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August 14, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Wednesday practice report: Avril returns, pads pop

The Seahawks are off the field following what was their last open practice of training camp,

The fans who attended got to see the return of defensive end Cliff Avril, who put on pads for the first time while battling a hamstring injury. Avril  did not take part in team drills and coach Pete Carroll said later it’s still too soon to know if he might be able to play Saturday against Denver.

“Wait and see what happens tomorrow,” Carroll said. “Got to get all the way through tomorrow and then make an assessment. He didn’t do enough today to tell us that, so have to make it through tomorrow and then Friday is pretty light.”

Also back today were cornerback Byron Maxwell, linebacker Bobby Wagner, receiver Bryan Walters and defensive linemen Jesse Williams and Michael Bennett.

Carroll had hoped Bruce Irvin could make it back today, but he was not able to and Carroll said after practice it was unclear when Irvin will return.

“We’ll find out,” he said. “He’s got some stuff we are looking at today. We’ll find out tomorrow.”

The practice was also one of the most physical Seattle has had during camp though the team was not in full pads (helmets and shoulder pads only). At one point safety Kam Chancellor leveled a hard hit on Robert Turbin, and at another point John Lotulelei hit receiver Phil Bates pretty hard. Lotulelei later apologized for that one, saying it was harder than the team was supposed to be hitting today. “That was my bad,” he said.

“It was a good knocking day,” Carroll said. “The guys had a good break and came back strong and got after it really well.”

Seattle will have another fairly hard practice Thursday before tapering off Friday in anticipation of the game.

Here are some other news and notes from today. …

— To refresh the list of those who are out, here it is: WR Percy Harvin (hip), RB Christine Michael (back spasms), CB Tharold Simon (foot), CB Ron Parker (hamstring), DE Bruce Irvin (groin), LB Ty Powell (thigh), LB Korey Toomer (non-football injury list), OG James Carpenter (foot), TE Zach Miller (foot), DE Chris Clemons (knee), DT Jaye Howard (shoulder), DE Greg Scruggs (knee), DT Tony McDaniel (groin).

— Carroll said he isn’t sure when Michael will make it back but hope it’s soon. “He did a little bit of running today and we’ll see how he tolerates tomorrow,” Carroll said, adding the work is important for Michael. “He’s still learning. He’s still new. He still feels like a new guy. He’s not there yet he’s got a lot of learning to do.”

— Carroll also said McDaniel is missing a lot of important time in the battle to be a defensive tackle. Carroll said McDaniel worked out earlier in the day with the hope of making it back but was unable to do so, and Carroll said that means McDaniel won’t be able to play against the Broncos. “It’s really important (that McDaniel get healthy),” Carroll said. “We have not seen enough to know where he fits in and he has a chance to be one of the lead candidates for the three-technique spot but we don’t know anything about it right now.”

— With McDaniel out, rookies Jesse Williams and Jordan Hill continue to get  long looks. “They are getting a great shot to show whether they can be frontline players for us on first and second down (when stopping the run is the priority) as well as third downs (when pass rush is a bigger deal),” Carroll said.

— Carroll said Hill “played a little better than we expected” in early down run defense and is becoming a bigger factor in the battles for those roles. He had already impressed with his pass-rush abilitieis.

— Carroll  said it was good to see Maxwell back out after he missed Monday’s practice with a shoulder injury suffered against the Chargers. Maxwell has had injury issues hold  him back in previous years, but has had “a fantastic camp” Carroll said, adding that like Walter Thurmond he is “one of those guys you just want to see them sustain through the workload.”

— Carroll, asked about John Moffitt, said “he’s been battling” but that J.R. Sweezy remains atop the depth chart at the right guard spot right now.

— Carroll said LB Korey Toomer, battling a hip injury suffered in the off-season, “hos not responded as quickly as we hoped,” and that it’s unclear when he will make it back.

— Thurmond had a pick-six during an early team drill;

— WR Stephen Williams had a couple of nice catches, including a slant inside Richard Sherman and a deep ball down the sideline that he stole away from Will Blackmon;

— Among Maxwell’s plays was batting the ball out of the hands of Chris Harper.

Finally, here’s a little video of Carroll’s session with the media today:

[do action=”brightcove-video” videoid=”2606647324001″/]



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