Seahawks notebook: Walter Thurmond finishes strong

Aug 29, 2013, 11:27 PM | Updated: Aug 30, 2013, 12:08 am

By Danny O’Neil

Don’t call it a comeback – Walter Thurmond has been here three years.

But Thurmond will enter this season the healthiest he has been since the Seahawks drafted him in 2010 and ready to play a role both in Seattle’s secondary and on special teams.

Thurmond made that clear Thursday against Oakland when he punctuated a strong month of practices with a first half that included an interception and a 28-yard punt return in the Seahawks’ 22-6 victory at CenturyLink Field.

“It has been a great preseason,” Thurmond said. “One-hundred percent healthy.”

bde6b1c4-c3e2-4d45-85af-4ca30ea15164
Cornerback Walter Thurmond hauled in a one-handed interception Thursday night, helping his bid for playing time in Seattle’s crowded secondary. (AP) | More photos

Forgive Thurmond if he looks around to find some wood to knock on given his history. He suffered a serious knee injury as a senior at Oregon in 2009, tearing three ligaments. He was still rehabbing from surgery when Seattle drafted him in the fourth round.

The next year, he suffered a high ankle sprain in training camp, came back and suffered a broken leg in his second start. He suffered the same injury seven months later and began last year on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. He came back toward the end of the year only to suffer a hamstring injury and finish the season on injured reserve for the second straight year.

This year has already been different, though.

“It’s the first time we really felt like he was really able to really apply himself and physically be ready and meet all of the challenges,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He had a very good preseason.”

Thurmond demonstrated an ability to defend slot receivers, play right cornerback and return punts. He’s been competing against Antoine Winfield to serve as the fifth defensive back in Seattle’s nickel defense.

Is Thurmond someone who will provide depth in the secondary or will he have a role as he enters the final year of his contract?

“We’ll see,” Carroll said. “He’s going to play. Everybody that’s on the roster is going to play. It’s hard to keep him sitting down. He can play corner, he can play in the nickel spot and do all the special-teams stuff and is a really good returner. That’s a really good one-two punch is the punt return with Golden (Tate) and Walter. You’ll see both of those guys playing in games.”

Bruce gets loose

Bruce Irvin, linebacker? It was a question mark when training camp began and Seattle’s first-round pick from 2012 was changing positions from defensive end.

Linebacker Bruce Irvin! It was an exclamation point after he chased down Oakland quarterback Terrelle Pryor in the second quarter, Irvin initially heading toward the running back before realizing Pryor had executed a play fake and was trying to escape out the backfield with the ball.

“I saw Pryor running like the police was chasing him,” Irvin said, “so I knew he had something.”

Irvin ran him down, which is darn impressive because Pryor’s speed is one of his best attributes. That was a turning point for Irvin in Thursday’s game.

“It started off a little slow,” Irvin said. “I was thinking too much. As I kept playing, I got into it and I felt comfortable.”

It was Irvin’s most extensive playing time this preseason after he missed the first two games because of a groin injury, but he’ll now be away from the team the next four games, serving a suspension for the use of a banned substance. He’ll be eligible to return to practice Week 5 before Seattle plays at Indianapolis.

Williams hurt

The good news for Stephen Williams: It doesn’t sound like there’s much doubt that the receiver will make the team’s 53-man roster.

The bad news: There might be a question whether he’s ready to play after hitting his head hard against the turf during his 50-yard reception in the first quarter of Thursday’s game.

“He kind of got that whiplash thing,” Carroll said. “Because he had a little bit of a knock before, we just were very cautious with him. Ten days before we go, hopefully he’ll be all right. It was concussion concerns anyway.”

Note

• Rookie offensive tackle Michael Bowie left the game with a shoulder injury. His arm was in a sling afterward and Carroll indicated the injury may be serious.

Brock and Salk podcast

Brock and Salk

Seattle Kraken Oliver Bjorkstrand Ryan Donato...
Brent Stecker

Why are Kraken surging this season? What broadcaster Forslund sees

Kraken play-by-play announcer John Forslund joined Brock and Salk to talk about the differences between surging Seattle now and last season.
2 days ago
Seahawks Tariq Woolen...
Brent Stecker

NFL Draft insider on why ’22 Seahawks class hit, possible ’23 targets

Seattle Sports' Brock and Salk caught up with ESPN NFL Draft analyst and insider Matt Miller to get his read on the Seahawks' rookies and what they could do in the 2023 draft.
2 days ago
Seahawks Broncos Russell Wilson...
Brent Stecker

Just how high will Seahawks’ pick from Wilson trade to Broncos get?

Brandon Stokley, a former star NFL receiver and current Denver radio host, shares his thoughts on where the Seahawks' top pick coming from the Broncos will land.
3 days ago
UW Huskies Michael Penix Jr...
Brandon Gustafson

What does the future hold for UW Huskies QB Michael Penix Jr.?

Should star UW Huskies QB Michael Penix Jr. go pro or return to Washington in 2023? Brock Huard and Mike Salk have very different opinions.
4 days ago
Seahawks Pete Carroll...
Brandon Gustafson

Pete Carroll Show Takeaways: Areas where Seahawks must get better

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll broke down Seattle's OT loss to Vegas on Seattle Sports, including recent struggles at the line of scrimmage.
4 days ago
Seahawks Tre Brown...
Brandon Gustafson

Huard: What Tre Brown brings to the Seahawks’ cornerback room

Tre Brown, a 2021 fourth-round pick, could see his first action of 2022 for the Seahawks on Sunday against the Raiders following recovery from a knee injury.
6 days ago
Seahawks notebook: Walter Thurmond finishes strong