Injury Updates, Balancing The Running Game & Other Things We Learned From Pete Carroll's Monday Press Conference

News and notes from Seahawks coach Pete Carroll’s Monday press conference, including injury updates on Tyler Lockett and Jamal Adams, as the short week begins.

The Seahawks returned to VMAC on Monday after suffering their second straight loss to fall to 6-3. Focus has quickly shifted to the Cardinals, who visit CenturyLink Field on Thursday night. With a short week on tap, the Seahawks are crunched for time and eager to improve.

"This is a really short week and we need all the time we can get, so if you guys could help me out a bit – you don't have to ask your questions real fast, let's just hit them and go," Carroll said.

"This week coming up, we go on Thursday night. We have to kick this turnaround in the butt and get going. That's what's at hand right now. We have to turn our sights forward and get going on this game and get ready for the Cardinals coming in, who are coming off a big time win of their own."

Carroll isn't wasting any time, so I won't waste yours. Here are five things we learned from our head coach's Monday press conference:

1. Injury updates on Tyler Lockett, Jamal Adams, Shaquill Griffin and more.

Injuries are always more difficult on a short week, and the Seahawks' situation is no different. Carroll spoke about some players who are recovering from injuries:

Tyler Lockett (knee)

"He's got a bit of a knee sprain in general. He's already had it checked out, MRI and all that stuff. So he has a little bit of discomfort, little bit of swelling today, but it's not a serious knee injury. We'll look to see how he does day-to-day and take it until Thursday."

Jamal Adams (shoulder)

"He says he's playing, he's ready to go. He got banged up pretty good. He played really with one arm for the most part in the game and did a marvelous job of getting through it. There were a couple plays he couldn't make that you wish he could've, but it was just because of his shoulder."

Shaquill Griffin (concussion/hamstring)

"I don't (have any more clarity on the hamstring). We're going to get out on the field today. It's the first time I'll get a chance to see him, see how far he's come. It's not clear yet that he's back. We have to see what happens the next couple days.

"I think (the concussion) is behind us, and it's really about the hamstring now. I think it's already taken care of."

Carlos Hyde (hamstring) and Chris Carson (foot)

"I'm told that Carlos is going to go (participate) today in our work. Chris is working to get back, he's trying to make it, but Carlos is a little bit ahead of him now. So, we'll see how it goes. I can't tell you what's going to happen Thursday night yet, but both those guys are trying hard this week to get back.

"I think Carlos is going to make it for this week and we'll see about Chris."

Ethan Pocic (concussion)

"He has not (being cleared through concussion protocol). Not yet."

Quinton Dunbar (knee)

"We're not (putting him on Injured Reserve) right now, no."

Neiko Thorpe (core)

"He will not make it back. Neiko is not going to make it back, unfortunately."

2. Russell Wilson had an uncharacteristic game, but Carroll doesn't think he's "pressing."

Game after game this season, Russell Wilson has delivered MVP-like performances. He's leading the league with 28 passing touchdowns and is second with 2,789 passing yards (behind only Josh Allen, who has played one more game). 

Wilson didn't look like himself on Sunday against the Rams, finishing 22 of 37 for 248 yards and two interceptions. Questions about some of Wilson's decisions in Sunday's loss were asked, and Carroll expressed no concerns about his franchise quarterback.

"We made some mistakes in this game that just don't look normal for us," Carroll said. "The one play that jumps out at us is the interception when he could've taken off and run. He saw something down the field and took a shot at it. That's an indication that he could've taken what's in front of him. Russ and I both talked about 'follow your instincts, see the first opportunity and take advantage of it and let's move on to the next play.' That's an illustration of one play that was like that."

3. The running game needs to be more balanced, but reinforcements could be coming.

With Carson and Hyde both out for the last three games, the Seahawks' run game has clearly taken a hit. Seattle has averaged 90.3 rushing yards per game in the last three weeks, compared to 129.5 per game in the first six contests.

While we mentioned earlier that Hyde is returning to work Monday, Carroll still believes his team needs a more balanced running game.

"I want to balance us out more," Carroll said. "It has felt somewhat out of balance for the last couple weeks and I'd just like to get it back into shape, so that everything fits together like we like it most."

Adding Hyde, and potentially Carson, would go a long way to helping the running game regain its early-season form.

4. Dialing up more blitzes have helped the Seahawks' defense.

Over the last three games, the Seahawks' pass rush has noticeably improved. Through six games, the team had just nine sacks. In the last three weeks, they have a whopping 13 sacks. Adding Carlos Dunlap from the Bengals and getting back Jamal Adams from injury certainly has helped, but the unit as a whole looks completely different than it did just a short time ago.

The increased pressure has been by design, Carroll said, and he believes it is working. In games against the 49ers and Rams, the Seahawks had two of their better defensive performances this season.

"It obviously has helped us," Carroll said. "We've hit the quarterback a lot more, we've had multiple sacks in the last three weeks that we hadn't had before that. That has stepped up. It does make you vulnerable to some (things). That was not a factor yesterday – they had eight explosives yesterday, that's not a huge number, it's an average number. We're getting better at handling it and we'll definitely continue to work it and hopefully improve."

5. The Seahawks are preparing to face heavy pressure from the Cardinals.

As divisional rivals, Seattle and Arizona are always familiar with each other when their seasonal matchups come along. This year, though, that's even more true. The two teams battled just over three weeks ago, when the Cardinals topped the Seahawks in overtime.

The close turnaround since the last time these teams played means they mostly know what to expect from each other. Carroll knows his offensive line will see heavy pressure from the Cardinals' pass rush, which generated nine quarterback hits on Wilson in their Week 7 win.

"They've continued to be a high-pressure group here, particularly the last couple games, they're getting after it," Carroll said. "They're not probably going to change their ways. We have to do right – make the right identifications, make good calls and everything has to work together. It's all phases – it's not just the guys up front – it's Russ changing the protection and making the right decisions, it's receivers adjusting properly, it's all of that. We expect to get pressure from them."

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