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October 13, 2014 at 9:36 PM

Seattle Seahawks hoping Tharold Simon’s return will help cornerback depth

While the news about Byron Maxwell today was better than feared — sounds like he may only be out a week or two at the most with a calf strain suffered Sunday — it still could mean the Seahawks are short-handed at cornerback for a little while.

With Maxwell out, the Seahawks used Marcus Burley as their other outside or boundary corner on Sunday opposite Richard Sherman. And as a result of that, the Seahawks moved Sherman around to follow Dez Bryant.

The good news is Seattle now faces a St. Louis team that doesn’t feature a receiver quite like Bryant and has a young quarterback in Austin Davis.

Still, if Maxwell is out then Seattle likely has to depend on Burley — who is a second-year player but in his first season playing in games — opposite Sherman unless the Seahawks decide that Tharold Simon is ready.

Worth noting, though, that Simon is less tested than is Burley, having yet to play in an NFL game after missing last season with a foot injury and the first five games this year after having arthroscopic knee surgery.

But Seattle has high hopes for Simon, who at 6-3, 202 fits the mold of the big, physical cornerback.

As noted earlier today, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Simon could be ready Sunday but that it was still too early to know for sure.

“Tharold will practice this week, yeah. It’s coming at an excellent time,” Carroll said. “We will see how he does. He’ll have to survive the week and all of that. He got out last week for a couple days so that helps him get started this week. All along we’ve really been looking forward to Tharold’s ability to contribute so this will be his chance and so we will see where that fits. I really can’t tell you how that’s going to go. We will have to get all the way till we get through Friday’s practice to know where we are with that.”

If Simon can play, then Burley can go back to nickel. With Burley on the outside for the second half Sunday, the Seahawks used Steven Terrell at nickel in what was his first career action.

“He made it,”’ said Carroll of Terrell, who was signed off the practice squad on Saturday and is actually listed as a safety. “He made it through it. He survived, did a nice job on special teams and survived at the nickel spot. I mean that was a really good accomplishment for him. He found out a day before that this was happening so unfortunately or fortunately for him, he got a chance to play and he came through alright.”

And remember that while Jeremy Lane is on the road to recovery from a groin injury, he is not eligible to come off of short-term IR until the game against the Giants on Nov. 9.

Carroll was asked today if the Seahawks might look outside for more help at cornerback.

“We’re always looking to see what we need to do to support our situation,” Carroll said. “The fact that Tharold [Simon] is coming back and Jeremy Lane will be out practicing starting next week so we we’re going to get a boost coming back from those guys. It will be fantastic if Tharold can contribute this week and Jeremy’s back the next.”

It’s not easy, though. to find someone off the street during the season to help (and it was hard not to notice that the Jets today signed Josh Thomas, who was cut by Seattle early last week and likely would have played heavily if still on the roster Sunday) and trades aren’t real common either. But as Carroll said, the Seahawks will undoubtedly look around (Seattle last November was able to find Perrish Cox, who the Seahawks probably wouldn’t mind having right now).

As for Simon, a fifth-round pick out of LSU in 2013, Carroll sounds excited to get him back on the field.

“He has exactly the makeup and the style that we love,” Carroll said. “He’s long and tall and he’s got really good speed. He has natural instincts for the ball, great reach on him that allows him to be a factor in the press technique that we play. He’s really stood up to the challenges throughout the early part of this off-season and camp so we feel like we have a good sense for what he’s capable of doing. We’ve seen him against our best guys, go at it, and really match up well. He’s done okay in the games too so we’re hoping that he will be back, full strength and will find his confidence and his ability to play this week right away.”



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