Linebackers Leroy Hill, Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright during practice Thursday.
photo by Rod Mar / Seattle Seahawks
by Curtis Crabtree
RENTON - Monday night football always seems to bring a special element to a game and this week's matchup between Seattle and the Green Bay Packers seems to be no exception.
The game will be a firm test for Seattle to prove they belong among the possible playoff contenders in the NFC this season. It's a chance for the highly touted defense to show they can slow down one of the most prolific offenses in the league and a chance for the team to gain some credibility nationally.
The Seahawks are 5-0 in the last five appearance on Monday Night Football with three of those games being shutouts. Seattle is 2-0 against the Packers on Monday night with a 34-24 win over Green Bay in the snow in November of 2006 during their last Monday night meeting.
QB Aaron Rodgers and the bevy of weapons at his disposal will test a Seattle defense thought to be among the best in the league.
"They run the ball when the numbers fit, and they throw the ball when they fit properly and that’s all on the shoulders of the quarterback and he can do it," head coach Pete Carroll said. "Much like Dallas they really take advantage of a really sharp signal caller."
Rodgers knows Seattle's defense is going to be a challenge, especially dealing with the speed of S Earl Thomas.
"That’s the thing that jumps out on film, is that he covers a lot of ground," Rodgers said of Thomas. "His range reminds me of a guy we had here a long time – Nick Collins – who played at a Pro Bowl level his entire career.
"His ability to make up if anybody outside gets beat or react to a ball deep down the field. Earl has that ability. He’s a very aggressive player. He seems to be really understanding the game with the experience that he’s getting. He’s a big time player."
The matchup of Green Bay's passing offense against Seattle's defense will be the most intriguing matchup of the night for the Seahawks. The other key for Seattle will be keeping QB Russell Wilson upright against a Dom Capers defense that will try to pressure Wilson into mistakes. LB Clay Matthews has six sacks in two games, keeping Wilson standing will be critical.
WR Charly Martin was back at practice on Thursday after missing all of a last week with a bruised lung suffered late in the season opener against Arizona. Martin fully participated during the practice and is expected to be available this week.
T Russell Okung also was fully back to practice after being limited throughout last week and unable to play against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Carroll said he expects Okung to be back ready for Monday night.
"(He) looked pretty good today; he looks like he’ll be back," Carroll said.
CB Byron Maxwell seems to be the only question mark for availability against the Packers. Maxwell suffered a first-degree hamstring strain against the Cowboys last week. TE Zach Miller (foot) will be limited throughout the week, but is expected to be good to go Monday.
RB Marshawn Lynch (back) and WR Doug Baldwin (shoulder) were also limited on Thursday.
WR Tate fined for hit on Cowboys LB Sean Lee.
Seahawks WR Golden Tate was fined by the league for his blindside hit on Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee on a scramble by QB Russell Wilson in the fourh quarter of their 27-7 win on Sunday.
Tate peeled back and lowered his shoulder in Lee's upper chest as Wilson turned the corner up the sideline.
"That night I looked over the hit several times, talked with some other people that had knowledge of the game, and I had mixed reviews. Some thought it was illegal, some thought it was legal, so I’m sure it was a tough decision," Tate said.
"I’m sure the commissioner went long and hard thinking about it and he thought that was right. So I have to deal with it fix the problem and make sure it doesn’t happen again. It’s unfortunate that I got fined, but rules are rules."
Green Bay Packers
Did Not Participate
TE Tom Crabtree (shoulder)
WR Greg Jennings (groin)
LB Jamari Lattimore (ankle)
WR Randall Cobb (hamstring)
CB Davon House (shoulder)
G Josh Sitton (knee)
RB James Starks (toe)
DE C.J. Wilson (groin)
LB Terrell Manning (concussion)
LB Nick Perry (wrist)
Did Not Participate
CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring)