Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll expressed optimism that the poor air quality in Washington state that has impacted the team's practice schedule will improve by Sunday's game against the New England Patriots.
"We're in direct connection with [the NFL] and they are monitoring what's going on as we are as well," Carroll said Wednesday, per Brady Henderson of ESPN. "Hopefully we get a good shift in the weather here by the weekend. It looks it could change tomorrow some and into the weekend, but we're very cognizant of it and we're working to figure it out."
Henderson noted the Seahawks moved practice inside last Friday and again Wednesday with smoke from the wildfires in the area impacting the air quality in the Seattle area.
However, Henderson also pointed to reports on AirNow.gov that suggest the Air Quality Index in Seattle is projected to be 50 on Sunday, which is considered "good." By contrast, anything from 151 to 200 is "unhealthy," and anything above 200 is "very unhealthy."
The AQI was at 195 in Seattle on Wednesday.
Jeff Passan of ESPN suggested the air quality stemming from wildfires could be a concern for MLB playoff games scheduled to take place in California. "The Phoenix area has emerged as the primary backup option if MLB needs to move any of its postseason games on account of air-quality problems," he wrote.
As for the Seahawks, Sunday's game will be their home opener after they defeated the Atlanta Falcons on the road in Week 1.
It is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET.