RENTON, Wash. — Rees Odhiambo left CenturyLink Field last Sunday in an ambulance, headed for a hospital to be examined for breathing problems caused by a bruised sternum.
By this Sunday, he could be back in the Seattle Seahawks lineup at left tackle.
“I’m going to try and go out there and play,” Odhiambo said Wednesday.
Odhiambo was back on the practice field just three days after an alarming postgame scene following the Seahawks’ 46-18 win over the Indianapolis Colts. Odhiambo had been injured in the third quarter when he was hit in the chest during an interception return. He was having trouble breathing the rest of the game, but never missed a snap through a combination of adrenaline and determination.
It was in the minutes after the game when the adrenaline wore off that Odhiambo’s breathing issues became more serious and required medical attention.
“It felt scary in the locker room when I couldn’t really breathe at the time,” Odhiambo said. “Overall, once I got to the hospital it got a lot better. I was pretty much good from there.”
Odhiambo received attention from numerous team personnel and eventually medics were brought into the locker room to assess his condition. His fellow offensive linemen, coach Pete Carroll and offensive line coach Tom Cable huddled around as medics eventually determined Odhiambo needed to be transported to the hospital.
For his part, Odhiambo doesn’t remember much until he was already in the ambulance. He was eventually diagnosed with a bruised sternum and was discharged Monday afternoon.
“I didn’t have too much going through my head. I was just trying to figure out what was going on at the time,” Odhiambo said. “I’m just glad everything turned out all right, everything was good at the end of it.”
Odhiambo went through Seattle’s walkthrough Wednesday morning and was a full participant during practice in the afternoon. Odhiambo is already a fill-in for Seattle at left tackle after George Fant went down in the preseason with a serious knee injury. If Odhiambo couldn’t go, Seattle would probably turn to Matt Tobin or Isaiah Battle at left tackle.
“It will be important to see how he handles wearing pads today and all that,” Carroll said. “We’ll see how he handles that, but a very favorable turn. We’ll see what happens.”
While the Seahawks are hopeful about Odhiambo’s status, they are being extremely cautious with defensive end Cliff Avril after he suffered a serious neck stinger early in Sunday’s game. Avril has already been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Rams and Carroll said the team will be very careful with Avril moving forward. Carroll’s comments even hinted about the 31-year-old Avril considering stepping away from the game.
Avril was injured when he attempted to make a diving tackle from behind on Indianapolis quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Avril’s chin appeared to be hit by Brissett’s foot and his head snapped back. Avril experienced some loss of feeling in his hands and lower arms, but Carroll said the symptoms had subsided by Wednesday.
“We’re going very slowly, making sure he talks to all the people he needs to talk to so he knows what he’s got and what we need to do with it,” Carroll said. “Just take care of him and make sure he’s well, and if he wants to come back we’ll bring him back. We’ll let you know when we know. But right now we don’t.”
NOTES: The status of starting CB Jeremy Lane (groin) won’t be known until later in the week, Carroll said. If Lane can’t go, rookie Shaquill Griffin would likely start with Justin Coleman serving as Seattle’s nickel cornerback. … This will be Carroll’s second trip back to the Los Angeles Coliseum as a coach since leaving USC to come to Seattle. The Seahawks lost to the Rams 9-3 last year in LA.