By Danny O'Neil
RENTON – Seattle's second-round pick might be the first Seahawk to touch the ball in the preseason.
At least that will be true if the Seahawks end up receiving the opening kickoff in San Diego on Thursday as running back Christine Michael will be back to return it, according to coach Pete Carroll.
"You're going to see Christine Michael right off the bat," Carroll said. "I don't mind telling you that. I'm kind of anxious to see that myself."
Percy Harvin's absence leaves an opening at kickoff returner, and Michael – the running back Seattle selected out of Texas A&M – is going to get first crack. Cornerback Jeremy Lane and receiver Golden Tate are also considerations.
|Gear:||No helmets, no pads|
|Practice:||10 a.m. - 11:40 a.m.|
|Won't play:||LB Bruce Irvin (groin), RB Robert Turbin (foot), T Mike Person, G James Carpenter (foot), DE Cliff Avril (hamstring).||Uncertain:||WR Sidney Rice, CB Ron Parker (hamstring), C Max Unger (groin), TE Darren Fells (hamstring), WR Bryan Walters (undisclosed).||PUP:||WR Percy Harvin, TE Zach Miller, DE Chris Clemons, DL Greg Scruggs, CB Tharold Simon.||Non-football Injury list:||LB Korey Toomer.||Interviews:||Sidney Rice|
Carroll stayed mum on playing-time specifics, saying only that the starters will likely play, but expect to see a heaping helping of Michael at running back along with fellow rookie Spencer Ware and fullback Derrick Coleman.
Robert Turbin was activated earlier this week, but has not begun practicing at full speed, and while Marshawn Lynch is healthy, he's not going to get anywhere near a full workload.
"He probably won't get 10, 15 carries in the game," Carroll said.
He might not get two.
"I didn't say what he's going to get," Carroll said. "I said he's probably not going to get 10 or 15."
Expect a good deal of the carries to wind up in the hands of Michael on Thursday night.
"He's going to get a load," Carroll said.
Man in the middle
Of all the players on the Seahawks' roster, none will have a bigger opportunity than Allen Bradford.
He might even start at middle linebacker after Bobby Wagner missed a few practices last week with a sore shoulder.
Bradford arrived in Seattle as a running back, claimed from Tampa Bay in 2011, and he was converted to defense. It's not as crazy as it sounds. Bradford was one of the nation's top two-way players when Carroll recruited him to USC, and Bradford embraced the switch to linebacker.
"This has been a long-term project with Allen," Carroll said.
One that was hampered last year in training camp because Bradford had a broken hand. Now healthy, he's got a chance to grab onto a role as a backup middle linebacker behind Wagner.
"It has been a great experiment," Carroll said. "He's really fast. He's really strong. He's really tough. We'll give him a month and see how it works out. He's very, very talented."
• LB Bruce Irvin won't be able to play Thursday because of a sore groin, which prevented him from practicing earlier this week. Neither will G James Carpenter, who is dealing with what Carroll said is a foot strain.
• Turbin has not participated in a full practice since being activated from Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, but Carroll said that's by design. "We're just bringing him back slowly," Carroll said. The hope is Turbin will be going full speed by the end of next week.
• The Seahawks terminated the contract of WR Early Doucet five days after signing the former Arizona Cardinal.