By Danny O'Neil
Walter Thurmond may be back on the roster for Sunday's game against St. Louis, but that doesn't mean Byron Maxwell will be back on the bench.
Maxwell will remain the Seahawks' starter at right cornerback, the spot he moved to while Thurmond served a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell has three interceptions in four starts since Walter Thurmond was suspended for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. (AP)
"Byron has played great football for us," coach Pete Carroll said when he answered questions after Friday's practice. "I think he's on a kind of rhythm that we want to take after in a game like this. There's no reason to put Walter into that situation after just one week of practice. But Walter is ready to play, and if he's active, he'll be out there and helping us out."
Maxwell intercepted three passes in the four games he started. Thurmond could still have a role in the defense as the team's nickel back, used in passing downs.
The Seahawks received a roster exemption for Thurmond this week, but would have to move him back to the 53-man roster no later than Saturday to have him available. Carroll was asked if Thurmond will be activated.
"There's a good chance," the coach said.
Red Bryant gets green light
Defensive end Red Bryant sat out practice on Thursday because of a sore knee, but he was back on Friday and was listed as probable, meaning he's virtually certain to be available for normal duty.
"He came through the week just fine," Carroll said.
That's good news for the Seahawks because Bryant is a key part of the team's rush defense, and the Rams rushed for 200 yards in their game against Seattle earlier this season.
Baldwin to be back for returns
One lineup change Seattle will make: Doug Baldwin is expected to get an opportunity to return kickoffs. He was summoned to that job last week after Robert Turbin fumbled away the ball without being hit in the second half.
"Doug's going to get some turns back there," Carroll said of the kickoff return job.
Receiver Jermaine Kearse was unable to practice this week because of an ankle injury, which he suffered during last week's game against Arizona. He is listed as questionable, and a decision won't be made on his status until he tests himself on the field before the game.
"He's going to be a game-day decision," Carroll said. "We'll see how it goes."
If Kearse is unable to play, expect Bryan Walters to be active.