The good news for the Seahawks is that 52 of the players on the 53-man roster are expected to be available for Sunday's game at Dallas. The bad news, however, is that that the one player whose status is questionable is a very important one.
Left tackle Russell Okung is listed as questionable for Sunday's game after injuring his ankle in practice Thursday and did not practice Friday. A decision on his status likely won't come until gameday, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. The possibility of playing without Okung is particularly concerning considering the Seahawks have allowed 31 sacks this season and are facing a Pro Bowl defensive end this week.
"Greg Hardy over there concerns you anyway," Carroll said. "We'll see what happens with Russell. He turned his ankle yesterday in practice and got it rolled up a little bit. We'll take it to game time, so he'll go in questionable at this point. We'll have to wait and see. He couldn't do anything today, so we'll see what happens."
If Okung can't go, Carroll said Alvin Bailey playing left tackle is "a likely move for us." Bailey briefly filled in for Okung for three snaps last week when Okung left the game with an apparent injury before returning.
"Alvin knows our system," Carroll said. "He's the most versatile guy we have, he can play all the spots. We count on him, he's got good experience with us, he communicates well with the other players, he's a smart player, so we're expecting him to do a good job."
Other than Okung's possible absence, which would be significant, the Seahawks should be as healthy for Sunday's game as they have been all season. Defensive tackle Jordan Hill, who has missed two games with a quadriceps injury, is listed as probable and expected back, as are defensive end Demarcus Dobbs, linebacker Nick Moody, fullback Derrick Coleman and center Patrick Lewis, who all were out last week with injuries. Also listed as probable is running back Thomas Rawls, who has a calf bruise that was enough of a concern early in the week for the Seahawks to sign free agent Bryce Brown.
"We're looking like we have a number of guys returning, so we'll have some decisions to make on gameday (on inactives), which is really good," Carroll said. "Jordan Hill and Moody and Thomas Rawls made it back. Some really good things happened during the week fortunately, and we'll try to make the most of that."
With Lewis back, the Seahawks have a decision to make at center, but Carroll wouldn't say whether Drew Nowak, who started the first five games, or Lewis, who took over that job in Week 6 before injuring his ankle, will get the start.
Also returning from injury is cornerback Marcus Burley, who has been out since breaking his thumb in Seattle's Week 4 win over Detroit. Burley, who had been serving as Seattle's nickel corner before the injury, will play with a cast on his hand. Carroll did not say whether Burley will jump back into the nickel role or if DeShawn Shead, who has played there in Burley's absence, will handle that job against the Cowboys.
Carroll was impressed with what he saw out of receiver Paul Richardson in his first week back on the practice field, but said a decision has not yet been made on whether or not to activate Richardson off the physically unable to perform list for this week's game. The Seahawks would have to make a move by Saturday to get Richardson on the 53-man roster, but can wait as long as Nov. 16 to do so if they want to bring him along more slowly.
"We're still assessing that," Carroll said. "… He had a very good week. He looked good, he looked really fast. He had a tremendous return. He was with the trainers the whole time, he must have really, really worked hard at it, because he looked great out here on the practice field."
Most notable on Dallas' injury report is that receiver Dez Bryant is listed as questionable after returning to practice this week following a five-game absence. The Cowboys will be without running back Joseph Randle because of a back injury, which should mean another big workload for Darren McFadden, who rushed for 152 yards on 29 carries last week. Former Seahawks backs Christine Michael and Rod Smith could also factor into the rotation this week.
Here are the injury reports for both teams:
LT Russell Okung, (toe/ankle did not participate in practice)
CB Marcus Burley (hand, full participation)
C Patrick Lewis (ankle, full participation)
DE Demarcus Dobbs (shoulder, full participation)
DT Jordan Hill (quadriceps, full participation)
LB Nick Moody (ankle, full participation)
FB Derrick Coleman (concussion, full participation)
RB Marshawn Lynch (hamstring, full participation)
DE Cliff Avril (ankle, full participation)
RB Thomas Rawls (calf, full participation)
DE Michael Bennett (not injury related, full participation)
RB Joseph Randle (back, did not participate in practice)
WR Dez Bryant (foot, limited participation)
S Barry Church (ankle, limited participation)
TE James Hanna (ankle, full participation)
WR Brice Butler (hamstring, full participation)
DE DeMarcus Lawrence (back, full participation)
CB Morris Claiborne (illness, full participation)