The Seahawks are off the practice field for the last time this week and now boarding buses for the flight to St. Louis. And they’ll do so with their longest injury list of the season.
The officially injury report for Sunday’s game at St. Louis lists six Seahawks as out — center Max Unger, cornerback Byron Maxwell, linebacker Bobby Wagner, tight end Zach Miller and defensive linemen Jordan Hill and Cassius Marsh. That’s four starters and two key members of the defensive line rotation.
Carroll confirmed that Marsh had surgery to repair a broken foot suffered in practice Wednesday but said he could be out 6-8 weeks. If so, that could force the team to put Marsh on Injured Reserve and make a move to replenish the depth elsewhere. Specifically, that could happen at tight end as Carroll said Luke Willson will be a gametime decision with a groin injury and is officially listed as questionable. With Miller also out, Seattle may need to add a tight end and could promote RaShaun Allen from the practice squad. Carroll didn’t rule out a roster move saying “we’ll see.”
Wide receiver Percy Harvin also listed as questionable with a thigh injury, though Harvin did practice on Friday after sitting out on Wednesday and Thursday. Still, that’s a downgrade from last week when Harvin was listed as probable and then played 53 percent of the snaps (26 of 48). So we’ll see if Harvin is in any way limited come Sunday.
Carroll would not specify who will start at cornerback with Maxwell out but it will either be Marcus Burley or Tharold Simon, the latter of whom will be making his NFL debut. Simon, coming off knee surgery in August, practiced all week and is ready to go, Carroll said. Carroll said the team is confident in the play of Burley, and he could get the start in a two-corner set. If the Seahawks play nickel, then Burley could move inside and Simon would play on the outside — Simon has not really been groomed as a nickelback. Carroll said DeShawn Shead is also ready as an extra cornerback, if needed.
The Seahawks had been optimistic Maxwell might be able to play this week after he suffered a calf strain against the Cowboys Sunday. But he did not practice this week.
The loss of Hill and Marsh creates a depth void on the defensive line. But that will be filled in part by Greg Scruggs, who was re-signed on Tuesday and will play Sunday, Carroll said. Scruggs missed all of last season with a knee injury but is healthy now. He was inactive for the first four games before being waived Saturday and officially a free agent over the weekend.
That Seattle has six players already ruled out means the Seahawks may not have any healthy inactives for Sunday’s game. And that could mean players such as Kevin Norwood, Christine Michael and Paul Richardson could all be active — the latter two possibly needed if Harvin were out or limited.
Carroll said all are ready to go if needed and that the team would feel comfortable using any of them.
Carroll also said again that Bobby Wagner did not have surgery on his toe but said that it’s “going to take a bit” for Wagner to return. We don’t know what “a bit” means, but certainly Carroll has not gotten any more optimistic on Wagner’s situation since the beginning of the week. So that means K.J. Wright could have to man the middle for quite a while with Malcolm Smith moving to weakside linebacker. Kevin Pierre-Louis is now the backup on the weakside and it would be no surprise to see him start playing some, as well, after he got the first two defensive snaps of his career on Sunday.
Here’s some video of Carroll talking to the media Friday:
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