PHOENIX (AP) Seahawks All-Pro safety Earl Thomas promises he will play in the Super Bowl and will remain fearless when he gets on the field.
Thomas pronounced his separated left shoulder ''pretty good'' when the team arrived Sunday for the Super Bowl. He was injured in Seattle's overtime victory against Green Bay a week ago for the NFC championship. He left the game but returned, and says there is no way he won't face New England next Sunday.
After delivering a message to U.S. troops that he is ''banged-up, just like you guys probably are, and I am going to fight through it,'' Thomas relayed a story from when he was a youngster playing Little League.
A ground ball hit him in the mouth and his lip stuck to his braces. His father took Thomas to the emergency room at a hospital for treatment, and then asked his son if he wanted to go back to the baseball game. His immediate reply was ''of course.''
''This is me,'' Thomas said. ''I love competing. I am just glad we are reliving our dreams. It feels like a movie.''
Thomas added that tackling the likes of star tight end Rob Gronkowski will be a challenge he will meet in the Super Bowl. If his approach is strong, Thomas adds, his physical status won't be an issue.
''If my mental is right, my body just mirrors that,'' said Thomas, who returned to practice Friday. ''It's a lot to deal with, my first major injury. I got the big picture.
''When I come alive nothing is limited. I can still play fearless and throw my body around and whatever happens, happens.''
Seattle's other All-Pro defensive back, cornerback Richard Sherman, has an elbow injury that he also dismissed as a non-factor for next Sunday. The Seahawks know they need both Thomas and Sherman as close to full strength as possible against the potent Patriots.
If the Legion of Boom is not, well, booming the opposition, particularly in this matchup, Seattle will be in trouble.
''Richard practiced in all the practices and he looks to be fine,'' coach Pete Carroll said. ''He still has an elbow to take care of, but he's practiced well. Earl practiced (Saturday), the day before and got the last day of practice in and looked fine. Both those guys are scheduled to play and should be OK. They have to deal with their issues, but they'll be playing in the football game.''
Thomas can't wait. He sees his team on the verge of a memorable achievement.
''I am too young to be thinking about legacy right now,'' the 25-year-old Thomas said, ''but sometimes you don't have to say anything because your work speaks for itself. So we definitely have that on the table.''
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