Mike Morgan designated for return from IR as Seahawks’ health continues to improve
RENTON – The Seahawks are about as healthy as they’ve been since the start of the season and they’re on the verge of getting even healthier.
Running back Thomas Rawls is expected to return this week along with tight end Luke Willson and left tackle Bradley Sowell. Strong safety Kam Chancellor is back and the team hopes that two other defensive starters are not far behind him, with end Michael Bennett and linebacker Mike Morgan possibly another two weeks away.
The Seahawks on Monday designated Morgan for return from Injured Reserve, which clears the way for him to resume practicing with the team this week. Morgan must miss two more games before he’s eligible to play again in Week 13, when Seattle hosts Carolina. That would mark the end of the requisite eight-week timeframe from when Seattle placed Morgan on IR with a groin injury that required surgery.
Before that, he was starting for the first time in his career at strong-side linebacker while also continuing to be one of Seattle’s biggest contributors on special teams. Kevin Pierre-Louis and more recently Brock Coyle have started in his absence despite the strong side not being the natural position for either player, so Morgan figures to reclaim the job once he’s eligible and ready to play.
“Mike has two weeks to get ready,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s in great shape. I’ve seen him running and loved what he’s doing on the field, so we’ll just get him back in football shape now with us and in a couple weeks well get him ready to go.”
Bennett is two weeks removed from arthroscopic knee surgery. Carroll said he’ll have a better sense of Bennett’s status when he meets with him on Tuesday, but he all but ruled Bennett out for Sunday’s game, saying it would be “miraculous” and pointing to next week as a more realistic possibility.
Rawls is on track to play Sunday for the first time since cracking a bone in his fibula in Week 2. Carroll gave the standard qualifier about Rawls needing to make it through the week of practice before being declared ready to play, but he said he’s optimistic about that happening. Rawls returned to practice last week.
“He looked great this past week,” Carroll said. “You know how we do this. We’ll be careful as we enter into it and make sure that he’s ready and he can handle it. We’ll know much more by Friday or Saturday.”
Carroll played it coy when asked about the plan at running back now that Rawls is coming back and rookie C.J. Prosise is coming off a breakout performance in his first career start Sunday night against New England, when he gained a combined 153 yards on 24 touches. Prosise played 54 of Seattle’s 70 offensive snaps compared to 11 for previous starter Christine Michael, who gained 26 yards on his six touches.
Michael was listed as questionable entering the game and a limited participant in Friday’s practice due to what the team called a hamstring injury. Asked about Michael’s status on Monday, Carroll said: “He’s fine. He was fine.”
Carroll said Willson and Sowell could have played Sunday night but that the team felt it was best to wait another week (another likely factor was that Seattle needed to declare seven inactive players but had only ruled out two ahead of time due to injuries). Both Willson and Sowell are coming off knee injuries. Willson’s required arthroscopic surgery and has kept him out of the last four games while Sowell’s is a sprained MCL that has sidelined him for the last three.
“This week they’ll both enter into the week really secure in the thought that they should be able to play this week,” Carroll said, “so we’ll see how that fits together with the roster and all that.”
Carroll didn’t have any update on Pierre-Louis’ status. He left Sunday night’s game with a ha,string injury. Carroll said that was Seattle’s only injury of the game.