The Seahawks came out of their bye week healthy for the most part, but two new injuries did come up in practice this week that have the status of two defensive players in question heading into Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Strong safety Kam Chancellor (groin) and defensive end Frank Clark (hamstring) are both listed as questionable after not practicing Friday, and both will be game-day decisions, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.
“He’s questionable right now,” Carroll said of Chancellor, who sustained his injury Thursday. “A little groin aggravation. We’ll see what that means on game day.”
If Chancellor can’t play Sunday, the Seahawks will have confidence in backup Kelcie McCray, who played well while starting the final three games of last season in place of an injured Chancellor.
“Kelcie is always ready to step in,” Carroll said. “Kelcie has done great stuff whenever he has stepped in. He has really been one of our leaders on special teams since the first day he got here, and whenever we give him a chance (at safety), he has done great. So we’re very fortunate to have him.”
Carroll said Clark came out of Monday’s practice with a sore hamstring, and while the second-year pass-rusher felt good Friday, they’ll wait until Sunday to decide his status.
“Talking with Frank today, he feels really good today, but we’re still going have to wait a couple of days and wait all the way up to game time,” Carroll said. “We have to make a decision on how it will affect him long term and all of that. He thinks he’s ready to go, but we need to wait and see.”
Defensive tackle Garrison Smith is also listed as questionable, but practiced Friday and should be able to play, Carroll said. Running back C.J. Prosise, who has been out with a wrist injury sustained in Seattle’s opener, will likely sit out this week’s game, then have a chance to get back next week, Carroll said.
With Mike Morgan going on injured reserve last week following sports hernia surgery, Kevin Pierre-Louis will take over at strongside linebacker, Carroll said. While Pierre-Louis has played more weakside linebacker during his time in Seattle, he did play closer to the line of scrimmage while at Boston College, Carroll said, and has practiced at that spot at times this season and during training camp.
“We’re going to see a lot of KPL,” Carroll said. “… He’s so fast, it’s great to get him on the field so he can help the rest of the fellas.”
One player who benefited from the bye is receiver Tyler Lockett, who had been limited in Seattle’s last two games with a knee injury. Carroll said Lockett “had a really good week. He’s back. I’m happy to say that… He had his best week. He’s back.”
And while there is no doubt about the status of Russell Wilson, Carroll said the quarterback is healthier now than before the bye.
“He’s doing good,” Carroll said. “He had a great week. This was the best he has been. He was very free-moving and all that stuff, so we’re excited for him. It has been a long haul, in a sense. He has worked so hard to get back—he’s still doing his treatment stuff and there are a few precautions going in as far as what he’s wearing, the wraps on his ankle and stuff like that, but he’s in good shape and ready to go, and this was by far his best week of work.”
Carroll also said that rookie tight end Nick Vannett is expected to make his NFL debut this week after missing the first month of the season with an ankle injury.
“Nick is going to be dressing this week,” Carroll said. “We’re really excited to get him back, so we’d like him to play, we’re hoping we can get him in there in a number of situations. He has been working real hard to fit in, he has been very smart about his stuff, so we don’t have any reservation or any limitations on him playing.”
Here are the injury reports for both teams:
RB Thomas Rawls (Fibula, did not participate in practice)
DT Quinton Jefferson (Thumb, did not participate in practice)
RB C.J. Prosise (Wrist, full participation)
DT Garrison Smith (Oblique, full participation)
DE Frank Clark (Hamstring, did not participate in practice)
S Kam Chancellor (Groin, did not participate in practice)
LB Paul Worrilow (Groin, limited participation in practice)
The Seahawks and Falcons have battled 16 times, including playoffs, since 1976, with Seattle owning 10 victories. The two teams meet again this Saturday in the Divisional Round of the playoffs at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.