Earl Thomas Returns to Seattle on Sunday

Big Bad Morning Show
October 16, 2019 - 7:30 pm
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Earl Thomas makes his return to Seattle on Sunday at CenturyLink Field.  The Seahawks (5-1) will host the Ravens (4-2), the last game before Baltimore has their bye week.  

This season, a trip to the west coast doesn't mean a focus on just time change but it also means a lot of eyes will be on safety Earl Thomas.  Will it be weird for Thomas being on the other side? "Luckily, I love the game," he said.  "It doesn't matter who I'm playing for.  I'm going out there to try to win.  Maybe when I get to the visiting locker room and see how that feels, maybe it'll add something to that, but other than that, it's business as usual. I'm going out there to compete and make plays, to try to help us win."

Last year with Seattle, Thomas wanted a new contract to stay with the Seahawks or to be traded.  He began his holdout on June 10 and didn't show up to participate in training camp.  He had one year and $8.5 million salary remaining on his contract.  However, the holdout ended week 1 when Thomas returned to play Denver.  It wasn't until the Seahawks played the Cardinals in week 4, when he broke his leg, ending his season.  He gave the 'middle finger,' on the medical cart on his way to the locker room in Arizona. 

A new contract, a new team, new colors, and a different coast for Thomas.  On March 13, Thomas signed a new deal with Baltimore that included $32 million guaranteed. 

"We parted ways.  That's it,"  head coach Pete Carroll said during a conference call on Wednesday.  "He went on and pursued another opportunity and got a great shot with the Ravens.  We lose out on a terrific player whenever we lost our guys.  Whatever the impact they had, we care fore these people. They made a big difference in our lives when we're playing together and working.  So, there's a relationship that gets developed, and when you leave, you have to deal with it."    

Whether this was bound to happen or not, the Seahawks were on the schedule, and Earl Thomas was going to have to face them.  He has started all six games and will be starting against Seattle on Sunday, as well.

"Nothing has hit me yet."  said Thomas, "I'm just trying to get the gameplan down, just take it one day at a time, trying to get my body right for the game.  But no emotions yet.  Nothing has really hit me yet."  

For John Harbaugh, he hasn't noticed any extra emotion with Thomas going back to his previous team.  

"He approaches it as another game, but I'm sure that he's excited and looking forward to it.  He has a lot of friends there and a fanbase there.  For anybody, it would be a meaningful thing.  He's a game captain.  He's already been a game captain once or twice this year, but he's certainly a game captain for this game.  I'm sure there's a lot of meaning to it, and he's going to try to put his best foot forward out there, for sure."

There is also no tension between former teammates either.

"Yes, guys have been checking on me throughout the season, especially guys on defense, some of my old coaches, some of my old strength and conditioning staff.  They've checked on me.  But I'm sure like during pregame, once I go through my warmups, if I see some guys and we start a conversation, I'm not going to go out there and not talk to anybody."

Cornerback Marlon Humphrey was asked if he sensed that this will be an emotional game for Thomas.  "I think so.  Since Earl [Thomas] has been here, he's definitely been a pretty calm-mannered guy. But he's been there for a long time. The thing that flashed to me is the little middle finger thing, so I think there will definitely be a little tension there."

This is the last game before the bye for the Ravens, so going into it 5-2 would be the ideal situation before facing a more difficult schedule, afterwards.    

"It's a great test,"  Thomas said. "It's a great test, and what a way to enter the bye week.  If we win this, the bye week will be that much better."