SEATTLE – The Seahawks’ offense will be near full throttle Sunday after the team activated quarterback Russell Wilson and rookie receiver Dee Eskridge from their respective stints on injured reserve on Friday to face the Green Bay Packers. at Lambeau Field.
Running back Chris Carson will not be joining them.
Coach Pete Carroll said Friday afternoon that the team is holding Carson for at least another week due to his neck injury. He previously said on his 710 ESPN Seattle radio show, in an interview that aired earlier in the day, that Carson would be a game-time decision.
“Just don’t think it’s time to do it just yet,” Carroll told reporters Friday afternoon. “He just hasn’t had enough time to really evaluate it. He had two good, hard days and he just didn’t clarify it enough … He’s dying to play and all that, but we just have to make sure he’s doing the right thing. We’ll deal with him this week and see what happens next. “
Alex Collins is expected to lead Seattle again with Carson missing his fifth straight game. It’s all due to what Carroll has described as a recurring neck injury that flared up again in Week 5. He was placed on IR in Week 6 and returned to practice Wednesday, working that day and Thursday before they held him on Friday.
“He looked really good running the ball in practice,” Carroll said. “We hit him a little bit so he could measure it, but it just doesn’t seem like the time to know where he is. He has the heart of a lion and he wants to go.” out there and do it, but we have to make sure we’re taking care of it, so we want to use more time. “
By designating Carson to return to practice on Wednesday, the Seahawks opened a 21-day window in which they have to activate him on their 53-man roster in order for him to be eligible to play again this season.
In addition to Collins, the available tailbacks from Seattle are Rashaad Penny, DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer. Seattle generally uses Dallas and Homer in change-of-pace roles.
Wilson returned to practice on Monday, exactly one month after he underwent surgery on his right middle finger to repair the multiple injuries he sustained in the Rams game. That ended his streak of 149 consecutive starts to start his career.
Wilson was not limited in practice this week, according to Carroll.
“He has a wonderful week,” Carroll said. “He really did. You could see he was feeling a little better as the week went on, but he really didn’t save anything and he finished the last few days really well and is ready to play.”
Wilson said Thursday that his finger is close to 100% after he easily beat the projected schedule upon his return.
“I hope he [play] like he always plays, “Carroll said.” I do not expect anything different. Nothing different. Now he really wants to play football. I missed. So we have to make sure it stays clear and all that about this opportunity. If anything, I worry that he is too excited, too excited. But it will be fine. Really, I’m so impressed with how this has worked and that he got us to this point, and really excited to see him play football. “
Eskridge, Seattle’s second-round pick, hasn’t played since he suffered a concussion in Game 1. That left him with vision problems that, according to Carroll, have already been left behind.
“He had a great week,” Carroll said. “He did everything. It should be included in the plan. We can use it however we want. He really had a great week and he looked fantastic.”
The team lists defensive tackle Al Woods (not injury related) as questionable, but Carroll said there is a “good chance” that he will play. Cornerback Bless Austin (personal matter), linebacker Cody Barton (quad) and nickel running back Marquise Blair (knee) have all been ruled out. Blair is expected to be placed on IR, which would open one of the two spots on the list Seattle needs for Wilson and Eskridge.
The Seahawks are seeking their first victory at Lambeau Field since 1999. Including the playoffs, they are 0-4 since Wilson was selected in the 2012 draft.
The Seahawks also waived TE Tyler Mabry on Friday and put safety Marquise Blair on IR to make room for Wilson and Eskridge on the roster.