For the first time since suffering his second ankle injury this season on Oct. 24, LT Russell Okung was able to practice without limitations Thursday.
The No.6-overall pick said he felt good after seeing reps at full speed this week, and Pete Carroll hopes to have him available to start at New Orleans come Sunday. And, of course, the question still remains: Will he even play at all?
"We're still on the verge of getting to the best that we can be," Carroll said, "and it's going to take Russell a few weeks to get back in action to help and to work and get together with everybody."
There are a couple different ways to take that remark. One way is to infer that Okung won't play this week and still needs a couple of weeks to fully recover. Another way is to assume Okung is good to go, but will take a while to get back to 100 percent, and to a point where he can be the beast we saw against Chicago last month. For all we know right now, he might be a game-time decision on Sunday morning.
But what we do know is this: With Russell Okung on the field, the Seahawks' running game is respectable. They average 4.4 yards per carry on the ground when he's in, and that number drops to 3.3 YPC when he's out. Granted, Marshawn Lynch still needs to do better in the red zone, with or without Okung, but Okung's presence has been a huge boost to this team -- and he's proven that in just six quarters of action this year.
In short, the Seahawks need Okung healthy, especially when facing an opponent on the road like the New Orleans Saints.