Max Unger missed practice most of this week while rehabbing a sore hip, but he worked out with the team for the first time on Friday. And the Seattle Seahawks’ center appears to be ready to go for Sunday’s big matchup against New England.
Unger signed a four-year contract extension worth $25 million during the offseason, making him one of the highest-paid centers in the league.
Unger was listed as probable on Seattle’s injury report.
“Max is like an old vet for us so he can handle it as well as anybody,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “You always need the practice time or we wouldn’t practice, but I think he can make do.
“He was in on everything and was making calls during the week and all of that. The physical side of it for those two days, he had to miss, but he didn’t miss the mental side so he should be OK.”
Unger confirmed to reporters after practice that his hip was all right and he was ready to go.
“Yeah, I’m good,” Unger said.
But if Unger can’t finish the game, Lemuel Jeanpierre would replace him at center. The South Carolina product started for Unger last season against Cleveland when Unger had a foot injury.
Unger will need to be at his best in dealing with New England defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, one of the best run-stuffers in the league. The four-time Pro Bowl selection has helped New England’s defense hold teams to 82.2 yards rushing, No. 8 in the league.
“It’s an NFL game,” Unger said about facing Wilfork. “Every player is the best player that you’ve ever played against. I think that’s the truth playing against defensive linemen in the NFL.”
Seattle’s defensive line will be a bit undermanned, with Brandon Mebane’s backup, Clinton McDonald, doubtful because of a groin injury, and rookie Jaye Howard unavailable for a second straight week because of a foot injury.
With only seven defensive linemen healthy, rookie Greg Scruggs could see significant action for the first time since suffering a wrist injury against Green Bay three weeks ago.
“Scruggs is ready to go,” Carroll said. “I’m anxious to see him play; he hasn’t been out there for a while, so we’re going to get him going a little bit.”
Carroll also clarified offensive lineman John Moffitt’s condition. The second-year pro aggravated a knee injury that cut short his rookie season last year, and will miss his third game this Sunday.
But Carroll said he expects Moffitt to be available in a few weeks, looking to the Detroit game on Oct 28 as a possible return for the former Wisconsin player.
“It was a little more serious than we thought,” Carroll said. “So we’re just making sure we’re taking care of him. We’re OK on the depth chart right now, so it’s working out that we can buy the time and not force him back too soon.”