RENTON — The Seahawks will need all the reinforcements they can get as they begin navigating life without Russell Wilson for a month or so.
And coach Pete Carroll said Monday the Seahawks might get back one of their best offensive playmakers — running back Chris Carson — for the game Sunday at Pittsburgh.
Carson did not play in the 26-17 defeat Thursday against the Rams as he battled a neck condition, and he was on the sidelines watching when the Seahawks practiced Monday at the VMAC.
But Carroll said after practice Carson had taken “a big turn” in his recovery over the weekend. Carroll wouldn’t commit to Carson playing, saying only “so we’ll see how it goes.” But that sounded a lot better than Friday when Carroll said of Carson only that it is a “day-to-day thing” and that he didn’t know if Carson could return this week.
The Seahawks have characterized Carson’s neck as a chronic injury that flared up anew in the preseason. Carson played through it the first four games of the season but Carroll said he was “too uncomfortable” to go against the Rams.
Alex Collins got the start instead and had 47 yards on 15 carries on a night when the Seahawks were held to 92 yards rushing with just 59 yards coming from running backs on 21 carries.
Without Carson, Seattle had just three running backs against the Rams — Collins, DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer. And Rashaad Penny will have to miss one more game after being put on the injured reserve list while undrafted rookie free agent Josh Johnson is on the practice squad and could be elevated if needed.
TE Gerald Everett back on roster; center Ethan Pocic returns to practice
The Seahawks made two roster moves Monday, activating tight end Gerald Everett off the COVID-19 list and designating offensive lineman Ethan Pocic as returning to practice from IR.
Everett missed the past two games after testing positive, the first games any Seattle player has missed for a positive test.
Seattle did not have to create an opening for him on the roster as the Seahawks had just 52 players after putting receiver Dee Eskridge on IR before the Rams game.
Pocic has been on IR since Sept. 15 with a knee injury suffered in the season opener against the Colts. Pocic played 14 snaps, rotating in with Kyle Fuller. Pocic can practice for 21 days before Seattle either has to activate him or place him back on IR.
“He’s going to be out here all week and get going again and re-enter,” Carroll said. “He’s had a very difficult camp and start to the season trying to get going (Pocic missed much of camp with a hamstring injury). As you can imagine, he’s really excited to get back in here and battling and going. See how it goes, see how he comes back, and see where he fits.”
LB Bobby Wagner sits out with bruised knee
Also a spectator at practice Monday was middle linebacker Bobby Wagner.
Carroll said later Wagner “bumped” his knee in the game Thursday and has “a bruised knee.”
Asked if there was any concern over Wagner playing Sunday, Carroll said, “Not right now.”
Wagner has played every defensive snap for the Seahawks this year and has missed only two games since 2014.
CB Tre Brown ‘competing to get on field’
Rookie cornerback Tre Brown returned to practice last week and Seattle has two more weeks before it has to activate him to the 53-man roster.
But Carroll made it sound as if that move could be made this week.
“He practiced today,” Carroll said. “He’ll practice on Wednesday, and if all goes well, then he will be competing to get onto the field.”
Seattle would have to create an opening to get Brown on the 53-man roster. The Seahawks have five cornerbacks on their roster and usually don’t carry more.
Brown, a fourth-round draft choice out of Oklahoma, was making a run up the depth chart at the left cornerback spot before being shelved with a knee injury before the final preseason game and eventually landing on IR.
D.J. Reed started the first three games at left corner before moving to the right side to take over for Tre Flowers, who was benched, which cleared the way for Sidney Jones to start the past two games at left corner.
But Jones has struggled, ranked 112th out of 113 cornerbacks this week by Pro Football Focus and the Seahawks could consider giving Brown some time there.
According to PFF, Jones has allowed 11 receptions on 14 targets for 270 yards and a perfect passer rating of 158.3 in two games.