Thomas may miss game vs. Cow­boys

Sea­hawks free safety on in­jury list as be­ing out for non-in­jury rea­sons.

Austin American-Statesman Sunday - - SPORT SUNDAY - By Cur­tis Crab­tree

REN­TON, WASH. — Sea­hawks free safety Earl Thomas was at prac­tice Fri­day but did not take part be­cause of rea­sons of a per­sonal na­ture, ac­cord­ing to coach Pete Car­roll.

Car­roll left open the pos­si­bil­ity that the is­sue — that he wouldn’t de­tail — could keep Thomas from play­ing Sun­day in the team’s home opener against the Dal­las Cow­boys.

“He couldn’t work to­day,” Car­roll said. “... We’ll see how he’s do­ing. Make sure he’s OK.”

Thomas did not take part in prac­tice on Wed­nes­day ei­ther and was listed on the team’s in­jury re­port as be­ing out for non-in­jury rea­sons. He re­turned to prac­tice Thurs­day be­fore miss­ing the team’s fi­nal prac­tice of the week on Fri­day.

Car­roll con­firmed that his ab­sence had noth­ing to do with an in­jury.

“He’s got some other stuff go­ing on we’re work­ing on,” Car­roll said.

Thomas held out from all off-

sea­son work with the Sea­hawks in hopes of get­ting a new con­tract from the Sea­hawks. The move did not suc­ceed de­spite Thomas’ ef­forts and he re­ported to the team be­fore the start of the reg­u­lar sea­son. The pos­si­bil­ity of a trade has per­sisted, though noth­ing has ap­par­ently been deemed suf­fi­cient for Seat­tle to deal him at this point.

If Thomas didn’t play a gainst Dal­las, Tedric Thomp­son would serve as the re­place­ment at free safety.

With or with­out Thomas, the Sea­hawks are try­ing to avoid an 0-3 start Sun­day when they host the Cow­boys at Cen­tury Link Field. Pete Car­roll has never started a sea­son with three con­sec­u­tive losses.

That’s 12 sea­sons in the pros and nine in col­lege dur­ing which Car­roll has been able to avoid a dis­as­trous start to a new cam­paign.

“There’s only a cou­ple of un­de­feated teams in the NFC right now and let’s hang with that. Let’s hang with them,” Car­roll said. “I don’t want to get be­hind that num­ber right now, so we’ve got to get a win.”

Dal­las is still try­ing to solve all of its is­sues, but at least has a vic­tory af­ter knock­ing off the New York Gi­ants at home last week. The Cow­boys’ de­fense was ex­cep- tional against the Gi­ants, hold­ing rookie Saquon Barkley and New York’s run game to 35 yards on the ground, and sacked quar­ter­back Eli Man­ning six times. The Cow­boys are sec­ond in the NFL with nine sacks through two weeks, and now face the of­fense that’s sur­ren­dered a league-high 12 sacks so far, six in each game.

“We’ve con­tin­ued to try to build the tal­ent level on our front seven and try to cre­ate com­pet­i­tive sit­u­a­tions where guys are fight­ing for ros­ter spots and fight­ing for play­ing time and hope- fully when they get out there that com­pe­ti­tion brings out the best in them,” Dal­las coach Ja­son Gar­rett said. “Ob­vi­ously, those can be very im­pact­ful plays.”

The Cow­boys are 5-2 in Septem­ber road games since 2014, one of those losses com­ing in the opener against Carolina. Seat­tle hasn’t lost a home game in Septem­ber un­der Car­roll, go­ing 13-0 since 2010.

Notes: New Dal­las sec­ondary coach and pass­ing game co­or­di­na­tor Kris Rich- ard turned down in­ter­view re­quests be­fore his re­union with the Sea­hawks. Richard spent the first eight years of his pro coach­ing ca­reer in Seat­tle, the past two as de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor. He was fired in a re­tool­ing of Car­roll’s de­fen­sive staff. ... Seat­tle is ex­pected to get Wag­ner (groin), rookie start­ing cor­ner­back Tre Flow­ers (ham­string) and guard D.J. Fluker (ham­string) back af­ter miss­ing time with in­juries. ... Gar­rett said it was a lit­tle strange when Seat­tle safety Earl Thomas ap­proached him in the Dal­las locker room fol­low­ing the Sea­hawks’ vic­tory last De­cem­ber. Dur­ing his off­sea­son hold­out, Thomas made it clear he wouldn’t mind the op­por­tu­nity to play else­where, with Dal­las pos­si­bly at the top of his wish list. “I’ve never had that hap­pen be­fore, an op­pos­ing player comes into your locker room. But we have great re­spect for him,” Gar­rett said.

As­so­ci­ated Press writer Tim Booth con­trib­uted to this story.

Seat­tle free safety Earl Thomas re­turned to prac­tice Thurs­day be­fore miss­ing the team’s fi­nal prac­tice of the week Fri­day.

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