RENTON – As if the 3-1 New York Giants – playing at home, in the Eastern Time Zone – didn’t provide enough of a challenge for the 1-3 Seahawks, Seattle will have to shoot for the upset without starting receiver Mike Williams.
Coach Pete Carroll confirmed after Friday’s practice that Williams has not recovered sufficiently from the concussion he suffered while throwing a block in Sunday’s loss to Atlanta.
Williams did not participate in practice all week, although he felt well enough to swing past a group of reporters after watching practice and joke a bit on his way into the locker room.
Last year’s leading receiver had been slowed with a toe injury earlier in the year and has contributed only eight catches for 79 yards heading into the fifth game of the season.
Ben Obomanu will step into Williams’ role, meaning little should change for the team’s top two receivers, Doug Baldwin (12 catches) and Sidney Rice (11).
The other major injury issue facing the Hawks as they prepared to fly to New Jersey for their first visit to the new MetLife Stadium was that of cornerback Marcus Trufant, who encountered lower back spasms.
“It happened in the (Atlanta) game, and it didn’t really tighten up until Wednesday at practice,” Carroll said. “So we’ll see how he’s doing. He looks like he’ll be OK.”
Trufant had been playing well, with nine tackles against Atlanta and an interception the previous week in a win over Arizona. Second-year corner Walter Thurmond will get the start if Trufant is sidelined.
Friday marked a return to practice of starting strong safety Kam Chancellor, who missed the week with a thigh bruise. Tight end Zach Miller (knee) also practiced. Carroll said both were “ready to go.”
Linebacker Malcolm Smith (hamstring) is not expected to be available. Left guard Robert Gallery (groin) is not expected back until after the bye week (Oct. 16).
Carroll was satisfied with the week’s preparation, but acknowledged the challenges in facing a veteran team experienced in their schemes.
“It’s a very difficult team to play against,” Carroll said. “Very challenging, the stuff they do, the people they have. So, it’s an intricate game plan, but the guys worked really hard. We had a couple really good days here to finish out the week, so we’re ready to go.”
The game plan was intricate by necessity, as the Giants force that from an opponent.
“They do a lot of really good stuff, hard stuff,” Carroll said. “So it taxes you. They’ve been around a long time; they have a long-standing staff with a really good system. They know how to attack on both sides of the football. You just have to be really sharp and be ready for a lot of stuff.”
The traditional Seahawk woes of cross-country travel were re-enforced when they were shut out by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second week of the season. The Hawks spent the week before that game adjusting their practice schedule to earlier times to try to reset their competitive clocks.
The 24-0 loss may have provided a convincing argument to the futility of schedule juggling. This week, the changes were less obvious.
“We just need to go execute and play well,” Carroll said. “That’s what we have to do, and I don’t think it has anything to do with time difference.”
The Giants will be without starting center David Baas (neck) and cornerback Prince Amukamara (foot). Defensive end Justin Tuck (neck/groin) and running back Brandon Jacobs (knee) are listed as doubtful.
Dave Boling: 253-597-8440 firstname.lastname@example.org