RENTON — The Seattle Seahawks juggled the roster in preparation for the team’s upcoming NFC Wild-Card game against Washington.
After missing three games with a lingering hamstring injury, cornerback Walter Thurmond was placed on injured reserve on Monday, ending his season.
The University of Oregon product opened the 2012 regular season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list for nine weeks while rehabbing a broken leg suffered in October 2011 against Cleveland. He played in two games with one start, at Chicago, finishing with three tackles and a pass deflection.
Coach Pete Carroll said that Thurmond re-injured his hamstring last week.
“We couldn’t get him over the hump on it,” Carroll said. “He kind of re-tweaked it again last week, and that means it’s going to be a couple weeks again. I think the whole return after the leg break that he had, he never really got back to full balance with his whole body, and he was just vulnerable.”
Thurmond going on the injured reserve creates a roster opening for Brandon Browner to return to the fold. Seattle’s starting cornerback finished serving his four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy, and returned to team headquarters on Monday.
“I talked to him today,” Carroll said. “He’s here. (He has) worked out real hard. His weight is in good shape. He feels fast and all of that. He’s going to have fresh legs, relative to other guys here 16 games into it.
“But we have to see how he does.”
With Browner out and Thurmond unavailable, rookie sixth-round draft choice Jeremy Lane started three games at cornerback and performed well. Second-year pro Byron Maxwell also played meaningful minutes at cornerback, so Carroll said he won’t necessarily rush Browner back into the starting lineup.
In 12 starts this season, Browner has 44 tackles, six pass deflections, three interceptions and three forced fumbles.
“Fortunately, we have guys who can play,” Carroll said. “If he’s not quite right or if he doesn’t get off to a good start during this week, we’ve got other guys who can play for him. But we’re going to give him a heck of a chance to play. We’re thrilled to get him back and we’ll see what happens.”
Carroll said after missing last week with a hamstring injury, linebacker Leroy Hill is expected to return to practice and be available this week.
“He looks good,” Carroll said. “He looks like he’s going to be OK. He was close last week. He’s got to make it through the practices. But he’ll get a good deal of work on Wednesday to see where he is, and then we’ll know more then.”
HAWKS ASSISTANTS COULD BE TARGETED
With seven head coaches receiving walking papers around the league on Monday, Carroll understands his phone might be ringing in the coming weeks.
Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley had his unit finish as the top scoring defense in the league, holding teams to 15.3 points per game.
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell helped develop third-round draft pick Russell Wilson into one of the most efficient passers in the league, and oversaw a Seattle offense that averaged 50 points a game for a three-week stretch late in the season.
Offensive line/assistant coach Tom Cable developed an offensive line that paved the way for running back Marshawn Lynch to run for a career-best 1,590 yards, second in the league behind Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson.
Two of Cable’s linemen – center Max Unger and tackles Russell Okung – made the Pro Bowl.
“We have on our staff some guys that are really worthy of consideration and we’ll see what happens, how it goes,” Carroll said. “I’ve always been a guy that wants to help our guys get the job that they want and work for. That’s part of the deal coming here. They come here and I’ll do everything I can to help them go where they can go. It’s always made it hard on me, but it also is a good atmosphere for guys who want to come here too.
“Tom Cable’s been a head coach and Darrell (Bevell) and Gus (Bradley) and those guys – they’ve been in settings that can earn themselves the right to be considered. I wouldn’t be surprised if those guys were all considered. So we’ll see what happens.”
The Seahawks made a couple moves on the practice squad, releasing receiver Corbin Louks, adding defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga and bringing back cornerback Ron Parker. The Seahawks released Parker from the active roster last week so they could re-sign receiver Deon Butler.Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437