To illustrate just how little the first preseason game means in comparison, none of them will be on hand Friday.
Safeties Earl Thomas (shoulder) and Kam Chancellor (holdout) have not been available to practice all camp so far, and now Richard Sherman has a hip problem that will keep him out against the Denver Broncos.
“Sherman’s got a little bit of irritation in the hip flexor area,” Pete Carroll said Thursday, “so we’re going to tend to that and take care of that and make sure he’s right for the long haul.”
Top nickel corner Will Blackmon also is not expected to play.
“Will’s got a groin thing that is bothering him a little bit,” Carroll said. “Real slight, but again those are the kinds of decisions we’ll probably make in favor of holding him out.”
With Tharold Simon and Jeremy Lane both recovering from surgeries, that means Marcus Burley, rookie Tye Smith, trade acquisition Mohammed Seisay and receiver convert Doug McNeil all will see time opposite and in place of new right corner Cary Williams.
Call it the Legion of Baby Boomers.
“I’m really excited to see the corners go and see what they do,” Carroll said. “They’ve really taken to the style and technique and all that, so we’ll see how it carries over. I think they are prepared to play well, and I am expecting that.”
At safety, Steven Terrell, DeShawn Shead and Dion Bailey figure to see a lot of action, with four rookies running behind them.
Another big loss — and hopefully not a long-term one — appears to be linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis, who has a strained shoulder. It is the opposite shoulder of the one that sidelined KPL for the rest of his rookie season last November.
“He’s had a fantastic camp. He’s been one of the highlight players out here,” Carroll said. “He does have a little bit of a lack of strength and direction in the shoulder, so we’re going to take care of him. At this time, we always err on holding guys back and getting a couple more days of recovery, and that may come into play.”
Perhaps the biggest “He Will Play” story is Jesse Williams, who had a cancerous kidney removed just three months ago.
“What a story,” Carroll said. “He’s never, never hinted that he wouldn’t make it back and get ready. He’s practiced well. We’ll control the number of snaps he plays. He’s going to be out there battling. I think it’s a great tribute to the kid. He’s a real competitor.”
Williams told Seahawks.com: “It’s crazy. I don’t really think about it too much, but three months ago there were a lot of questions about my health: Would I ever play? To be past all that and be able to be out there and be a part of it is huge. It’s a quick turnaround. Hopefully I can get out there and make some plays — and then continue to do it for the rest of the year.”
Other things Carroll said about the game:
“There will be a lot of time focused on the younger guys in this game; they’ll get to play a lot and the second half will really be important for a bunch of guys to show where they are to start. This will be like the first real impression that we have. We have an early impression that doesn’t make any difference right now, because now it’s football time and now we get to see the guys.”
Christine Michael is “going to get a lot of turns. It’s not just one game or one opportunity here throughout the preseason. I’m really anxious to see him. He’s worked really hard to get to this point. He’s in incredible shape. I’d like to see him get out there and keep coming back and keep running and get a feel for the game.
“That’s a really important evaluation for us. We’d like to see how he does. I think he’s doing to do really well. He’s a very explosive player and hopefully we can get him enough opportunities. But it’s not all in one game in the first shot. We’re going to get him all the way in this first month of games.”
Anthony McCoy, coming back from two Achilles injuries, is “raring to go. I just talked to him this morning about it and he looked great at practice yesterday. He’s feeling good; it’s been a long haul for him. He’s overcome a tremendous amount of setback to get to this point. I’m really excited that he gets a chance to play football again. He’s had a great camp. He looks good. He’s really solid. He’s big and blocking well and catching the ball well, so he’ll get significant play time.”
“It will be big for Tyler Lockett in his return opportunities. Hopefully we get some and we’ll give him a chance to return some.”