RENTON The Seahawks’ latest practice-participation report showed the usual, long list of veterans taking a day off in the middle of a game week to rest and heal injuries. The majority of those should not impact those players’ availability Sunday’s game at the Los Angeles Rams.
But one name on that list stands out above the rest for being remarkable.
It’s no small wonder that Rees Odhiambo practiced, and fully, on Wednesday. Two days earlier, he was lying in a Seattle hospital bed, under the effects of morphine and getting tested to pinpoint the reason he was in pain just trying to breathe.
It turned out to be a bruised sternum. It was also one of the scariest scenes in the Seahawks’ locker room in recent years. Odhimabo, Seattle’s 6-foot-4, 315-pound starting left tackle, was on his back on the floor of the locker room late Sunday night following the team’s win over Indianapolis. With coach Pete Carroll, general manager John Schneider and teammates near him watching silently, paramedics from the Seattle Fire Department were all around him working to find a cause for his breathing problems and eventually after about 15 minutes wheeling him out on a stretcher to an ambulance and hospital.
“It felt scary in the locker room when I couldn’t really breathe, at the time,” Odhiambo said before Wednesday’s practice for Sunday’s game at the NFC West-leading Los Angeles Rams--which improbably Odhiambo is on track to play.
“I don’t remember much or a lot of it,” he said, chuckling. “I started coming to in the ambulance. ... I was kind of blacked out for a while.”
So, yes, him being on the field Wednesday let alone practicing and being in Seattle’s plans for Sunday against the Rams isn’t exactly the normal, mid-week injury-report fare.
“Rees got upgraded today,” Carroll said before practice. “He made a quick turn and it will be important to see how he handles wearing pads and all that today and see how he handles that. But a very favorable turn here. So we will see what happens.”
Odhiambo played all the snaps in Seattle’s win over the Colts, 26 over the final 1 1/2 quarters with the bruised sternum.
“I got hit in the chest. It felt all right at the time, so I kept on playing,” Odhiambo said. “Once the game was over and the fact the adrenaline wore off, and, man, the pain got a lot more. I went to the hospital, I think, just to make sure everything was all right, man.”
Odhiambo got elbowed in the chest from Colts linebacker Jabaal Sheard during the return of an interception by Indianapolis’ Malik Hooker with 6 minutes left in the third quarter. As Odhiambo played on, quarterback Russell Wilson noticed his tackle was having issues in the huddle between plays.
“I told them (the team’s medical staffers), but they thought it was like a bruise on the chest. It didn’t feel that bad compared to how it got after the game,” Odhimabo said. “At the time, I just thought, ‘I’ll be all right.’”
He said he didn’t see the hit from Sheard coming. Sheard was in front of Odhiambo when he swung back and got the Seahawk. Carroll said he was going to send tape of the play to the NFL to get an explanation whether it was legal.
“I thought my guy (he had been blocking earlier at the snap), being the only guy on that side was the only one I had to look out for,” Odhiambo said. “I thought I was all right, so I turned around and got ready to run--and got hit.
“I didn’t think too much of it. I’m just trying to get ready to go for this week.”
That, itself, is remarkable. And not just because the Rams have Aaron Donald, Robert Quinn, Michael Brockers and an attacking defensive front that has given the Seahawks problems for years.
“I’m going to try and go out there and play,” Odhiambo said, “yeah.”
As I wrote here earlier Wednesday, Cliff Avril’s absence is going to be a while.
Jeremy Lane has a strained groin and may not play against the Rams. That would mean more of rookie third-round pick Shaquill Griffin at right cornerback and Justin Coleman inside at nickel back, as happened when Lane got hurt against the Colts. Coleman returned an interception for a touchdown against Indianapolis in his fourth game for Seattle since his trade from New England early last month.
“Jeremy Lane, it’s going to be a long week for him,” Carroll said. “We are going to see all the way through the end of the week, if he can make a comeback on this thing. But he won’t be able to practice for the next couple days.”
Jimmy Graham, Doug Baldwin, Luke Joeckel, Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman got what appeared to be veteran rest and maintenance days. All those starters have had those in recent midweeks yet still played on Sunday.