Seahawks coach Pete Carroll met the media after practice today for the final time before Sunday’s game at Houston.
And he said that whether center Max Unger or right tackle Breno Giacomini will play won’t be determined until shortly before kickoff.
He is listed as doubtful on the team’s official injury report, released after practice.
“We’ll find out on gameday with those guys,” he said.
That likely means each going through a little workout on the field before the team has to declare inactives 90 minutes prior to kickoff.
Carroll clarified the injury to Unger, which has been stated as an arm on the injury report, to say that Unger has an issue with his tricep muscle.
“He’s got a tricep injury that we are trying to get through and protect and make sure we are making all the right choices,” Carroll said. “So we will see how he is on gameday.”
If Unger can’t start, then Lemuel Jeanpierre, who started five games in 2011 (one at center and four at right guard) will get the call.
Jeanpierre is in his fourth year with the team and Carroll said “Lem’s ready to go. He has played in games before for us, we know that he knows how to make all the calls and he has been with us a long time, so we are very confident in Lem’s work. So if he is called on he’s ready to start and take this thing and do fine.”
Giacomini has been out all week with a knee injury aggravated in last week’s win over Jacksonville.
Carroll confirmed that the injury is to the same knee that has given Giacomini issues since the off-season.
“He did get kind of whacked last week on the same knee, so it is a bit of an extension of what he had,” Carroll said. “We’ve got to see how he bounces back. We are trying to be real careful with it. We continue to talk in the same manner about these guys, and when they are getting banged up we are really trying to give them every chance to get back and utilize our depth. And if that’s what this calls for then we are ready to do that. We are not going to force guys back out there until they are ready to play.’’
Carroll says the team won’t change its schemes if Unger and Giacomini can’t play, meaning the team would be without three starters up front, with left Russell Okung already out for seven more games.
“Our guys are ready to play ball if they are called on to do so,” he said. “It won’t be the story about the guys that aren’t playing (but) those guys stepping up and doing their thing. It might be the young guys, if it is it is and we are going to crank it up and go.’’
Listed as out for the Seahawks are DT Jordan Hill, safety Jeron Johnson and RB Spencer Ware.
The team had held out some hope that Hill and Johnson might make it back.
Said Carroll of Hill, battling a biceps injury: “He’s still another week away, he couldn’t go full speed in practice yet. Next week really is the week to see if he can get back. We had hoped that maybe he could make some progress, just being real careful and want to make sure he is fully back when he returns.’’
Said Carroll of Johnson, out with a hamstring suffered in the opener: “He’s trying to get back. He’s had a hard time getting back. We are not counting on him this week. He seems to continue to aggravate it in workouts. He thinks he is going good and then the next day it is not coming back like y0u would hope, so it has lingerd longer than we thought it would. So he is so he is still nursing it and not ready to go.”
Carroll also had this to say about the $21,000 fine levied today against Golden Tate for a block in Sunday’s game.
“It’s very unfortunate,” he said. “It was a really good block and it was unfortunate for the kid that he was in position to get hit so hard, but the intent was to lay a block, that just happened to occur in the heat of the moment. It was a big blast and hit and he got nailed pretty good. It’s really hard for these guys to play really hard-nosed tough football and be right all the time. They are trying and they are trying to do the right thing and the league sees it the other way sometimes, so unfortunate that’s the way they ruled on it.’’
Here’s some video of what Carroll had to say: