Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks plugging holes in banged-up secondary

Seattle Seahawks All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas watched Friday’s exhibition opener against Denver. The Seahawks hope Thomas is ready for the season opener after having offseason shoulder surgery.
Seattle Seahawks All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas watched Friday’s exhibition opener against Denver. The Seahawks hope Thomas is ready for the season opener after having offseason shoulder surgery. The Associated Press

Who are these guys?

That’s the state of Seattle’s renowned “Legion of Boom.” At least for another couple of weeks.

Coach Pete Carroll said Monday the Seahawks are busy planning the next steps in All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas’ recovery from shoulder surgery in February. The idea is to get Thomas back to practice far enough in advance of the regular season that he will extend his streak of consecutive starts to begin his career to 91 regular season and postseason games in the Sept. 13 opener at St. Louis.

“Matter of fact, we are on it right now and trying to gauge how many days it will take to get him back and do this with him,” Carroll said after Thomas watched the team’s 13th practice of training camp. “That’s very much a topical issue for us right now, making sure we get enough days to get him right, get him the work that he needs so that he can play. Shooting for the opener.’’

So Thomas playing in that first game is realistic?

“Yes,” Carroll said, “still realistic.”

Expected, even.

Until then, it’s an almost daily parade on the first defense of fill-ins.

Holdout strong safety Kam Chancellor blew off his 18th consecutive day of camp in his dug-in stance against his $4.55million contract for this season.

Monday, All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman was still out with a hip-flexor strain. Nickel man Will Blackmon, subbing because Jeremy Lane (broken arm, reconstructed knee) might not be back until October or later, was out with a groin strain.

So the first-team secondary was Cary Williams and Marcus Burley at cornerback, Dion Bailey at strong safety, undrafted rookie Ronald Martin from LSU at free safety and rookie fifth-round pick Tye Smith as the nickel back.

Good thing it was only Aug. 17.

Asked for anything new on Chancellor, Carroll said: “Just that our conversations continue, and nothing has changed. We’re in communication regularly.

“Knowing Kam and knowing how strong minded he is, I think he’s made that statement that he’s really got a thought here that he’s holding onto. We’ll see how it goes.”

The fines the Seahawks could give are now up to a maximum of $740,000 — not that they will enforce that.

The secondary is so thin, rookie Jeremy Crayton signed as a cornerback in the morning and was the second-team guy outside a few hours later. Crayton, a 6-foot, 190-pound undrafted free agent from Southern Arkansas, was in Seattle’s rookie minicamp in May.

The Seahawks also signed defensive back Keelan Johnson. Undrafted from Arizona State in 2013, he has been with Dallas, Miami and Philadelphia.

The team released linebacker Dakorey Johnson, signed last week, and defensive tackle Jimmy Staten.

Reserve cornerback Tharold Simon, a part-time starter as an injury fill-in for Byron Maxwell last season, did some individual drills for the first time since offseason shoulder surgery. Carroll said Simon is basically back. Simon won’t play Friday at Kansas City, but Carroll expects Simon to play in the third exhibition game Aug. 29 at San Diego.

JACKSON OUT AT LEAST 2 WEEKS

B.J. Daniels made a few more noticeable catches downfield as a reserve wide receiver, then took a few snaps as the No. 3 quarterback.

That’s because Tarvaris Jackson has what Carroll described as a high-ankle sprain that could keep the veteran and Seattle’s starter in 2011 out of practice for at least two weeks.

Carroll said the team is shopping for a potential new, third quarterback behind Russell Wilson and R.J. Archer. Seattle tried one out Monday.

Carroll praised Archer for how he played Friday in the exhibition opener against Denver. The former Arena League QB was 11 for 20 passing for 110 yards and a touchdown while playing all but the first drive of the second half with the third-team offense.

COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE

Carroll said wide receiver Chris Matthews has a sprained shoulder joint but could return in 10 days. That is better news than it appeared it might be when he got hurt covering a punt against Denver.

EXTRA POINTS

LB Kevin Pierre-Louis returned to practice after a shoulder injury, doing some individual drills. He had risen to splitting time with K.J. Wright on the first-team defense last week before he got hurt. … DE Demarcus Dobbs returned on a limited basis. … DT Julius Warmsley returned to practice after being out a couple weeks. … Carroll said top rookie draft pick Frank Clark, so fast and effective against Denver at DE, played through a sore ankle Friday. He played in all four quarters, so that’s why the ankle is still sore. … TE Anthony McCoy had a tough game Friday with two drops and a penalty. On one of his first scrimmage plays Monday he missed a block on a wide-receiver screen. He clapped his hands together in frustration over that. Yet Cooper Helfet remains sidelined with a cracked rib, so McCoy keeps getting chances behind Jimmy Graham and Luke Willson. … CB Douglas McNeil (sore ankle) watched practice. So did LB Brock Coyle, DE Obum Gwacham, DT Jesse Williams (sore knee, likely back Tuesday), OT Kona Schwenke and CB Mohammed Seisay (slight groin strain). … Asked how he came out of the game after he ran through a sideline official during rookie Tyler Lockett’s 103-yard kickoff return, Carroll smiled and said: “Good. Good. Bouncing around.”

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