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Seahawks FS Thomas to play Sunday

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Free safety Earl Thomas plans to be in the lineup Sunday at St. Louis when the Seattle Seahawks open their defense as two-time defending NFC champions.

Thomas had offseason shoulder surgery to repair an injury he played through in the Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots in February.

Since that loss, the Seahawks subtracted cornerback Byron Maxwell (Eagles, free agency) and are dealing with an ongoing holdout of strong safety Kam Chancellor.

Chancellor has been one of the keys to the team’s rise under head coach Pete Carroll, taken in the fifth round of the 2010 draft, Carroll’s first with the team.

“Right now, nothing has changed in that situation,” Carroll said after the Seahawks ended the preseason with a 31-21 win over the Raiders last Thursday.

And that means the Seahawks could be playing the opener against the Rams with untested second-year man Dion Bailey at strong safety. Bailey started the last three games of the preseason in Chancellor’s spot.

With Thomas in place, the vaunted secondary of the Seahawks known as the “Legion of Boom” could have just two of last year’s four starters, including Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman.

The LOB will have a different look with Marcus Burley apparently winning the nickel-back job with the team releasing veteran Will Blackmon, and with free-agent signee Cary Williams taking over as the right cornerback opposite Sherman.


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