By Gregg Bell
McClatchy News Service
RENTON — The Seahawks’ running game is (almost) whole again.
Leading rusher Chris Carson is “full go” to start for the Seahawks (7-3) tonight at the Philadelphia Eagles (3-6-1), coach Pete Carroll said Saturday before the team left for Pennsylvania.
Carson practiced fully Saturday during the team’s lighter, indoor work. It was his first full practice since he sprained his foot Oct. 25 early in Seattle’s overtime loss at Arizona. The Seahawks have lost three of the five games since he’s been out.
“He looks really good,” Carroll said, one day after play-caller Brian Schottenheimer said Carson looked “terrific.”
“He looks explosive, and in great shape,” the head coach said. “He’s got fresh-legs benefit. You can tell. You can feel it in his change of direction and all that stuff. So he is rarin’ to go.
“Yeah, he’s full go.”
Carson and Carlos Hyde, who returned last week from a hamstring he strained the same night Carson got hurt, give the Seahawks their top two running backs for the first time in more than a month.
That should force defenses to play Russell Wilson and Seattle’s offense more honestly. The Cardinals last month in the game Carson and Hyde got hurt, then the Buffalo Bills and Rams after them, blitzed Wilson into 10 turnovers while disregarding Seattle’s basically non-existent running game without their top two backs.
Pro Bowl cornerback Shaquill Griffin and starting center Ethan Pocic are also returning from injuries and will play today for the first time in weeks. Griffin has missed four games with a strained hamstring. Pocic has missed the last two weeks with a concussion.
“We got a few guys back, too, for this ballgame, thankfully,” Carroll said. “It’s been a while.”
Griffin and Tre Flowers will be the starting cornerbacks at Philadelphia. Quinton Dunbar is on injured reserve for at least another week with what Carroll has termed a “chronic” knee injury.
The Seahawks could be getting a third top rusher back soon. And finally.
Carroll said the team expects Rashaad Penny to practice next week. It will his first time on the field with his teammates since Seattle’s first-round draft choice in 2018 tore knee ligaments last December during a game at the Los Angeles Rams.
The Seahawks signed Hyde to a one-year contract this spring knowing Penny would miss most of this season.
“I’ve talked to Rashaad about it, he’s coming out (to practice) next week,” Carroll said. “We are thrilled about that.”