He likely cemented his spot Saturday night, showing off skills he last displayed in high school.
Kearse last returned kicks at Lakes High School, less than an hour south of Seattle. He was approached this week about giving it a shot; with Harvin out, the return game became one of Seattle's main question marks.
"They came to me and asked if I could return and I wasn't going to say no," Kearse said. "I got some reps during the week, and on Friday, Coach (Pete) Carroll told me I was going to be able to get the first one. It was definitely a blessing."
"When I looked up, I saw nothing but green ahead of me," Browner said. "I only saw offensive linemen, and I'll always take my chances against offensive linemen."
But those appearances were secondary for the Broncos. Starting defensive end Derek Wolfe was taken off the field on a stretcher after injuring his neck in the first quarter. Denver later saw starting right guard Louis Vasquez leave with a left knee injury. The Broncos already had lost center Dan Koppen for the season with a torn ACL early in camp.
"We need to get a few guys that have been injured back on the field, try to form the identity and the chemistry of this team," Manning said. "We haven't had all of our players at full speed, so hopefully that can start a little more this week. I know there were a few injuries tonight, but we still have work we need put in and improvements we need to make."
Wolfe initially was cut on the play by Seattle's Luke Willson. As Wolfe was getting back up, Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson collided with Wolfe and appeared to compress his head and neck. Wolfe remained on the ground and appeared to be moving his legs initially, but medical personnel strapped him to a backboard and took him away in an ambulance.
"It's a scary situation," Welker said. "You're just praying for him and hoping that everything is OK, and you definitely get concerned when you see the ambulance come out and things like that. Just hoping for the best."
A year ago, Wilson still was fighting to earn the starting job. After getting two series last week against San Diego, Wilson played the entire first half and looked ready for the regular season. He finished 8-of-12 passing for 127 yards and two touchdowns. He hit Kearse to cap the Seahawks' first drive, and Sean McGrath juggled and caught a 3-yard TD from Wilson late in the first half.
Manning appeared just as ready, with Denver rolling up 209 offensive yards in the first half, mostly against Seattle's starting defense and most of that coming from Manning. He finished 11-of-16 passing for 163 yards and his TD toss to Welker, but neither Ronnie Hillman (13 carries for 34 yards) nor Montee Ball (six carries, 28 yards) was able to establish much in the run game.
The turnovers led to Seattle making this one a blowout.
Denver tight end Julius Thomas was stripped by Browner following a 20-yard completion in Seattle territory in the first quarter. Heath Farwell later caused Hillman to fumble as he tried to stretch across the goal line, and Browner returned the fumble from deep in the end zone to put the Seahawks ahead 24-7.
"I thought I was over the goal line, but anytime anything comes loose, you don't want to have it picked up by anybody else," Hillman said. "I should have held on to the ball."
Stephen Williams added a 39-yard TD catch in the second half for Seattle, his second long TD reception in two games.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press