SEATTLE — The Seahawks’ offense will nearly be at full strength Sunday after the team activated quarterback Russell Wilson and rookie receiver Dee Eskridge from their respective stints on injured reserve Friday in order to face the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
Running back Chris Carson won’t be joining them.
Coach Pete Carroll said Friday afternoon that the team is holding Carson out for at least another week because of his neck injury. He previously said on his 710 ESPN Seattle radio show — in an interview that aired earlier in the day — that Carson would be a game-time decision.
“Just don’t think that it’s time to do it yet,” Carroll told reporters Friday afternoon. “It just hasn’t had enough time to really evaluate it. He had two good, hard days and just didn’t quite clear it enough … He’s dying to play and all that, but we just need to make sure that we’re doing the right thing. So we’re going to take care of him this week and we’ll see what happens next week.”
Alex Collins is expected to again serve as Seattle’s lead back with Carson missing his fifth straight game. All have been because of what Carroll has described as a recurring neck injury that flared back up in Week 5. He was placed on IR in Week 6 and returned to practice Wednesday, working that day and Thursday before he was held out Friday.
“He looked really good running the ball in practice,” Carroll said. “We banged him around some so that he could get a gauge on it, but it just doesn’t seem like it’s time yet where we’re sure where he is on it. He’s got the heart of a lion and he wants to go out there and do it, but we’ve got to make sure that we’re taking care of him so we want to use more time.”
By designating Carson for a return to practice on Wednesday, the Seahawks opened up a 21-day window in which they have to activate him to their 53-man roster to make him eligible to play again this season.
Wilson returned to practice Monday, exactly one month after he had surgery on his right middle finger to repair multiple injuries he suffered in the Rams game. That ended his streak of 149 consecutive starts to begin his career.
Wilson was not being limited in practice this week, per Carroll.
“He has a terrific week,” Carroll said. “He really did. You could see him just feel a little bit better as the week went on, but he really didn’t hold anything back and he finished great the last couple of days and he’s ready to go.”
Wilson said Thursday that his finger is close to 100% after he easily beat the projected timetable on his return.
“I expect him to [play] just like he always plays,” Carroll said. “I don’t expect anything different. Not a thing different. He is pretty hungry to play football now. He missed it. So we’ve got to make sure that he stays clear and all that about this opportunity. If anything, I’m just worried that he’s too excited, too amped up. But he’ll be fine. Really, I’m just so impressed with how this thing has worked out and that he’s gotten us to this point, and really fired up to see him play football.”
Eskridge, Seattle’s second-round pick, hasn’t played since suffering a concussion in the opener. That left him with vision issues that Carroll said are now behind him.
“He had a great week,” Carroll said. “He did everything. He’s to be included in the plan. We can use him as we want to. He really had a great week and looked terrific.”
The team lists defensive tackle Al Woods (not injury-related) as questionable, but Carroll said there’s a “good likelihood” that he plays. Cornerback Bless Austin (personal matter), linebacker Cody Barton (quad) and nickelback Marquise Blair (knee) have been ruled out. Blair is expected to be placed on IR, which would open up one of the two roster spots Seattle needs for Wilson and Eskridge.
The Seahawks are going for their first win at Lambeau Field since 1999. Including playoffs, they’re 0-4 there since Wilson was drafted in 2012.
The Seahawks also waived TE Tyler Mabry on Friday and put safety Marquise Blair on IR to make room for Wilson and Eskridge on the roster.