Richard Sherman, Will Blackmon likely to sit in Seahawks' preseason opener

Richard Sherman will likely sit out the preseason opener against the Broncos. Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY

RENTON, Wash. -- You might have a hard time recognizing the Seattle Seahawks' secondary in the team's preseason opener.

Already missing starting safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor as well as their usual nickelback, Jeremy Lane, the Seahawks will likely be without cornerback Richard Sherman when they open their exhibition schedule Friday at home against Denver.

Coach Pete Carroll said Thursday Sherman has "a little bit of irritation in his hip-flexor area, so we're going to tend to that, take care of him and make sure he's ready for the long haul."

Will Blackmon, the apparent leader in the competition to start at nickelback in Lane's absence, has what Carroll called a "real slight" groin injury. It doesn't sound like he'll play Friday, either.

"Those are decisions we'll probably make in favor of holding them out," Carroll said of Sherman and Blackmon.

Second-year linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis, one of the standouts of training camp so far, has a shoulder strain that will likely keep him out. Carroll said the injury is not to the same shoulder that Pierre-Louis had surgically repaired last season.

Carroll said linebacker Bruce Irvin is "good to go" after sitting out the end of Wednesday's practice with ice wrapped around the back of his left leg.

Carroll was noncommittal for the most part about who will and won't play. He did state definitively, however, that defensive tackle Jesse Williams will see some playing time. Williams was diagnosed in May with papillary type 2 cancer, had surgery to remove a cancerous kidney and only returned to practice a week ago.

"Can you imagine that? What a story. What a story," Carroll said. "He's never hinted that he wouldn't make it back and get ready. He's practiced well. We'll control the number of snaps he plays, but he's going to be out there battling. I think it's a great tribute to the kid. He's a real competitor."

Brady Henderson is the editor-in-chief at ESPN Seattle/710Sports.com.