Shaquill Griffin was the lone Seahawks injury announced during Sunday’s 27-24 win over the Arizona Cardinals, with the Seattle cornerback suffering an ankle injury that forced him to leave the game early. The second-year pro was replaced by Akeem King, who the Seahawks felt confident enough in to not push Griffin’s return to the game on Sunday, head coach Pete Carroll said postgame.
“He turned his ankle. It was kind of a slight ankle sprain,” Carroll said of Griffin following his team’s regular-season finale at CenturyLink Field. "He was dying to get back in. We just held him out because we knew that Akeem could play and we didn’t think we had to push it right there just to make sure that we didn’t overdo it with him.”
Carroll also gave updates on the status of starting offensive guards D.J. Fluker and J.R. Sweezy. Sweezy was inactive and Fluker was active but did not play Sunday against the Cardinals, but both players could be back in the lineup next week when Seattle takes on the Cowboys in Dallas in the NFC's Wild Card round.
Fluker, who was questionable to play against Arizona with a hamstring injury, “was ready to play” against the Cardinals if needed, Carroll said. Fluker’s return to the lineup will allow Germain Ifedi, who filled in at right guard with Fluker out, to move back to his spot as the team’s starting right tackle, as well as enable George Fant, who stepped in at right tackle with Ifedi moving to guard, to go back to his role as a sixth offensive lineman/tight end.
“Fortunately, we should be back to pretty good shape next week as we get ready for the next game," Carroll said. "Fluke was ready to play today. We held him out. He was ready if we needed him, which is great, so he goes back in there and it allows Ifedi to go back to tackle and George to go back to the tight end stuff that we’ve been doing. We’re pleased with that."
Sweezy, meanwhile, was doubtful for Seattle’s regular-season finale with a foot injury that Carroll has said requires a three-to-four week recovery for most people. Carroll and the Seahawks, however, are hoping Sweezy can make the comeback in two weeks to be ready for Seattle's playoff game.
“He’s going to do everything he can,” Carroll said of Sweezy. "If it can happen, it’ll happen. We left him home today so that he would be careful to stay off it and all that kind of stuff. He’s been rehabbing around the clock, so he’ll give us everything he’s got to get back.”
Pass protection was an issue Sunday against Arizona with Fluker and Sweezy absent from the lineup, as quarterback Russell Wilson took six sacks to match a season-high.
“We had trouble with our pass protection today. It was obvious,” said Carroll. “… We had some troubles with line calls, line stunts and things that they were doing, couple pressures we didn’t identify well and you could just see the mixing and matching caught us a little bit today against a team that makes it really hard on you, so it was a bad mix."
The Seahawks will look to shore up those issues heading into Saturday’s game against the Cowboys. Kickoff is set for 5:15 p.m. PT on January 5 with national television coverage on FOX.
Fan photos from the Seattle Seahawks' regular-season finale against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field.