By Liz Mathews
Could Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate have made those catches last week? Scored the winning touchdown? Lead the team to victory in the regular-season opener?
"Yeah, obviously just me being a competitor and me wanting to be out there so bad and the camp I had," Tate said Thursday. "I felt like – we all would have felt like – I would have made the catch, or some of those catches."
Tate was unavailable against Arizona, still recovering from a knee injury sustained in the preseason. He didn't travel with the team and watched the game from home.
"It was painful just because I'm around these guys every single day," he said. "I'm with these guys, whether it's hanging out at home or even here. Just to see those guys take the field and play without me it, it hurt me personally. I could not wait to get back and motivate me and just to rehab so much harder to get back."
Tate played all 16 games last season with five starts, catching a career-high 35 passes for 382 yards and three touchdowns.
"I know these guys are depending on me to go out there and make some plays," Tate said. "I want to be out there so bad. It didn't work out, but this week I'm looking to hopefully get out there and get some snaps."
Tate has been a full participant in practice this week and is likely to play on Sunday when the Seahawks host the Cowboys. With wide receiver Charly Martin out due to a bruised lung and starter Sidney Rice missing practice with a knee issue, Tate should factor heavily into the game plan.
Head coach Pete Carroll, however, is hesitant to declare him a starter just yet.
"He's had a good recovery, but he has to make it through the week to show us that he can do all the things that we need to do," Carroll said Wednesday. "He's encouraged and feels really good."
Tate said that for now, he is just trying to "knock the rust off " and "get back in the groove."
"Right now I'm just worrying about myself, preparing myself to play this weekend and then go from there," Tate said. "But with Sidney not practicing and Charly, I definitely get more reps, which is good. So I get to prepare more.
"Hopefully by Sunday I'm ready to go."