers Mike Williams (bruised knee) and Tate also were injured against the Raiders, but they returned to the game.
STAT DU JOUR
The Seahawks yielded 545 yards to the Raiders on Sunday. But 63 percent of those yards (345) came on eight of the Raiders’ 68 plays – including pass pays of 69, 55 and 51 yards and runs of 49, 31, 30 and 30 yards.
“We played a bunch of plays really well, and we played a handful of plays miserable,” Carroll said.
The Seahawks had given up six plays of 30-plus yards in their first six games, and none in their previous two games.
The players are off on Tuesday as the coaches will be working on the game plan for the Giants.
Strong safety and leading tackler Lawyer Milloy will sign autographs at the Qwest Field Pro Shop from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday.
This week’s game will feature the annual Tackle Hunger drive, as fans are asked to bring nonperishable food items or make monetary donations to Northwest Harvest.
YOU DON’T SAY
“After watching the film, it pretty much confirmed what happened yesterday to us. We just got beat at the line scrimmage and had a day that we want to forget.” – Carroll
Tags: Activities Focus, Broken Leg, coach pete carroll, First Chance, Kelly Jennings, Kickoff Returner, Kickoff Returns, Kickoffs, Leon Washington, New York Giants, New York Jets, Punt Returner, Punt Returns, Punts, qwest field, Roy Lewis, Steel Rod, Teams Coach
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