RENTON — Under overcast skies, the Seahawks returned to practice on Sunday following Thursday’s 22-14 preseason-opening win against Denver.
That was a game in which 29 Seahawks sat out, including 13 players who were listed on the depth chart as starters, and a few others who would be starters if healthy.
But that won’t be the case Sunday at Minnesota for the second preseason game of the year.
Coach Pete Carroll confirmed on Sunday that the Seahawks will field a regular starting unit for at least some of the game against the Vikings — in the past starters have typically played most of the first half of the second preseason game.
“I’m really fired up for this game now for these guys to get their first shot,” Carroll said. “They are, too. I think Duane Brown and I know Russ (Russell Wilson) and the guys, they are dying to get out. They want to get out there and play, so that’s not so bad.”
The Seahawks had just three players listed as offensive starters play against the Broncos, including center Justin Britt and right tackle Germain Ifedi. There were five defensive players listed as starters who played some, including safety Tedric Thompson and cornerbacks Shaquill Griffin and Tre Flowers.
Carroll said he wanted some starters to play to help things out “awareness-wise and leadership-wise on the field.”
It was the first time the Seahawks did not field a full complement of starters in the first preseason game — Wilson had always played at least a series in the first preseason game. Carroll said it allowed the younger players to see more action and also kept some veterans out of harm’s way.
“I liked it,” Carroll said. “Glad we made it through it.”
But Carroll’s words indicated the preseason will now take on a more normal look with starters playing some in the next two games before the backups will take over in week four.
As for this week of practice, Carroll said it’s a vital one for some of the younger players who have shown some promise to continue to show that they belong on an NFL team.
Carroll said starting roles won’t necessarily all be decided this week but did say that in terms of the team’s major installation of the scheme, the heavy work will be done after this week with the final two weeks devoted to starting to refine things for the regular season.
“This is really important for guys to show where they fit in,” Carroll said.
Play of the day
The Seahawks were in helmets and shorts/sweats, so there wasn’t any hitting.
The defense appeared to get the better of the offense much of the day, especially during some extended redzone sessions.
During one team session, Paxton Lynch threw deep to Jazz Ferguson, who was well-covered. The ball didn’t get to Ferguson as it was tipped by safety DeShawn Shead into the hands of another safety Marquise Blair, for an interception. Shead appeared dismayed he hadn’t made the catch, immediately dropping to do pushups, the typical punishment for dropping a pass.
There was a lengthy update from Carroll following the game. Here are the most notable:
— As first indicated Thursday, offensive tackle George Fant has a “legit” sprained ankle, Carroll said, that will almost certainly keep him out for the rest of the preseason. “Be shooting to get back for the opener,” on Sept. 8 against Cincinnati, Carroll said.
— RB Bo Scarbrough, who left Thursday’s game with a hand injury, had his hand heavily wrapped Sunday but was back at practice and participated fully throughout.
— LB Shaquem Griffin has a bruised knee suffered in the game and did not practice. “He’s not quite ready to come back yet,” Carroll said
— As expected, QB Geno Smith had surgery to remove a cyst on his knee. He was at practice but did not participate and it’s unclear when he will be back. But Carroll said again there’s a chance he could play against Minnesota. “He could be back before the next game, which is great,” Carroll said. “We’ll see. That’s probably pushing it.”
— Projected starting left guard Mike Iupati remains sidelined with a sore foot with Ethan Pocic continuing to work with the starting unit at that spot. Carroll said Ipuati is just “a week or so (away from being back) one way or the other. But we are not going to push him back until he’s really ready. He’s had a little trouble with his foot before and it’s a different sprain but we just want to make sure that he’s back… we’ll take our time and make sure he’s well and can stay back.”
— TE Jacob Hollister (groin), RB J.D. McKissic (foot) and RB C.J. Prosise (hip) all remained out on Sunday but Carroll said all have a chance to play in the game. He said McKissic and Prosise could be back in the next day or two while Hollister might not be back until later in the week.
—WR Amara Darboh also remains out after missing the game but Carroll said there’s a chance he plays against the Vikings.
“Guys that have made good first impressions, I’d like to see where they fit in now because they come back the next time around this week and stand out. We’ll get guys who did well and will get a chance with the first group and all of that,” Carroll on what the team is looking for from its young players in practice this week.
The Seahawks will be back on the field for another practice open to the public Monday at 10 a.m.