The Seahawks may be getting more than just Russell Wilson back from injury in their starting offense this week against the Green Bay Packers.
Chris Carson was designated to return from injured reserve on Wednesday and took part in his first practice with the team since he played in the team's Week 4 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
"He's got to make it through the week of work and like we always talk about it's a one day at a time thing," head coach Pete Carroll said. "He'll get banged around a little bit tomorrow. But just see how he responds to it. It's pretty important to get a good beat on this one. He'll feel good physically run around and all that because he's in great shape and working really hard. So just how he responds. Same old thing, how his body reacts to the workload."
Carroll had said previously that Carson's range of motion had remained good but that he was continuing to experience discomfort in his neck that was keeping him from getting back to action. Carroll said that he has now been able to move beyond that discomfort, which was the catalyst for him getting back on the practice field.
"Yeah, that's why he's back and hopefully, it'll stay that way," he said.
Carson had 54 carries for 232 yards and three touchdowns through the first four games of the season before the neck injury sidelined him on the short week ahead of the team's Thursday night game with the Los Angeles Rams, which was coincidentally the last game quarterback Russell Wilson played before injuring his throwing hand. Both Carson and Wilson went on injured reserve the next week and missed the three games Seattle played leading into their bye week.
Wilson is also practicing for the Seahawks after having been cleared by surgeon Dr. Steven Shin to return to action earlier this week.
"I've just seen him in the walkthrough since then and you would never have known. So I don't know what that means yet but he looked pretty good," Carroll said of Wilson.
Neither Carson or Wilson need to be listed on the team's practice report because they aren't technically on the active roster at this point. Both players will need to be activated and return to the active lineup in order to be eligible to play this weekend against the Packers. However, Carroll said that Wilson would be considered a full participant in their normal weekly routine. Additionally, Carroll said Wilson won't need to wear anything on his throwing hand.
"He doesn't have to wear anything unless he chooses to," Carroll said. "He has been experimenting with some stuff just to see what out there for him."
Wilson injured the middle finger of his throwing hand when it collided with Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald. The impact caused a condition known as "mallet finger" for Wilson that required surgical repair. He had a pin inserted in the finger as part of the healing process and had it removed on Nov. 1 as the team headed into their bye week.
Wilson is expected to return to action this week against the Packers.
Wide receiver Dee Eskridge is also nearing a return to action as well as he's been sidelined since the team's season opener against the Indianapolis Colts due to lingering concussion-related issues.
"Dee Eskridge is coming out and he's ready to go full speed," Carroll said. "He went Monday and it looks good today to get going. So we'll see where we can fit him in as well."
Eskridge was experiencing vision issues when he attempted to return to practice in the weeks following the injury. He was eventually placed on injured reserve and traveled to Florida to see a specialist that helped him overcome the setbacks he was facing in his recovery.
"We have to take our guys one day at a time as they come back, Russ too," Carroll said. "That's how we're doing it and and with high hopes and expectations it's going to be okay, but we still got to wait and see. I don't want to say 'hey, he's good, he's got it done' and then he would come out of a Wednesday practice and he doesn't feel right. So we expect him to feel good. We've cleared our guys. We expect him to do well and all that but still got to wait."
While Eskridge's return would mark the addition of a receiver to the group, the free agency of former Pro Bowl receiver Odell Beckham Jr. hangs in the air as well. Beckham was released by the Cleveland Browns earlier this week and cleared waivers yesterday, which makes him free to sign with any team in the NFL. Beckham's $7 million remaining salary made the prospect of teams claiming that contract off waivers unlikely given the reality that not many teams in the NFL have that much cap space this time of season anyway and committing that much for half of a season of a player is a bit dubious as well.
The Seahawks have consistently been linked to Beckham since it been clear he wasn't going to be released by the Browns. Carroll, however, provided no further insight on Wednesday.
"I've got no updates for you," Carroll said. "I've got nothing to tell you."
Carroll said the Beckham situation is just like any other that they face where a player becomes available and they jump into figuring out if the chance to add the player makes sense for the team.
"The same interest that we have any opportunity that we get, you know, we're looking to help our team out," Carroll said. "That's what competing is. Like I've always said to you guys, (John Schneider) and I have had a real clear thought about that and whenever there's an opportunity, we're going for it and we try to figure out everything that would make sense, if it could make sense until it's not possible. And that's just you're either competing or you're not. And so that's that doesn't change with us. It's not like we did something different here or whatever in any of these situations. We're just going for it and trying to figure it out. And most of the time you make the decision that it doesn't work, it doesn't fit or whatever. But we don't want to use that as 'OK, we didn't try that hard this time.' That's not how we do it. So we'll just see what happens."
Photo Credit: MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - SEPTEMBER 26: Chris Carson #32 of the Seattle Seahawks runs the ball for a touchdown during the second quarter in the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on September 26, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)