Carroll optimistic smoke won’t affect Seahawks-Pats game

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is hopeful the air quality in Seattle won’t prevent his team from playing in its home opener against the New England Patriots on Sunday night.

With wildfires raging throughout the western United States, air quality has become a major problem on the Pacific coast. Last Sunday, the status of the season openers at home for both the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers remained uncertain into the weekend. Both teams ultimately played the games.

On Wednesday, poor air quality in Seattle forced the Seahawks to hold their first practice of the week in their indoor facility in nearby Renton, Wash. According to the website AirNow.gov, which is run by the Environmental Protection Agency and monitors air quality, the Air Quality Index (AQI) was 190 in the afternoon in Seattle. A day earlier it was 195.

As of 10:30 p.m. PDT in Seattle on Wednesday, the AQI was 173.

The site projects Sunday’s AQI to be at 50. A “good” AQI rating is between zero and 50.

“We’re in direct connection with (the NFL) and they are monitoring what’s going on as we are as well,” Carroll said Wednesday afternoon. “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.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, more than five million acres had burned in California, Oregon and Washington.

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