KIRKLAND, Wash. - Six-year veteran Deion Branch returned to practice for the Seattle Seahawks Wednesday at their training headquarters in Kirkland, giving the team hope that it will have its entire complement of receivers for its Green Bay playoff game.
Nate Burleson and Bobby Engram haven't missed a game this season, but Branch and D.J. Hackett have been hampered by injuries.
Since re-injuring his right calf during practice on Dec. 26, Branch has been waiting to get clearance from the Seahawks medical staff to return to action. He missed the Seahawks' regular-season finale at Atlanta and their first-round playoff win at home over the Washington Redskins last weekend.
Branch says he initially injured the calf in Seattle's win over Baltimore on Dec. 23, then aggravated it in practice. He says he "felt good" being able to practice again Wednesday. In 12 games this season, Branch had 49 catches. He was the 2005 Super Bowl MVP while with the New England Patriots,
The Seahawks are at Green Bay at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday in their second NFC playoff game. The oddsmakers have made the Packers 8-point favorites.