Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald is active for Sunday night's game against the Kansas City Chiefs despite not practicing all week while seeking treatment for a knee injury that has bothered him for much of the season.
That's good news not just because McDougald has been one of the Seahawks' best defensive players this season, but also because the Seahawks are facing the league's top-ranked offense, and will be playing without free safety Tedric Thompson, who is out with a chest injury.
McDougald's flexibility gives the Seahawks options for how they'll replace Thompson. One option could be to switch McDougald to free safety and use Delano Hill at strong safety. The Seahawks other options at safety at Shalom Luani and Maurice Alexander.
It's a case of good news/bad news for Seattle's offensive line, as one player listed as questionable is available, while another won't play. Right guard D.J. Fluker is active after missing the past two games with a hamstring injury, but right tackle Germain Ifedi is inactive, the result of a groin injury sustained in practice. Despite being active, however, Fluker isn't expected to start. General manager John Schneider said during his interview on the pregame show that Ethan Pocic is expected to start at right guard, while Fluker will dress and be available as a backup. George Fant, who has seen considerable playing time this season as a sixth offensive lineman, is the likely candidate to replace Ifedi.
Three other players listed as questionable are active, as expected: cornerback Shaquill Griffin (hip), defensive tackle Jarran Reed (oblique/groin) and long snapper Tyler Ott (illness).
Running back Rashaad Penny will miss a second straight game with a knee injury. Also inactive is just-signed running back Bo Scarbrough, meaning the Seahawks will have three active backs for Sunday's game: Chris Carson, Mike Davis and J.D. McKissic.
As expected, K.J. Wright is active for just the fourth time this season. Seattle's starting weakside linebacker missed the first six games of the season following knee surgery in August, then returned to play three games, only to miss the last five games due to a knee injury.
Wright acknowledged on Friday that he'll likely be on a pitch count, so to speak, given the amount of time he has missed, but when he is on the field, he should make a difference not just with his playmaking, but also with his experience.
"It is an uplift," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of Wright's presence on the field. "It's not just the play that you're going to get, it's the mentality that he brings and the confidence that he exudes. Of course he's a fantastic player, but it's that other stuff, it's the intangibles that he adds that gives other people confidence. K.J. is such a good player and such a great communicator, he helps other guys play well. He and Bobby, it's so fun to watch them play and get back together and make their communications and identify stuff as they have for so many years. They really know how to work in tandem. There's an effect that goes beyond just the tackles he's going to make."
Here are the inactives for both teams:
RB Rashaad Penny
FS Tedric Thompson
CB Kalan Reed
RB Bo Scarbrough
OT Germain Ifedi
DT Nazair Jones
DE Branden Jackson
Kansas City Chiefs
WR Sammy Watckins
CB Kendall Fuller
RB Spencer Ware
S Ron Parker
G Kahlil McKenzie
C Jimmy Murray
TE Deon Yelder