BY SPNW Staff 05:09PM 12/14/2012

Sidney Rice In, Walter Thurmond Out, Says Carroll

WR Sidney Rice, who had been expected to miss Sunday’s game, will play, but Walter Thurmond’s hamstring injury means Seahawks are down to third string at one cornerback.

 Pete Carroll will have the full complement at wide receiver Sunday, but will  be short at cornerback. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

Ccoach Pete Carroll had some significant injury updates to report Friday, two days ahead of the Seahawks game against the Buffalo Bills at Rogers Center in Toronto. WR Sidney Rice, considered questionable with a sore foot earlier this week, will play, but CB Walter Thurmond, who started against Arizona for the suspended Brandon Browner, won’t.

“He (Thurmond) is not going to make it,” Carroll said. “He was fine after the game (the  58-0 romp over Arizona). He wasn’t hurt, but he got hurt just chasing an out route here in practice. He didn’t hit it or anything; he just took a step and fired up his hamstring. Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane will both rotate time at that spot.”

Rice’s quick recovery helps since WR Charly Martin, scheduled to play if Rice couldn’t, was placed on injured reserve. Martin pulled up lame with a calf injury suffered in practice Thursday.

Red Bryant (foot) and Kam Chancellor (groin) are ready to play. CB Marcus Trufant (hamstring) still isn’t ready, and that LB Leroy Hill will start ahead of Malcolm Smith, who scored against Arizona on a muffed punt return.

“Leroy is going to start, but they’ll both play,” Carroll said. “The competition will continue there. We know we have a really fast kid (in Smith), He understands the system, he can cover guys, he can blitz wel. We get a really big boost from him, and he’s played very well these past two weeks.”

The Seahawks (8-5) will face a 5-8 Bills team that relies on running back C.J. Spiller, who received a lot of Seattle’s defensive attention this week.

“This is a different style of offense that we’re facing,” Carroll said. “They have a lot of things that they do that makes them unique. They’re explosive. I think that we will see C.J. Spiller (944 yards, 9 TDs) more, and if you look at his numbers you can see why they would do that. They have great numbers in the running game and in the passing game. We have to really tune in to him. He’s the factor that can really change things. They move him all over the place and they know how to do it.”

On a topic unrelated to the game, Carroll said that he does not favor increasing the number of playoff teams. The NFL is considering bumping the number to 14 or 16.

“I can see why they would do that,” Carroll said. “It’s a good conversation and it includes more cities, and more towns that will get their teams to play. I referenced it like bowl games. Everybody goes to a bowl game and the cool thing for the school is that you win your bowl game and the schools feel like it’s a bowl champion. This is kind of an extension of just more teams involved. If I was voting I would keep it the same, but I understand why the conversation is out there. It’s interesting.”

Sunday is Seattle’s last road contest of the regular season. The Seahawks close out at home  against San Francisco Dec. 23 and St. Louis Dec. 30.


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