As the Seattle Seahawks continue practicing in the days before Sunday’s game versus the Tennessee Titans (3-2) at CenturyLink Field, injuries and receiver participation is at the forefront of coach Pete Carroll’s mind.
At a press conference today, Carroll discussed a few injuries that could impact the team’s performance this weekend. Carroll had both good and bad news for Seattle fans.
A huge positive is the likely return of Pro Bowl center Max Unger. The return of a respected leader on a banged-up offensive line will be a huge upside for guys like Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson, who get to run and throw behind him.
The rest of the injury report has many questions tied to it. Carroll spoke specifically about tight end Zach Miller and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. Both, he said, are game-time decisions. Miller missed last week’s game in its entirety, whereas Wagner sustained his high ankle sprain during the game.
Since Wagner did return to the action, it’s likely that he could start on Sunday. If, however, concerns persist over a possible aggravation of the injury, K.J. Wright may have to step up. Wright has enough experience out there to get the job done, so it’s not as if his presence will create a gaping hole in the Seattle defense. Plus, Seattle’s defensive line will probably steal the show this week, so Wright may not have too much to do, anyway.
Defensive end Michael Bennett and tackle Breno Giacomini did not participate in practice, but Bruce Irvin’s return to the defense and Unger’s aforementioned return will support their absences. Wide receiver Percy Harvin is eligible to come of the PUP list next week, but given the depth of Seattle’s receiving corps already, the Hawks medical staff probably won’t rush Harvin’s recovery
Some less notable injuries include corner Jeremy Lane (hamstring) and running back Spencer Ware (ankle). Both are also game-time decisions, but as their current team roles aren’t vital for Seattle success by any stretch of the imagination, the injuries shouldn’t have much of an impact.
As for receiver involvement, Carroll pointed to Jermaine Kearse and Sidney Rice. Kearse has shown some excellent raw talent, a prime example being his leaping touchdown grab last Sunday. Rice is a veteran guy who Russell Wilson has looked to in clutch situations in the past. Both definitely deserve targets, Rice more so than Kearse out of simple seniority. If Wilson can get both of these guys more involved, it will make opposing defenses worry beyond Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin, and that’s definitely a plus.