By Brady Henderson
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll says cornerback Brandon Browner could miss extensive time due to a groin injury that forced him to leave Sunday's game against Atlanta.
Carroll gave a prognosis that was neither definitive nor optimistic when he joined 710 ESPN Seattle's "Brock and Danny" on Monday.
"Browner's hurt. He's going to be down for a bit," Carroll said. "We don't know how extensive it is, but it could be quite a while."
Browner felt what Carroll said was "a significant pop" in his groin during the first half of Seattle's win over Atlanta and didn't return. Carroll said Monday that the team was still awaiting MRI results.
Walter Thurmond, normally Seattle's nickel cornerback, moved outside once Browner left and finished the game with seven tackles – including two for loss – and forced a fumble that he recovered himself. Byron Maxwell also saw time at cornerback and broke up a pair of passes, one of them in the end zone.
"Those guys can play," Carroll said of Thurmond and Maxwell. "They're indoctrinated into the system. Technique-wise, they're absolutely sound. We've seen them play in other games. We have total confidence in those guys going. So we feel fine about going to the next guy and the next guy."
Offensive linemen returning
Carroll said tackles Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini will return to practice this week and have a good chance to play Sunday against Minnesota. Add in the likely return of center Max Unger and Seattle could have its ideal starting offensive line intact for the first time since Week 2.
Okung is eligible to play Sunday for the first time since he was placed on injured reserve with a designation to return after sustaining a torn toe ligament in Week 2. Giacomini hasn't played since Week 3 because of a knee injury.
"They have to make it through the week of practice and make sure that they're healthy and fit and can do that, but that's a major boost," Carroll said. "It seems like we've been waiting a long time. We've endured it and we're fortunate by it and we're stronger for it, but it's also really exciting to have those guys back out there in the huddle."
Unger missed Seattle's win over Atlanta due to a concussion, as did defensive end Red Bryant.
"Max is fine. He really bounced back really well late in the week but too late after the process," Carroll said. "Red was not quite as far along so we'll have to wait and see on that one."
Harvin deadline arrives
Monday is the deadline for Seattle to activate wide receiver Percy Harvin from the Physically Unable to Perform list to the 53-man roster. Doing so wouldn't guarantee that Harvin makes his Seahawks debut next week against Minnesota, but it's a requirement if he is to play this season.
Carroll have no indication that Harvin won't be activated.
"He has made great progress," Carroll said. "He's really excited about getting back on the practice field. We're quite a margin closer than we've been."
• DT Tony McDaniel also left Sunday's game – a hamstring injury forcing him to leave in the second quarter for good – but Carroll said he may have been able to return to the game had Seattle needed him to.