49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and Seattle coach Pete Carroll have not exchanged Christmas cards over the years. (US Presswire)

The well-documented rivalry between Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll has seemingly cooled off a bit since their days in the former Pac-10, but their relationship still has not blossomed to the stage where Christmas cards are exchanged.

When asked -- having coached against him at two levels -- if there is a certain hallmark about a Carroll-coached team, Harbaugh replied: “I don’t remember getting any cards from him … at the holidays."

The joke drew some laughs from reporters then Carroll later in the day.

"I heard that he didn't get one from us, yet," Carroll said. "I want to go back and check my list and see how that happened. But maybe there will be something coming along before too long. If Jim's not sending a card, that's OK. I understand. We'll try to get one in the mail soon."

Harbaugh also likely won't be expecting a Christmas card from Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman, a player he coached at Stanford. Sherman's physical play was called into question by Harbaugh following San Francisco's 13-6 win on Oct. 18.

“Well, I wouldn’t use the words ‘locked up.’ There’s another word I would use (for Seattle corner play)," he said. "But, we’ll take that up with the officials in New York, and get their view of it. That’s the only position that we can be in.”

Sherman didn't take too kindly to the accusation from his former coach.

"Sometimes, man, when the bully gets bullied, that’s how that happens," said Sherman, according to the Seattle Times.

Carroll took it upon himself to investigate the claims.

"I did go back and look at the film to see what Jim was talking about," Carroll said. "And I had trouble seeing why there was a complaint. But the fact that he did, he was just trying to get some help from the officials, I think.

"We didn't get our hands on many guys. They were too good at the line of scrimmage. We had trouble getting ahold of those guys. We were working at it, but I don't know where that came from."

Sherman's status for Sunday's game is in question due to a potential suspension for testing positive for Adderall. Sherman and fellow corner Brandon Browner were hit with four-game suspensions last month, but unlike Browner -- who began serving his suspension in Week 14 -- Sherman chose to appeal. That appeal will be heard Friday, but it's unclear if a ruling will come before Sunday.

Carroll said Wednesday he is under directions not to comment on the situation.

Even if Sherman is out, Carroll said Seattle's scheme would remain the same.

"We have corners who are good-sized guys and who can run like crazy," Carroll said. "And they've been coached in the same style. We're not changing our style drastically by changing personnel. We got guys we picked who play the way we like to play."

San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick said he hasn't noticed a difference on film in the way Seattle's secondary has been playing recently compared to the first game between the two teams.

“Our receivers are going to have to be physical," Kaepernick said, "be physical in their routes, be physical in their blocking.”

Kaepernick honored: Kaepernick was named the NFC offensive player of the week after throwing for four touchdowns in the 49ers' 41-34 win over New England on Sunday.

He joined Tom Brady and Peyton Manning as the only players to throw for four touchdowns in a game at Gillette Stadium.

“I think it’s a great accolade for this team," Kaepernick said. "I mean, there’s a lot of great players on this team that put in the effort for that award to come around.”

QB Alex Smith received the honor in Week 8, his last complete game as the 49ers starter. San Francisco has actually had two quarterbacks win the honor in the same season on three prior occasions. Joe Montana and Steve Young did it in 1988 and 1990 and Young did it with Steve Bono in 1991.

“Well, it’s a nice thing to be voted," Harbaugh said. "As always, we’re always happy for the other guy’s success. And our team won a big game on the road. Great team victory. Sometimes a rising tide lifts all ships.”

Something has to give: Seattle is 6-0 at home this year, while the 49ers have won their past six primetime games, including a 5-0 mark this year. Seattle's last loss at home came to the 49ers in the final home game of the 2011 season. San Francisco's last loss during a primetime game occurred on Thanksgiving in 2011 when it lost to Baltimore 16-6.

Injury report: DE Justin Smith (elbow) and LB Clark Haggans did not participate in practice Wednesday.

In his weekly radio show on KNBR 680 Tuesday, Harbaugh insinuated Smith, who has the third-longest active consecutive-start streak in the NFL (185), would be available.

“Everybody affectionately refers to Justin Smith around here as ‘The Cowboy,’” Harbaugh said. “I expect we’ll see The Cowboy. Knowing what I know of Justin Smith and the situation, I think The Cowboy will be around, saddled up … roping and riding. If it’s humanly possible, The Cowboy will be out there, roping and riding.”

He didn't expand on that Wednesday.

“We’ll see," Harbaugh said. "We’ll see how he feels today and tomorrow.”

LB Ahmad Brooks (shoulder), CB Tarell Brown (shoulder), LB Tavares Gooden (ribs), WR Mario Manningham (shoulder), RB Bruce Miller (shoulder), LB Aldon Smith (shoulder) and DT Will Tukuafu (concussion) were all limited in practice.

K David Akers (pelvis), G Alex Boone (knee), LB NaVorro Bowman (shoulder), RB Frank Gore (wrist), G Mike Iupati (shoulder), CB Carlos Rogers (knee) and LB Patrick Willis (shoulder) all practice fully, but were listed on the injury report.

Follow 49ers reporter Kyle Bonagura on Twitter @CBS49ers and @KyleBonagura.