By Danny O’Neil
RENTON – The Seahawks are taking a franchise-best record of 10-1 into their bye, assured of back-to-back seasons with 10 or more victories for the first time since Seattle entered the league in 1976.
But as many players headed on vacation for their week off, don’t go thinking the Seahawks believe they’ve arrived at their final destination.
“We feel like we’ve accomplished a lot to get to this point in some regards,” coach Pete Carroll said. “In other regards, we haven’t done anything yet.”
Receiver Jermaine Kearse is one of only two Seahawks who are injured, but coach Pete Carroll said the receiver is “not in bad shape at all” after leaving Sunday’s game with a concussion. (AP)
Seattle’s players will have this week off, Carroll tacking on two days of rest to the league-mandated four-day break. The Seahawks return to work next Monday with an extra two days of practice before beginning their typical game week on Wednesday to prepare for the Monday night game against New Orleans.
But there we go getting ahead of ourselves. Monday was a chance to take stock of where Seattle is in this season and on its roster, and in both respects the answer is better than anyone had a right to hope for.
Seattle has won 10 of 11 games despite playing eight games without Pro Bowl left tackle Russell Okung, seven games without the bookend on the other side of the line in Breno Giacomini and three games without Pro Bowl center Max Unger. Throw in the fact that receiver Percy Harvin – the team’s most important offseason addition – just made his Seahawks debut, and it seems remarkable that Seattle was able to win as often as it did during a season in which six of its first 10 regular-season games were played on the road.
Then there’s the matter of the roster. Since the regular season, the Seahawks have placed only two players from the active roster onto injured reserve: receiver Sidney Rice and running back Spencer Ware.
And of the 53 players on the roster, only two are currently injured. Receiver Jermaine Kearse left Sunday’s game with a concussion while cornerback Brandon Browner has a severe groin strain that will have him out four to six weeks in a best-case scenario and potentially could keep him sidelined for longer than that.
“Hopefully by the end of this week, we’ll know more,” Carroll said. “He had a pretty good exam today, I know that. But he has a serious groin pull. It’s legit. It’s not just a pulled muscle. He had some tissue damage and stuff.”
The fact that’s the extent of the injuries Seattle is facing is nothing short of remarkable. In fact, Carroll was asked if he has ever had a team this healthy this late in the year.
“This is about as good as I can remember,” Carroll said.
Harvin OK after debut
Harvin was sore after his debut for the Seahawks.
That’s a good thing. It means he played a football game for the first time since Nov. 4 of last year, returning after undergoing hip surgery the first week of training camp. Harvin was on the field for 16 offensive plays from scrimmage and also returned one kickoff.
“He is a little sore,” Carroll said. “Just normal. First time you get hit in a year and a half, he’s going to feel it. But he’ll benefit from the break as well. If we come back – if everything goes as we hope – then he’ll be right back in the mix and be in the normal rotation, and returning kicks and the whole thing.”
• Seattle is 1-2 coming off its bye under Carroll, having lost after its week off the past two seasons.
• Carroll said that Sunday’s game was the best pass protection Seattle has had all season.
• Carroll said Kearse felt better Monday after a concussion forced him to leave Sunday’s game. Kearse will benefit from having a week before the team practices again. “He’s not in bad shape at all,” Carroll said.