Miller signing now bigger after Carlson injury

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RENTON, WASH. (AP) - With John Carlson expected to miss the season, the offseason acquisition of Zach Miller is looming even larger for the short-handed Seattle Seahawks.

Coach Pete Carroll announced this week that Carlson would undergo season-ending surgery to repair his injured shoulder.

Carlson was injured in practice on Aug. 13 diving for a ball in one-on-one drills then aggravated it blocking later in the practice.

The Seahawks hoped it was an injury that would come around with rest and rehab, but it didn’t progress the way they had hoped.

“The decision was kind of made by my shoulder,” Carlson said. “It kind of resolved itself by not coming along as far as we wanted it to. Obviously very disappointing but that’s where my shoulder is and I need to get it fixed and start the rehab process.”

“It’s not bad but it’s to the point where it’s going to prevent me from doing what I need to do on the field. If I can’t do what I have to, I’m going to have to get it fixed and take it from there,” he said.

With the signing of Miller in July, Carlson’s role with the team appeared uncertain.

He was coming off an underwhelming season with just 31 catches for 318 yards and one touchdown while Miller posted his second straight 60-catch season and made his first Pro Bowl appearance in 2010 for the Oakland Raiders.

Carroll dismissed the assumption that Carlson was no longer in the team’s plans and talked about the ability to use both on the field together.

“We were really counting on this,” Carroll said. “We were so excited about having Zach and John play together, you know, and unfortunately that’s not going to happen now.”

In Carlson’s absence, Miller and reserves Anthony McCoy and Dominique Byrd could become pivotal pieces of the offense.

Seattle kept four tight ends on the roster last season.

Backup Cameron Morrah has yet to practice this season as he remains on the physically unable to perform list with a toe injury. Carroll said Morrah likely won’t be ready by the start of the regular season.

McCoy is bigger and more effective as a blocker while Byrd is more of a downfield receiving threat.

The Seahawks have only scored five touchdowns so far this preseason. McCoy and Byrd have combined for all three scores through the air.

“You have guys that work hard and we take it to heart that we should be the hardest-working guys on the field because we have so much to do,” Byrd said.

“That’s really been a positive, I think with everybody’s different roles it’s good to be able to feed off each other, and be able to watch the other guys. How he’s practicing, get those mental reps so that if they put you in that position you can do just as well or make the correction that you need to.”

Notes: WR Isaiah Stanback (hamstring), WR Ben Obomanu (head), WR Sidney Rice (shoulder) and WR Mike Williams (undisclosed) all missed practice Wednesday. … T Russell Okung participated in team drills for the first time since injuring his ankle in the team’s preseason opener against the San Diego Chargers on Aug. 11.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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