On eve of finale, injury update a mixed bag

Trufant back after 4-game absence, but Thurmond’s hamstring to keep him out

Staff writerDecember 29, 2012 

Marcus Trufant is tired of being a spectator to his team’s impressive performances over the past four weeks.

The Seattle Seahawks’ veteran cornerback will get a chance to join the rest of his teammates on Sunday. After missing the past four games with a hamstring injury, Trufant practiced fully without any setbacks this week, and is listed as probable heading into Seattle’s final regular-season game against St. Louis at CenturyLink Field.

“The cheerleading can only go so far,” Trufant said. “So to be out there running around and doing stuff, it’s a good feeling.”

A starter his first nine years with the Seahawks, Trufant has served mainly as Seattle’s fifth defensive back in passing situations, appearing in 11 games this season. He’ll likely return to that role Sunday.

“I’m getting pretty comfortable in there,” Trufant said. “I’ve had a lot of reps at it. I’ve had a lot of great coaching at it, and I’ve spent a lot of extra time because it’s a whole different world. But it’s a lot of fun inside. I’m enjoying it, and I’m still trying to get better. I feel a lot more comfortable now.”

With starting cornerback Brandon Browner serving the final game of a four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy, rookie Jeremy Lane will get his third start.

The news was not as good for cornerback Walter Thurmond, who has been ruled out and will miss his third game in a row with a lingering hamstring injury.

Thurmond practiced at the end of last week, and Seattle coach Pete Carroll was hopeful the former University of Oregon player would be available Sunday.

“It hasn’t been as smooth as we’d like,” Carroll said about Thurmond. “He’s really been pushing, but he just hasn’t been able to get out of the discomfort. With a hamstring, you’ve got to come back feeling nothing. You can’t be nursing it, or you’re too vulnerable.

“But he’s still feeling it, and that’s not a good sign for this week obviously. It’s going to be hard for him to get back next week, I would think.”

Linebacker Leroy Hill (hamstring) and tackle Breno Giacomini (elbow) both practiced Friday and were listed as questionable.

If Hill can’t play, second-year pro Malcolm Smith would get his third start at outside linebacker.

Frank Omiyale would get the nod at right tackle if Giacomini is not available.

“He ran yesterday some and today some to show us that he can go,” Carroll said about Hill. “We’re not sure if he’s full speed yet or not until Saturday.”

The Seahawks prepared themselves in case Hill is not available.

Defensive tackle Hebron Fangupo was released from the 53-man roster, and linebacker Allen Bradford was signed to the active roster for depth.

Seattle also announced that receiver Deon Butler has been re-signed to the active roster after the team released him earlier this week.

Cornerback Ron Parker was let go to make room for Butler.

Carroll also addressed Thursday’s news that cornerback Richard’s Sherman had his four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy reversed.

Carroll said the decision was good news for his team, particularly with Browner returning for Seattle’s playoff run next week.

“It was a big announcement for Richard,” Carroll said. “Our guys love him, and he’s been a fantastic football player on this team. He knew that something was wrong from the start, and it worked out fine.

“But that was a positive for us. We know that the next week getting our guys back together is kind of like putting the band back together. It will be good back there.”

Safety Earl Thomas (ankle), tight end Anthony McCoy (back), running back Marshawn Lynch (back), receiver Golden Tate (illness), defensive end Red Bryant (foot), receiver Sidney Rice (knee) and Trufant all practiced fully Friday and are listed as probable.

For St. Louis, receiver Austin Pettis (shoulder), safety Craig Dahl (knee), cornerback Cortland Finnegan (thigh), running back Steven Jackson (illness), linebacker James Laurinaitis (back) and center Scott Wells (knee) are all probable for the game against the Seahawks..

Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@ thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @eric_d_williams

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