RENTON - No matter how much he tries to keep things the same, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll understands this is not a regular work week.
His team got more evidence of that as the four busses carrying Seattle players to the airport Friday afternoon were greeted by a group of fans decked out in team colors and holding 12th man flags, as the Seahawks attempt to continue their Cinderella journey on the road against Chicago on Sunday in an NFC divisional playoff.
“There’s an obvious level of intensity and focus and excitement that is called for in playoff time,” Carroll said. “That’s just what happens. We don’t want to change for that, but that is just naturally part of the makeup. Hopefully, we handle that really well, and it will allow us to play like we’re capable on game day, and hopefully that’s enough to get a win.”
The team will go through a walk-through practice today, but will not get to test the footing at Soldier Field, as it will remain covered to protect it from the elements.
One thing that remains uncertain for Carroll is the status of defensive captain Lofa Tatupu.
After missing two days of practice this week, Tatupu worked with the first-unit defense during his team’s 45-minute walk-through this morning inside the Seattle’s indoor practice facility.
Tatupu suffered a concussion in last week’s win against New Orleans, but has not been cleared for Sunday’s game, Carroll told reporters after practice on Friday.
Tatupu was listed as questionable on the injury report. Players can practice during walk-through if they have not been cleared by doctors because no contact is involved.
“The docs still have to weigh in on all of this,” Carroll said. “He did a good job today, and they’re checking him out to see how he is afterwards. But he was fine today, and the signs are really good that he’ll play.”
Tatupu battled through some bumps and bruises to play his first full season in three years. Along with the concussion last week, Tatupu also has been playing with a balky knee, and suffered through a hamstring issue during training camp.
Tatupu missed 11 games and part of a 12th game last year. He suffered a torn left pectoral muscle in October that required surgery. David Hawthorne replaced Tatupu at middle linebacker last season, and would do the same on Sunday if Tatupu is not cleared to play, with Will Herring playing weak-side linebacker for Hawthorne.
Reserve center Chris White also missed practice Friday to attend to a family matter but is expected to meet the team in Chicago.
Seattle locked up its receiver duo for the next couple years. The hard work finally paid off for Ben Obomanu. The Seahawks announced that the 27-year-old signed a three-year extension Friday.
Terms were not disclosed.
A seventh-round draft choice out of Auburn for Seattle in 2006, the fifth-year pro annually battled to make the roster. Obomanu cracked the starting lineup in 2010 and had his best season as a pro, finishing with 30 receptions for 494 yards and a team-high four touchdowns.
Obomanu’s 16.5-yards-per-catch average ranks among the league leaders.
And Obomanu also played through pain, suffering a deep cut on his right hand that required several stitches but only forced him to miss one game. Obomanu also returned to action against New Orleans last week after dislocating his shoulder.
Obomanu is the third Seattle player to sign a deal with Seattle. Hawthorne signed a one-year extension worth $1.38 million. And receiver Mike Williams got a three-year, $11.8 million deal at the end of the regular season.
Obomanu signed a free-agent tender of $1.1 million in the offseason and appeared headed for free agency.