Hawks are getting healthier, but they can’t get any better at center

Seahawks bandagesPaul Richardson’s return to practice is the big news this week, but the Seahawks probably are more concerned with the possible returns of a few other injured players they have missed recently.

Garry Gilliam, Jordan Hill, Derrick Coleman and Marcus Burley are all expected to practice this week and play in Dallas. Gilliam missed stretches of the game vs. the 49ers last week due to an ankle injury. Hill (quadriceps) and Coleman (car accident) have missed the past two games, and Burley (broken thumb) has been out for three.

Pete Carroll also said he expects Demarcus Dobbs, who has missed three of the past four games, to make it back to practice.

“You can see there’s a number of guys that are going to be battling to get back out there,” Carroll said. “It’ll be great to see if we can pull that together, and it’ll make the practice feel much more competitive. We’ll see what that means for game day. I don’t know yet.”

The biggest question probably is at center, where Patrick Lewis didn’t even make it through one start before Drew Nowak had to be reinserted and Lemuel Jeanpierre re-signed. Not that it matters who plays that spot.

Lewis missed the game vs. the 49ers with an ankle injury, but Carroll said he will try to practice Wednesday.

“We’ll just get to Wednesday and see where we are,” Carroll said of the center position. “We don’t have any plans for that yet. We’re going to see where (Nowak) is and where Patrick is and just take it one day at a time.”

Meanwhile, the injury bug continues to bite the running backs as Thomas Rawls is dealing with a bruised calf and is questionable at this point.

Looking further down the road, Carroll said the team is aiming for the week after the bye for Jeremy Lane to practice. Lane is recovering from a broken arm and ACL, both suffered during his interception vs. New England in the Super Bowl. Lane has to start practicing by the start of Week 12 if he is going to have a chance to play this season. Once he starts practicing, the team will have three weeks to decide whether to activate him or place him on injured reserve.

“He’s close and he really wants to go,” Carroll said. “He’s anxious, and the trainers just want to make sure that they do everything they can to get him as ready as possible. At this time, after you’ve waited this long, I think it’s good to exercise caution here and make sure we don’t go too quick.”

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