In August, he stood up to Pro Bowl veteran teammates that tested him.
In September, he was sidelined with a high-ankle sprain.
Now that it’s October, Germain Ifedi is up for something different yet again.
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Perhaps the most anticipated debut of a right guard in Seahawks history will happen on Sunday. Coach Pete Carroll confirmed Friday the team’s first-round draft choice has returned from the injury he suffered in practice Sept. 7 and is ready to start on a needy offensive line for Seattle (2-1) at the New York Jets (1-2).
“I’m real excited. Real excited,” Ifedi said. “It’s going to be a good experience. You know, New York. Big lights. All those things.
The 31st-overall pick in April isn’t the only one excited about his debut.
“He had a really good week. He’s going to play. We’re really excited about that,” Carroll said before the team left for its flight to the East Coast.
“He is a big tough guy, now. He’s got a style about him. He’s really physical, and everybody in the game would love to have guys like that.”
Still, he’s a right guard playing his first regular-season game. So, it’s not as if quarterback Russell Wilson will suddenly become immune to getting banged up when he plays against New York with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee and a sprained right ankle. Ifedi himself isn’t going to instantly transform the offensive line that has struggled against the fronts of Miami and Los Angeles — which are formidable, but not as nasty as the Jets.
“Yeah, (New York has) a good D-line. This is a good test,” Ifedi said. “And I wouldn’t have it any other way for my first game back. I think I’ll be in a good place when I do come back.”
His return removes what’s been a weaker part of the line so far this season. J’Marcus Webb moved from backup right tackleto starting right guard when Ifedi got hurt. Webb got overrun at times against the Dolphins and Rams.
No one — not even Seahawks Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett during training camp — has run over the 6-foot-5, 325-pound Ifedi. Not yet, anyway.
The rookie has been a starter since the first day of spring minicamp.
The Seahawks’ highest-drafted offensive lineman since 2011 — when they took James Carpenter, who was another college tackle that they made into a guard — stood up to Bennett multiple times in dust-ups after plays in August. A couple times Bennett became so incensed at Ifedi the veteran blew up and was kicked out of practices. Ifedi himself got tossed from a practice in camp for being too intense.
“He’s got a lot to learn. He’s still young and it’s his first official start,” Carroll said. “He’s going to improve and get a heck of a lot better.
“But he’s got a really good attitude and really good toughness. He’s a monster of a guy.”
Ifedi sees Sunday as a continuation of what he was doing during his impressive preseason. That alone would be a huge boon for Seattle’s offense.
“It’s not a restart. I’d say it’s more picking up where I left off,” Ifedi said. “I really feel like I stayed mentally in tune with the game while I was hurt. I stayed really engaged with what we were doing. You can’t get really disengaged — you come back and Pete’s already said, ‘He’s out there. If he’s playing, he’s starting. He’s going to be in the fire.’
“You get too disengaged and you focus on other things. You’ve got to stay in the game.”
Ifedi, steady-so-far center Justin Britt and left guard Mark Glowinski have a chance to resume the cohesive, inside blocking they had in the preseason. It’s just in time to spark Christine Michael and the running game Seattle needs to lessen Wilson’s burden and punishment.
“Starting into camp we felt like, ‘Hey, we are locked in,’ ” Ifedi said. “We knew us three on the inside are the key to the run game and the offense clicking. We knew from the beginning that we needed to elevate our game and become a strength on this team.”
But then on the Wednesday before the Seahawks’ opener Ifedi got his legs tangled with fellow linemen during an offense-versus-defense drill.
“It was kind of a freak thing,” he said. “Very weird.”
He angrily stomped off the field into the training room, refusing a cart. He knew he’d just sprained his ankle — a trickier, high-ankle sprain — and that he’d miss multiple games to begin his career. So much for all that continuity he’d built with Britt and Glowinski.
“We were kind of really jelling at that point,” he said. “To have me go down and mess up that camaraderie that we had, it was real tough for the line. But they fought through it.”
This is the second time Ifedi has suffered a high-ankle sprain on that leg. The other time was while playing at Westside High School in his hometown of Houston.
“That helped me with my timing to get back on the field,” he said. “I knew after a couple weeks I’d be able to get back on the field doing some things.
“Hopefully, I get in there and we keep improving, keep the trajectory going forward.”
WILSON, GRAHAM OK
Wilson practiced fully for the third consecutive day since he sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee this past Sunday against San Francisco. He also sprained his right ankle against Miami in the opener. Yet Wilson will play for the 78th consecutive time to begin his career on Sunday. He expects to be wearing a knee brace.
“Yes, he made it through. He had his best week since that first week when he tweaked his ankle,” Carroll said. “So he looked really good.”
Tight end Jimmy Graham, 10 months removed from major knee injury, missed practices Wednesday and Thursday with back spasms, but returned to full work Friday, Carroll said
“He had a little back spasm that kind of slowed him down a little bit,” Carroll said. “He worked on it, got it taken care of, and he had a really good day today.”
Carroll said veteran RB C.J. Spiller, who was signed Wednesday, might play Sunday. “We’ll see where he fits in come game time,” the coach said. … Starting DT Jarran Reed will be a game-time decision to play because of a new hip injury he began feeling Wednesday. The impressive second-round pick from Alabama is listed as questionable. If Reed can’t play, Tony McDaniel would likely start. … Strong-side LB Mike Morgan is questionable due to a sports hernia-like injury in his abdomen for which he flew to Philadelphia to see a specialist in August. His time in the defense has been reduced by all the nickel defense schemes Seattle has been playing so far this season. But the Jets are running the ball for an average of 130 yards per game featuring Matt Forte. … Seattle’s Nick Vannett may make his debut at tight end. The rookie third-round pick is back from a high-ankle sprain. Carroll said the team has a decision to make on whether to make Vannett active for Sunday’s game.
Gregg Bell: @gbellseattle