RENTON – Week-by-week, piece-by-piece, the Seahawks offense gets a little closer to becoming whole.
Sunday, it was center Max Unger who returned to help stabilize the line. Thursday, when the Seahawks play at Arizona, tight end Zach Miller is expected back after missing the past two games.
And soon, coach Pete Carroll said Monday, receiver Percy Harvin — the team’s prized offseason acquisition — will make his Seahawks debut.
Harvin, who had hip surgery Aug. 1, is eligible to come off the Physically Unable to Perform List. Carroll says Harvin won’t play Thursday and announced no set return date, but said the team is eager to get a look at him this week and see exactly where he is in his recovery.
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“Everything is going great,’’ Carroll said. “And there have been really no setbacks and he is ahead of schedule in a number of areas and so we are excited to see what happens. … I can’t tell you if that’s a month or three weeks, I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see. But it’s really cool that we have a chance to bring him back now.’’
And eventually, tackles Breno Giacomini and Russell Okung are expected back. Giacomini is likely out a few more weeks with a knee injury and Okung is out until at least Nov. 17 with turf toe.
Only then — and assuming no setbacks along the way — will the offense the Seahawks envisioned truly be on display.
Even then, though, it might be unrealistic to expect the Seahawks to replicate the performance of last season when they scored 150 points in a three-game span — the third-most in NFL history.
It was those three games — including a 58-0 win over this week’s opponent, Arizona — that helped set high expectations for this season.
Even as perpetually optimistic as Carroll is, though, he said Monday he’s not sure Seattle fans will ever see that again.
“I don’t know if we will be able to reach the levels that we saw late last year where we were scoring points at a huge rate,’’ he said. “That was an enormous run that we had. But that’s good to expect that and I’d like to see that, too.’’
Carroll, though, says he’s more than satisfied with the recent performance, other than the five fumbles (two lost) in Sunday’s 20-13 win over the Titans.
Carroll said pass-blocking and the overall play of the offensive line was improved and that quarterback Russell Wilson turned in one of his best games.
“It just looked better, it looked cleaner,’’ Carroll said. “And I think it looked like we are making progress.’’
And as Carroll pointed out, statistically the Seattle offense hasn’t been all that bad.
Tennessee was the fifth defense Seattle has played this season that as of Monday ranks among the top 11 in the NFL in yards allowed (Houston is No. 1, Carolina No. 3, San Francisco No. 9 and Indianapolis No. 10. Seattle’s other opponent, Jacksonville, ranks 21st.)
And even though missing at least one projected starter in every game, the Seahawks rank 10th in total offense (372.7) per game) and second in rushing (157.7).
No doubt, Wilson has greatly aided the rushing numbers, gaining 294 yards on 5.9 per attempt, 240 yards coming in the past three games.
The passing attack has been more of a struggle, which the stats bear out — Seattle is 24th in the NFL at 215 yards per game. Still, Wilson has a passer rating of 92.6, which ranks 11th, and his average gain per attempt is 7.94, which ranks sixth.
“It’s nice to learn while you are winning,’’ Carroll said. “And I think that’s where we are and what we are hoping to continue.’’
• Carroll reiterated that he shouldn’t have called for a field goal on the last play of the first half with the team having to go with a backup kicker and holder due to the temporary absence of kicker Steven Hauschka (who was being tested for a concussion, which came back negative).
Holder Chris Maragos, a backup safety, fumbled, which was returned for Tennessee’s only touchdown. That play technically counted for two of Seattle’s five fumbles. Carroll joked that those fumbles were easy to prevent in the future saying “that ain’t happening again. … that one I have already fixed.’’ Wilson is expected to be the backup holder in the future.
• The only player to suffer a significant injury Sunday was defensive end Chris Clemons (hyperextended elbow) and Carroll says he is unlikely to play this week.
• Carroll didn’t rule out that middle linebacker Bobby Wagner might make it back this week after sitting out Sunday with a high ankle sprain. “Bobby’s making progress that the trainers don’t even understand for the kind of sprain he had,’’ Carroll said. “So I don’t know what he’s going to do but he is up running around already on an ankle that should have taken longer than that, so we’ll see what happens.’’
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.