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Seahawks LB K.J. Wright expected to play Sunday vs Chargers

Seahawks LB K.J. Wright missed the first six weeks of the season following knee surgery. (AP)

The Seahawks had a busy injury report earlier this week, and among the biggest names listed was linebacker K.J. Wright. Wright was able to make his first start of the regular season last Sunday against the Lions, but missed practice both Wednesday and Thursday, sparking concerns that he may have had a setback after spending the first six weeks of the season recovering from knee surgery.

Friday morning brought better news for Seahawks fans: In his weekly interview with KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson, head coach Pete Carroll said Wright is expected to play this Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers.

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“(Wright) has been a bit slowed up this week in response, but he should be ready to go,” Carroll said Friday morning.

The Seahawks (4-3) will be meeting a 5-2 Chargers team that has won four of its last five contests. For just the third time this year, though, Seattle will have home field advantage.

“We’re going to need the 12s,” Carroll said. “We’re gonna really try to get it to the point where they can feel the way we play and how physical we’re playing right now, how tough we’ve been playing on defense and on special teams and running he ball on offense. It’s really been a nice style. Our (new) guys haven’t really seen this (crowd) much, so the next couple weeks as we’re here and around C-Link, I hope we connect really well with the fans because we’re going to need the spirit and all the noise and craziness.”

Here are a few other notes from Carroll’s interview with Monson. You can hear the full interview in the audio clip embedded above.

What can you tell me about the health of your team going into Sunday? “Well we’re not too bad. There’s a couple guys that we’ve got to see how they respond to the past game (over) this week. No real injuries, but just coming back from the pounding. K.J. (Wright) has been a little bit slowed up this week just in response but he should be ready to go. We held him back a little bit during the week just to make sure he could respond. Ed Dickson came back fine and we’ll see Rasheem Green come back to us this week. So we’re in pretty good shape.”

You’ll need to be in good shape with this LA Chargers team coming in. Will they be another test for you guys? “Yeah, they’re really well-balanced. They’re kind of quietly putting together a nice little run… they had a couple games they lost early on, but they really got back on track. They’re good on defense, they make it hard on you, they don’t give you a lot of easy stuff. They run the football with real good consistency and then they’ve got this marvelous guy pulling the trigger back there at quarterback. Philip Rivers is a great player and they’ve given him some real talent at the receiver spots, too. And Melvin Gordon is an excellent tailback. So, they’ve got the firepower and they’ve got a really good solid approach to their overall team. They’re hard to beat right now and they keep knocking out these wins.”

In a symbolic move, you have a game ball to the late team owner Paul Allen following your Week 8 win over the Lions. What does it mean to you guys to do that? Is there a deeper meaning that most of us don’t know when you give away game balls? “Well first off, we don’t give game balls on a regular basis. We don’t do it at all. But it’s always been a symbolic gesture to recognize some special effort that warrants it… (and) he was deserving of whatever, there’s no way we could ever give back and match up. But there are some small ways we can make a statement. And these guys all believe that and they all stand by that thought. A lot of guys didn’t know Paul very well, but those that did and the coaches that do and the guys in the organization all felt we’d like to give tribute wherever we can.”

On the passing of the original Seahawks head coach Jack Patera, did you know him or were you able to meet him? “What I knew more — I knew of him back when he was coaching — but I’ve run into more players and heard from the players that played for him in our alumni get-togethers and stuff, and man those guys loved him. And they really had a lot of respect for him and the way he handled them and contributed to the spirit of the Seahawks back when they were getting started. Jack had a big impact on a lot of people, that was really obvious.”