The Seahawks are welcoming back a couple of key players as they prepare this week to face the Atlanta Falcons, while the status of some other important players remain in question.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Thursday that they still don't know whether left tackle Duane Brown (ankle) or safety Kam Chancellor (stinger) will be able to play in Monday's game against the Atlanta Falcons.
"We're going to find out later in the week," Carroll said on Brown. "We won't know right now. He's still got an ankle that he's dealing with, of course, but we'll take it all the way up to game time."
On Chancellor, Carroll said, "He's still getting some work done, tests done. Don't have anything to update yet."
If Chancellor is unable to play, Bradley McDougald is expected to start in his place. McDougald, an offseason free-agent acquisition, started the previous two games at free safety in place of Earl Thomas, who is expected back this week from a hamstring injury.
"We're very fortunate to have Bradley," Carroll said. "He has played great. The whole time he has been trained, he has been trained at both spots. It's no big deal at all to him to play strong safety versus free safety, so he'll jump right in there."
As for left tackle, Matt Tobin would be the likely replacement if Brown can't go. Tobin, who Seattle acquired in a trade before the start of the season, finished last week's game after Brown came out with his injury.
"I thought he played well for coming off the bench like that," Carroll said. "He survived it and did a nice job. He's a really smart football player and the continuity and the communications were maintained. I'm counting on him. He's got to get ready to go. Right now he has to get ready to play. We're thinking he's starting until Duane can play. That's just par for what's going on this time of year. Guys got to step up and we're counting on him to do that again. He did a nice job last week."
Another likely game-day decision is defensive tackle Jarran Reed, who had to leave Thursday's game in the first quarter with a hamstring injury.
"He's trying to do some stuff," Carroll said. "He's trying to work his way back. It'll be one day at a time here. I don't know how it's going to turn out, but he's got a chance. He thinks he can do it, so we'll have to wait and see. It'll take us all the way to game time."
In addition to Thomas, the Seahawks are also expecting to get running back Eddie Lacy back this week after he missed Thursday's game with a groin injury. Defensive end Marcus Smith, who missed the game with a concussion, will also be available this week, as will defensive end Frank Clark, who left last week's game with a thigh injury.
Carroll also provided an update on Richard Sherman's Achilles surgery, saying, "It went great. Had a chance to talk to Richard yesterday. He sounded a little groggy, but they're really happy with the way they went about it. It's going to give him a chance to get back in months, which is really nice. There's a couple choices that they can make and they made a choice that was aggressive and they think it worked out well according to the docs, so we'll be very hopeful for that."
Cornerback DeShawn Shead remains on the physically unable to perform list, but "is really close" to getting back to practice, Carroll said.
"We're trying to get him over the hump," he said. "He's really frustrated by it because he's worked so hard and he's in great shape, but he just isn't quite fully functioning the way we need him to be to cut him loose. So he's right at the edge of it and we'll just keep cheerleading for him because he's such an extraordinary kid and we want him to have that (opportunity) to help us."
Left guard Luke Joeckel is also getting close to returning after missing four games following knee surgery.
"He's really close," Carroll said. "Luke is at the edge of trying to get out there late this week. We'll see what happens. He has worked real hard. He's ready to go conditioning-wise, but can he hold up to the pounding of it is really the question right now, and how does his knee respond to the workload? That's kind of what we're dealing with right now."
Take a look back through history at the Seahawks' matchups against the Falcons as the two teams ready to face off for Monday Night Football during Week 11 at CenturyLink Field.