Branch has started all games for the Seahawks this year but left in Seattle's 50-17 win over Buffalo on Sunday after spraining his ankle. Head coach Pete Carroll said Branch's ankle looked much better really quickly but that the team still plans to let him rest so he is ready for Sunday.
"We'll rest him, probably until Friday. We're thinking he might have a chance to make it back. So that's very encouraging, because we thought after the game he would not be able to do that. We'll see how that goes," Carroll said.
Having Branch back would be a big boost to the Seattle defense, which is also awaiting the return of Marcus Trufant and Walter Thurmond from hamstring injuries. Carroll is making no promises for either, but is keeping his fingers crossed.
The Seahawks might also be without cornerback Richard Sherman, whose appeal hearing will take place on Friday. If his positive drug test is upheld, he would also miss the game against San Francisco.