Seahawks center Justin Britt did not practice this week, the result of an ankle injury sustained in last week's win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Britt does, however, have a chance to play, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said following Friday's practice. If Britt can't play, rookie Joey Hunt would make his first start.
"He's going to be a game-day decision," Carroll said. "He's got an ankle sprain from the game. Joey's been getting all the work this week. He's ready to go if we need him."
Another starter who will be a game-day decision is cornerback DeShawn Shead, who left last week's game with a hamstring injury. Shead didn't practice this week, but did have an encouraging workout on Friday.
"He had an extraordinary workout just now," Carroll said. "He's as close as you can get. We'll see what happens. He'll go all the way to game day."
If Hunt, a sixth-round pick out of TCU, does end up playing, the Seahawks are confident the offense will still operate well with a rookie center.
"Joey's a really smart football player, that was one of the reasons we were excited to get him when we got him," Carroll said. "He's always on his game, he's a natural center in that he understands the position. He has just been a really good player with a lot of background at it. He's never had a problem with anything we've asked him to do. So if Joey does end up playing this week, I feel like we don't have to change anything, we don't have to adapt anything, we'll get all the same communication and we'll get a guy playing his butt off to help his teammates."
Carroll did note that even if Britt doesn't start he "won't be out," likely meaning he could at least be an emergency backup, as Seattle does not currently have another center on the roster other than Britt and Hunt.
The Seahawks will still be without defensive end Michael Bennett, who is recovering from knee surgery, as well as free safety Earl Thomas, who injured his hamstring in last week's game.
With Thomas ruled out, it will be the first missed game in the free safety's career, regular season or postseason. Since coming to Seattle as a first-round pick in 2010, Thomas has started 106 straight games, the most consecutive starts by a defensive player in franchise history. Steven Terrell is expected to start in Thomas' place.
Brock Coyle, who has been the starting strongside linebacker in the past four games, is doubtful with a foot injury, but will run on game-day to test the injury. Kevin Pierre-Louis is back from a hamstring injury as is a possibility there if Coyle can't go.
Tampa Bay has only one player ruled out, backup cornerback Evan Smith (knee), while four players are listed as questionable, including starting cornerback Brent Grimes (quadriceps) and tight end Luke Stocker (ankle).
Here are the full injury reports for both teams:
DE Michael Bennett (knee, did not participate in practice)
RB C.J. Prosise (shoulder, did not participate in practice)
RB Troymaine Pope (ankle, did not participate in practice)
FS Earl Thomas (hamstring, did not participate in practice)
LB Brock Coyle (foot, did not participate in practice)
C Justin Britt (ankle, did not participate in practice)
WR Tanner McEvoy (toe, full participation in practice)
DT Damontre Moore (foot, did not participate in practice)
CB DeShawn Shead (hamstring, did not participate in practice)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
CB Evan Smith (knee, did not participate in practice)
RB Jacquizz Rodgers (foot, full participation in practice)
CB Brent Grimes (quadriceps, full participation in practice)
TE Luke Stocker (ankle, full participation in practice)
CB Alterraun Verner (not injury related, did not participate in practice)
In their all-time regular-season series, the Seahawks and Buccaneers have faced off 12 times with the Seahawks leading the series 8-4. The two teams will play again this Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.