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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

October 11, 2010 at 4:55 PM

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Deion Branch excused from Monday's practice

Posted by Danny O'Neil

RENTON -- Deion Branch was excused from attending Monday's practice, coach Pete Carroll said.

"I gave him a personal day out of here today," Carroll said.

So why was that?

"It's personal," Carroll said.

Branch was in Louisville this weekend where his No. 9 was honored. Reports of Branch being a target of the New England Patriots' interest first surfaced late last week.

Branch was acquired from the Patriots in 2006 when Seattle traded a first-round pick to acquire him. He won a Super Bowl MVP while with the Patriots, and though he never had 1,000 yards receiving in any season with New England, he remains a favorite there.

There were reports last week Patriots quarterback Tom Brady reached out to Branch. New England has a need at receiver after trading Randy Moss to the Vikings.

While Branch's receiving numbers declined each of his first three seasons in Seattle, he has been a starter and ranks No. 2 on the team with 13 catches.

Carroll was asked if there was any uncertainty about Branch's role with the team going forward.

"Not at this point," Carroll said.

OK, then. Will Branch be here Wednesday when Seattle begins preparing in earnest to play at Chicago?

"At this point I do," Carroll said.

Seattle held a full practice Monday though players were not in pads. Carroll referred to it as a bonus workout, coming after the team had its bye over the weekend.

Cornerback Marcus Trufant did not practice, resting an ankle that was sprained in Week 3. Trufant is expected to practice Wednesday when the team begins preparing in earnest for Chicago.

Right tackle Sean Locklear also did not practice as he rests a sore knee. The Seahawks had hoped to be able to give Locklear their Week 4 game at St. Louis off, but he entered the game after rookie Russell Okung left in the second quarter.

Carroll said the hope is Locklear will practice Wednesday and be able to start the game on Sunday.

"He's going to play in the game," Carroll said of Locklear. "He played very well with the situation last week. We plan on him practicing Wednesday. How much I don't know yet. He should be ready for the ball game."

So does he remain the starter ahead of Tyler Polumbus?

"We'd like to get Sean back in there," Carroll said. "If we can get him in there, and if he can get enough during the week and he's feeling good about that, then we will. I don't want to go week to week where he can't practice all week and then he plays in the game day. I don't think that's what's best for him or for us so we'll see if we can get him out there, and the plan is that we will. He came out of the game fine so we should be in better shape then we were in the last time out."

Chester Pitts made it through a full practice at left guard for the Seahawks, and the hope continues that he'll be ready to make his debut for Seattle.

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