RENTON Mike Morgan is ready to return to starting at strongside linebacker despite a hip injury.
Safety Jeron Johnson and four-time Pro Bowl fullback Marcel Reece are ready to make their Seahawks debuts, just days after signing.
And the snow forecast, then not forecast then maybe for Sunday at Lambeau Field in Green Bay? Whatever. Seattle is showing up to play, regardless.
Those were the high points of coach Pete Carroll’s remarks following Friday’s indoor practice and the team’s late-afternoon flight to Wisconsin.
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Carroll said he’s been “really fired up” with how the Seahawks’ offense has been running the ball in recent games, after spending most of the season among the bottom six teams in rushing offense. Seattle is coming off a 240-yard game against Carolina last weekend, its biggest rushing output in two years. Lead back Thomas Rawls had his first 100-yard game of the season, a signal he is all the way back from a cracked fibula that cost him two months of this season. Plus, quarterback Russell Wilson has gotten past his high-ankle sprain and sprained knee that limited his running from September into mid-November.
Carroll said that resurgent running game will come in handy in wintry Wisconsin on Sunday.
“This is exactly the kind of game (for running the ball),” Carroll said. “If you check the weather report, it keeps flip-flopping. So we don’t know what it is. We will just go out and go play.
“But this is precisely why balance is important.”
Earlier forecasts for Sunday afternoon in Green Bay went from a 20-percent chance of snow showers with not much accumulation for the 3:25 p.m. local-time game to by Friday morning a 90-percent chance of up to five inches of snow. By the time the team left for SeaTac Airport and the trip Friday afternoon, predictions were for an 80-percent chance of snow accumulating one to three inches by evening.
“You just have to be ready to adapt,” Carroll said of play calls and plans if it does start dumping snow.
Quarterback Russell Wilson played his final season of college football at Wisconsin. He said this week he is hoping for “a downpour of snow.”
Wilson has not played in a snow game since he joined the NFL and Seahawks in 2012. Richard Sherman, whom Seattle drafted in 2011, noted he’s never played in a snow game. The last game with snow piling on the field for the Seahawks was a divisional playoff game at Green Bay Jan. 12, 2008. Seattle took a 14-0 lead 4 minutes in. Then the snow came -- hard. Brett Favre looked like a winter wizard throwing three touchdown passes through the big flakes and the Seahawks lost 42-20.
Seahawks fullback Will Tukuafu is out for Sunday’s game because of a concussion. That is why Seattle signed Reece, the former Washington Huskies wide receiver turned Oakland Raiders fullback. Reece is ready to get Tukuafu’s workload in Green Bay; that’s usually about 10 or so snaps.
With Reece’s skills as a former receiver, he could be a fill-in for injured C.J. Prosise as a pass-catching third-down back, too.
“He’s got great athleticism. I remember (coaching) against him when he was at Oakland, and I was amazed at his ability to run routes and running the football,” Seahawks running backs coach Sherman Smith told me Wednesday. “For us to be able to get him, boy, we are excited to have him.
“He’ll be game-ready enough to play (against the Packers), for what we want him to get out there and do. We are not going to try to get him out there and play 50, 60 plays. I think he’s in good enough shape to compete.”
Carroll said Prosise will get another evaluation of his broken shoulder blade in about 10 days to better determine if he will be able to return at any time this season.
Defensive end Damontre Moore, who has been in the rotation on passing downs, will not play Sunday because of a sprained foot. Same with Brock Coyle, a reserve again at linebacker now that Morgan is back.