Prior to the start of Wednesday’s practice at Virginia Mason Athletic Center, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll shared a handful of injury updates as his team readies for its Week 15 road game against the San Francisco 49ers, the most notable of which was on linebacker Mychal Kendricks, who has been placed on injured reserve after suffering a knee setback in Monday’s win over the Vikings. Linebacker Emmanuel Ellerbee, who has bounced back and forth between the Seahawks’ practice squad and active roster the past two months, was signed to Kendricks’ spot on the 53.
“Mychal’s going on IR. He needs to get work done on his knee,” Carroll said. "He got caught in a situation, he just got hit on the outside of his knee and it got him. In unbelievable fashion, he finished the game and it was early enough he fought through it the whole time.
"It’s just been such a difficult season for Mych, my heart goes out to him,” Carroll added of Kendricks, who before returning to action for Monday’s game had served an eight-game suspension having plead guilty to insider trading prior to joining the Seahawks. "He wants to be part of this thing so badly but he doesn’t get to this time around. We’ll look forward to getting him back next time and being with us.”
Carroll said Kendricks’ injury will require surgery and keep him out of action for the next couple of months.
"There’s a couple things that they’re going to work on,” Carroll said. "It’s not a terrible knee injury, but it’ll take a little bit. It’s at least six to eight weeks kind of a situation, so we’ll just have to wait it out.”
Kendricks was in the starting lineup against Minnesota because K.J. Wright, the team’s longtime standout at the weakside linebacker position, is dealing with a knee injury of his own. Wright last played in Week 10, but Carroll has said he is hopeful the Pro Bowler will be able to play again this season. Wright did take part in the team’s walk-thru workout on Wednesday, but a return to game action seems unlikely this week.
“K.J. went through the walk-thru today,” said Carroll. "I watched him run yesterday and he looks good, he’s getting close. This will be an important week to just kind of work him back in and then hopefully a couple weeks from now we’ll get a chance to get him back.”
With Kendricks moving to injured reserve and Wright likely not back this week, Austin Calitro is the next man up at the spot. Calitro has started four games this season, including two weeks ago in Seattle’s Week 13 win over San Francisco. Carroll said the Seahawks are comfortable having Calitro step up.
“He really has done it and he’s done it well for us,” said Carroll. "He played really good against (the 49ers) last time out. He’s been able to be really consistent with his run fits. Really don’t have any problem with him playing at all. We were excited to play Mychal last week to give him a chance to get out there, but Calitro and him could easily have swapped. So we feel like we have a guy we’ve developed as a starter stepping (up) and we feel fortunate in that.”
Doug Baldwin, meanwhile, missed this past Monday night’s win with a hip injury. Like Wright, Baldwin went through Wednesday’s walk-thru, with Carroll calling it a day to day situation for the Seahawks’ No. 1 receiver.
“He went through the walk-thru today, too,” Carroll said. "We’ll see how he does this afternoon. We’ll just go one day at a time with Doug and never expect anything other than he may pull off another one of his miracles and get back and play. His mind is set on doing that. We’ll see how he makes it though the week. I can’t tell you right now.”
On the offensive line, a hamstring injury kept D.J. Fluker from seeing the field against Minnesota. Fluker suffered the injury against San Francisco in Week 13 and Carroll has said it could be a multiple week recovery.
“Still coming back. Not quite ready today,” Carroll said. "I’ll give him a chance to do something special by the end of the week and see how that goes.”
As for injuries that occurred in Monday’s win against the Vikings, safety Maurice Alexander suffered a concussion, while running back Rashaad Penny came out of the game with a sore knee.
“He had a sore knee, so we’re going to rest him today and see how he goes,” Carroll said of Penny. “He’s had it all looked at and there’s not any issues with it, but he had a little bit of swelling, so we’re going to take care of him.”
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