The Seahawks will again be without linebacker K.J. Wright when they face the Oakland Raiders in London on Sunday, head coach Pete Carroll said.
Wright, who had arthroscopic knee surgery in August, has yet to play this season, but Carroll said the Pro-Bowl weakside linebacker is “running hard this week. He’ll run all throughout the week.”
While Wright is running hard, Carroll said they didn’t want to rush him back, particularly not with a bye coming up after the trip to London.
“It’s going to be too much to ask of him to get him back for this game,” Carroll said. “We’ve got to make sure we take care of him and get him strong and confident and all that. With the break coming up, why would we go early now? I think we just need to maximize his opportunity at full strength, really recovered and confident and all that. So I think that’s the best way to do it.”
Carroll did not specify what the Seahawks will do this week with Wright out, but against the Rams they changed things up from what they had done earlier in the season with Wright out, increasing strongside linebacker Barkevious Mingo’s role. In the season opener, the Seahawks used Shaquem Griffin and Austin Calitro at weakside linebacker, then they signed Mychal Kendricks, who played the next three games at that spot. With Kendricks suspended, the Seahawks didn’t go back to Calitro or Griffin, but rather they played nickel almost the entire game, keeping Mingo, usually the starting strongside linebacker in base defense, on as the second linebacker along with Bobby Wagner. Up until Week 5, Mingo would come off when the Seahawks were in nickel and Wagner and whoever was playing weakside linebacker stayed on the field as the two linebackers.
“We wanted to rush him a lot in the game, get him part of it, and keep his size and speed out there too,” Carroll said of Mingo. “It was a good week for him, he learned a lot of football. He hadn’t played the Will ‘backer spot in nickel, and we wanted him to be part of that this past week, so in doing so he had to pick up a lot of other stuff. He’s just going to be a better asset for us. He hadn’t played as much as he did in that game, and he has been a core special teams guy as well. Nobody is playing more football than he is now, so we’re really pleased with what he brings every week.”
In other injury news, Carroll said rookie defensive end Rasheem Green “is still a couple weeks away.” Green has missed the past two games with an ankle injury. During his Monday interview on 710 ESPN Seattle, Carroll said the Seahawks came out of the game without any significant new injuries.
Carroll also provided an update on running back J.D. McKissic, who remains on injured reserve, but who could be a candidate to return after eight games.
“He’s doing really well,” Carroll said. “He’s running and working out and doing everything. So these next couple of weeks are really big for him.”
And a reminder that while the Seahawks are practicing Tuesday to get a head start on their week prior to traveling to London Wednesday night, they do not have to put out a practice report until Wednesday.
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