The Seahawks will kick off their week of practice Wednesday to get ready for their Week 8 game against the Giants, and while there is no definitive status on DK Metcalf yet for this weekend, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said the Pro Bowl receiver won't be on the practice field Wednesday.
That and other takeaways from Carroll's Wednesday press conference:
1. DK Metcalf won't practice to start the week.
A day after Metcalf left Seattle's Week 7 win in Los Angeles with a knee injury, Carroll said the news was very positive in that Metcalf won't need surgery, and added that Metcalf wanted to practice on Wednesday. Carroll also acknowledged, however, that such a quick return may not be possible, and two days later Carroll indeed confirmed that Metcalf will rest to start the practice week. That doesn't necessarily mean Metcalf won't play Sunday, but the Seahawks will be cautious with him to start the week.
"He was out at walkthrough today, he's not going to do anything," Carroll said. "He feels a little better, he's getting a little better. We've just got to wait and see and see how he responds. I don't have anything to update for you, but he's going to be real quiet for the next couple of days to make sure we take care of him."
2. Other injury updates
In addition to Metcalf, the Seahawks also had two players leave the game due to concussion, guard Phil Haynes and linebacker and special teams captain Nick Bellore. Carroll said both players have a chance to get back this week, and said Haynes could do some work on Wednesday, while Bellore likely won't.
"Phil's practicing today, he's going to get some work today," Carroll said. "Nick's here with us, he's running around a little bit, but I think they're going to give him another day. I think he's going to get some activity though, we'll see what he can do today. Both guys have a chance."
In a bit of good that could be related to one of those injuries, Carroll said that guard Gabe Jackson, who has missed the past two games with a hip injury, is on track to return this week. Getting a starting guard back is always significant, but it could prove particularly important if Haynes, who started the last two games in place of Jackson, isn't cleared to return.
"He's going to practice today, he's ready go to," Carroll said of Jackson. "He's got to make it through the days, but he's ready to go."
Receiver Penny Hart, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, is expected to be out at least another week.
"Penny won't make it this week," Carroll said. "We met about it. He's pushing so hard at it that he's almost holding himself back a little bit. We're going to take one more week and then next week we think he'll really have a chance to come back."
Carroll added that cornerback Sidney Jones IV, who was a late addition to the injury report last week, then was inactive for the game, should be back this week and ready to go.
3. Tre Brown's return "will make us better for sure."
Second-year cornerback Tre Brown is returning to practice this week for the first time since suffering a season-ending knee injury last year. And while his return to practice doesn't necessarily mean an immediate return to game action, whenever he is all the way back, he'll make an already deep cornerback group even better.
"I'm so excited to see him back out here," Carroll said of Brown, who took over the starting left cornerback spot before his injury. "Remember, when he left, he was playing darn good football. He had just started to make his impression about it. He was really consistent, he was tough, he was competitive on the ball. He kept showing it in practice… Then he got hurt, so in my mind, I'm picking up where we left off and away we go and let him start battling and seeing where he fits into the competition. He'll make us better for sure."
4. Bruce Irvin will play more this week as the Seahawks look to keep the edge-rush rotation deep.
Second-year outside linebacker Darrell Taylor has a strip sack in each of the past two games, and in general seems to be playing better in recent weeks since the Seahawks have moved Boye Mafe into the starting lineup and moved Taylor into a feature pass-rushing role. Last week Seattle had even more depth at outside linebacker with Bruce Irvin making his 2022 debut, an addition that should only help all the outside linebackers stay fresh, Taylor included, and Carroll said Irvin's role should only expand this week.
"Bruce is going to play a little more this week, he'll be ready to go," Carroll said. "We'll look forward to that. It just adds to the opportunity for the rotation."
5. The improved run defense "will find out where we stand" against the Giants.
Seattle's run defense struggled during a stretch of games that saw opponents put up big numbers across the board, but started turning things around two weeks ago against Arizona. Yes, Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray had a big game with his legs, but Arizona's running backs, including Eno Benjamin, who had a big game last weekend, were held in check. And last week against the Chargers, the Seahawks allowed just 53 yards on the ground.
Repeating a performance like that this weekend won't be easy however, as the Giants bring with them to Seattle the league's No. 2 rushing attack, led by Saquon Barkley, who is second in the NFL with 726 rushing yards while averaging 5.1 yards per carry, as well as quarterback Daniel Jones, who has rushed for 343 yards and averaged 5.9 yards per carry.
"We've got a lot of room to grow and get better," Carroll said of his team's run defense. "We've made legitimate, significant strides, so we're going to keep doing the stuff that we do and see if we can keep getting better and show the consistency—one or two games, we'll forget about that if we don't keep it going… This is the ultimate challenge. This is as good of a running team as we're ever going to go against. So we'll find out where we stand."
6. The O-line "is the most consistent we've been."
The Seahawks have gotten star performances out of quarterback Geno Smith and his playmakers this season, but players like Smith, Kenneth Walker III and, before his injury, Rashaad Penny, would be the first to say that the offense wouldn't be functioning so well if not for the standout play of the offensive line. With rookie tackles Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas bookending the interior group of Gabe Jackson, Austin Blythe, Damien Lewis and Phil Haynes, Seattle's line play has been arguably its best in years.
"I think this is the most consistent we've been," Carroll said. "Pass protection has been really consistent. I feel really good about it. I love that Phil and Gabe can both play, Stone (Forsythe) is ready to jump in there if we need him, we've got backups—Kyle Fuller too, he can start for us, so we've got depth, it's still competitive, and we're pretty darn consistent. (offensive line coach) Andy (Dickerson) and (assistant offensive line coach Keli'i) Kekuewa are doing a really good job with these guys."
Go behind the scenes with team photographer Rod Mar as he shares moments from Week 7 vs. the Los Angeles Chargers on October 23, 2022 at SoFi Stadium. Eye On The Hawks is presented by Western Washington Toyota Dealers.