The Seahawks have activated defensive back Jeremy Lane off the physically-unable-to-perform list so he can make his season debut Sunday against Ben Roethlisberger and the deep-passing Pittsburgh Steelers.
To make room on the 53-man roster Seattle released never-used running back Bryce Brown for the second time in as many weekends.
Lane hasn’t played since he broke his arm and tore a knee ligament returning an interception of Tom Brady in the first quarter of Super Bowl 49 Feb. 1. He is likely to be the fifth, nickel defensive back against Steelers’ inside slot receivers, likely at times Antonio Brown, the NFL’s No. 2 receiver in catches and yards.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll hasn’t ruled out Lane playing outside at cornerback, as well. This week he and defensive coordinator Kris Richard left open the competition to be the starting right cornerback between Cary Williams, DeShawn Shead and Lane. Williams started the first 10 games as the cornerback opposite Richard Sherman, but Shead -- who’s also played safety and nickel -- replaced Williams for the final 1 1/2 quarters of last week’s Seahawks win over San Francisco. Williams has been beaten repeatedly for big plays past him in the passing game this season.
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Lane is all for going back outside at cornerback on Sunday.
“I consider myself a cornerback that also plays nickel,” he said.
Here is all Carroll said yesterday about Sunday’s game. Notice his less-than-glowing response to my question of how Williams responded in practice to his job becoming an open competition:
Head Coach Pete Carroll
November 27, 2015
(On how it’s coming with Thomas Rawls knowing he’s starting) "He should be okay. He knew right before the game. He should be okay. He was a little under the weather today, but he had a good solid week. We saw him, he looks good, he’s ready to go."
(On what the competition at corner brought out of Cary Williams and DeShawn Shead) "It should bring out the best, in everybody. That’s the whole idea. Everybody’s got to feel it to find their best. Feel the pressure of it, and the stress, and the competitive point of it. That’s why we’ve lived with that for a long time."
(On how Cary Williams responded to that challenge) "He worked hard this week."
(On if he’s hoping to have Paul Richardson next week) "Yes. Bruce [Irvin] did some work yesterday. It’s going to be a tough one to get him out there. We’d love to get him out on the field but he might not make it. We’ll see. We listed him as doubtful."
(On which side of questionable Patrick Lewis is) "He practiced all week, so he made it through the week."
(On Thomas Rawls being listed with a knee injury earlier this week) "He came back yesterday and practiced great. He was fine. He just had a little bang from the game."
(On if the need to practice to feel right varies between players) "He’s [Thomas Rawls] a hard working guy. He’s always going to try to get more turns and more reps. He’s one of those guys mentally, it gives him confidence to get the work. It depends. Some players are better off than others, handling it when they don’t get the work. Most of the guys need to be out there, need to get all the reps. That’s why we practice. He’s one of those guys."
(On Thomas Rawls’ national media attention) "I visited with him about it. He seemed very squared away. Not wanting to change anything about how he prepares and his habits and things like that. I thought it was worth talking to him about since it was such a shift. That’s hard on anybody."
(On Russell Wilson’s ability to bounce back) "He won’t waiver on his habits and his focus and things like that. He’s very determined to not let things bother him from the outside. For the most part, you do that by staying the same. Some guys are better at that than others. He’s got great habits and I know that’s what he always turns to, to try to keep his performance real steady."
(On how much of a factor the complimentary receivers are in deciding in Richard Sherman would trail a receiver) "We take everything into account."
(On if he still expects Jeremy Lane to play on Sunday) "Yes."
(On if Ben Roethlisberger makes a lot of adjustments at the line of scrimmage) "He’s got a good command of the game of course. He can see the game as well as anybody that’s played. Wherever they give him freedom, they don’t do it all the time. There are times when he’ll do stuff, particularly good at controlling protections and identifying the looks. He’s an incredible player."