Seahawks defensive backs getting back to full strength
Marcus Trufant is back after missing four games and Brandon Browner returns Monday, but Walter Thurmond unlikely to be ready for a while.
Seattle Times staff reporter
RENTON — The Seahawks learned Thursday they won't be losing starting cornerback Richard Sherman to a four-game suspension.
The team found out Friday that Marcus Trufant will return after missing four games because of an injured hamstring, and Monday starting right cornerback Brandon Browner will return after serving a four-game suspension and be eligible when the playoffs begin.
"It's kind of like putting a band back together," coach Pete Carroll said Friday.
One member's still missing, though: Walter Thurmond. He has missed the past two games with a strained hamstring, he's ruled out for Sunday's regular-season finale, and it sounds unlikely that he'll be back next week.
"He just hasn't been able to get out of the discomfort," Carroll said. "With a hamstring, you've got to come back feeling nothing. You can't be nursing it or you're too vulnerable. He's still feeling it and that's not a good sign for this week obviously, and it's going to be hard for him to get back next week, too."
Rookie Jeremy Lane has started the past two games at right cornerback across from Sherman with Byron Maxwell coming on the field in nickel formations that call for five defensive backs. Trufant worked as Seattle's nickel back before suffering the hamstring injury.
Trufant's return triggered a change in the roster, too. Seattle waived cornerback Ron Parker and added wide receiver Deon Butler, providing more depth at receiver where Seattle had only four players.
• Seattle's depth at linebacker is uncertain, Leroy Hill questionable because of a sore hamstring. Malcolm Smith has played capably at that spot, but he suffered a groin injury in last week's game. He was fine when the team began practicing Wednesday.
The Seahawks did add some depth at the position, promoting promoted Allen Bradford from the practice squad. Bradford played running back at USC, but made the transition to linebacker last year once he was signed to the Seahawks' practice squad. Nose tackle Hebron Fanguopo, who was active last week, was waived to make room for Bradford.
• Rookie J.R. Sweezy started at right guard last week, supplanting John Moffitt atop the depth chart. It's a comeback of sorts for Sweezy, who started the regular-season opener at Arizona, but wound up with his head spinning as he tried to deal with the Cardinals' pass rush.
The Rams are one of the league's more aggressive teams in terms of their blitzes, which means Sunday's game will be a challenge to see how much Sweezy — a converted defensive tackle — has grown.
"They really come after you," Carroll said of St. Louis. "It's going to be really hard, but he's a lot older now in our system."
• Offensive tackle Breno Giacomini is questionable with an elbow injury that had him sit out Wednesday's practice.