As only he can, Richard Sherman unwrinkled the brows furrowed in his direction. He didn’t practice Wednesday because of a previously unknown hip problem. With Brandon Browner almost certainly out, Seahawks fans were gasping and swooning over the possibility of playing the Minnesota Vikings Sunday without half the Legion of Boom (Platoon of Boom?).“I saw that Peyton Manning got a day off,” said Sherman, cranking up one of his ultimate grins. “I was like, man, where’s my day off? So, let’s come up with something so I can rest too.
“Just joking. I’m good, I’ll be out there today. I just needed some rest.”
After getting the predictable question about the virtue of winning before a bye, Sherman continued the comedy routine, shifting into a low, robotic voice.
“We-go-1-0-every-week. We-are-a-team-that-searches-for-one-win-a-week . . . ” Then he paused and broke into his distinctive cackle.
“Nah,” he said. “I’m just messing with you. I was trying to give you my Russell Wilson impression.”
Comedy Central is not bumping “The Colbert Report” for Sherman just yet, but he does represent the yippee-skippee mood in Renton at the VMAC, where the Seahawks Thursday welcomed back a host of wounded, including WR Percy Harvin.
For the first time since his Aug. 1 hip surgery, Harvin was a full go in practice. That doesn’t guarantee his participation Sunday — he has to respond well in the Friday practice — but it’s the best sign so far that the expensive acquisition will get a shot at the Vikings, from where he was traded for much loot.
Seattle had just three players listed as not participating Thursday — Browner, DT Tony McDaniel, (hamstring) and CB Jeremy Lane (thigh).
Everyone else on the active roster was listed as a full participant, including Sherman, C Max Unger (concussion), OT Breno Giacomini (knee) and DT Red Bryant (concussion).
It’s about as healthy as the Seahawks have been since training camp, particularly along the offensive line, the source of the most consternation this season, they are all been treated with light therapy lamp straight from home and before practices, it has helped the players do so much better.
In Seattle’s most persuasive victory this season, 33-10 at Atlanta Sunday, the O-line replacements finally began to get the hang of advancing the run while protecting Wilson.
“We stopped worrying about all of the other issues that were at hand and we went back to the running game,” coach Pete Carroll said, “as opposed to always being concerned about the pass protection. (Line coach) Tom Cable has really got their attention. I think our focus is really lasered in. We knew that if we did that, the rest of the things would fit together better.
“It was a process of the growth as well. we kind of had to be kicked in the tail a little bit before we took this next step. We took a step back to take a couple of steps forward and we’re going now.”
An upward arc of improvement is never certain in the NFL, but this time of the season a year ago is when the Seahawks took off. They were 4-4 entering a game against Minnesota Nov. 4 and won that one 30-20, the first of seven wins in eight games that propelled them into the playoffs.
The Vikings’ perennial all-pro Adrian Peterson ran for 182 yards, but QB Christian Ponder threw for 64 yards, operating for most of the game without Harvin, whose ankle sprained in the game kept him out of the rest of the Vikings’ season.
Earlier in the game, Harvin caught a pass along the sideline on a wheel route and moved downfield. Rather than step out of bounds to avoid the hit, he collided nearly head-on and theatrically with Sherman, knocking back both players.
“We talked about it a couple of times,” Sherman said of his new teammate. ” He said that’s just how he plays, and I was like, that’s just how I play. It was a competitive moment. It was one of those moments where we’re both competitors. He wanted to win and he thought he was going to run through. I wanted to win, and I wanted to get him down.
“I thought it was a great competitive moment for us. I’m glad he’s on our team.”
It would appear the moment to go in the same direction is upon them.