The Seahawks head to Los Angeles this weekend to face the Rams, and will do so uncertain about the availability of some key players. Seven players, including five starters, are listed as questionable, and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll described three of those players as true game-day decisions, but whether or not the Seahawks are short-handed on Sunday, Carroll is encouraged with the work his team put in this week in practice.
"We've had an excellent preparation of getting ready for this game," Carroll said. "This is a really good team we're playing. We understand that we have to play really good ball to be in the challenge of this, so we worked accordingly. I'm excited about the opportunity to go, we haven't played these guys too long ago, so they know us, we know them, and we'll see how this goes, but we're looking forward to this challenge."
Among the group of questionable players are strong safety Bradley McDougald (knee), right guard D.J. Fluker (calf) and running back Chris Carson (hip), all of whom came out of last week's game early because of injuries. Of that group, McDougald practiced on a limited basis Friday, while Fluker and Carson sat out the entire week of practice.
On McDougald, Carroll said, "He worked today, so we'll see how he comes out of that and I'm sure he's questionable on the chart right now. We'll figure it out. Those will go to game day."
Carroll said Carson "is a little bit better" than he was earlier in the week, "but I have nothing to report to you yet."
Fluker too will have to work out on game day at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to determine if he can go.
"Fluke is going to gameday too for us," Carroll said. "We've got to hold him out the whole time and see how he does when we work him out at the stadium."
Linebacker K.J. Wright, who has played in the past two games after missing the first six with a knee injury, is also listed as questionable, but Carroll sounded more optimistic about Wright's chances of playing.
"He worked today," Carroll said. "He did a good job today. Looks good… We're just going to make sure—any of the guys who are coming back this late (in the week), we've got to make sure that the work that they did today doesn't set them back, so in essence, we're waiting until game day, but he looked pretty good and got enough done. It looks like he's going to be ready to go."
Shamar Stephen was away from the team getting treatment on a foot injury, so the team will need to evaluate him when they get to L.A., but the defensive tackle indicated to Carroll that he will be able to play.
"He was getting treatment all week out of the area, special treatments," Carroll said. "All the reports from Shamar are that he feels great. We'll have to wait and see again, that'll go to gameday because we haven't seen him, but we're counting on that he knows his body and he's reporting pretty strongly that he's going to be OK."
Also listed as questionable were guard Jordan Simmons (calf), who practiced fully on Friday, and defensive tackle Nazair Jones (illness). Carroll said Jones is fine after practicing Friday.
Below is the full injury report for the Seahawks. The Rams have no players listed on Friday's injury report, meaning everyone on their 53-man roster is healthy enough to play.
CB Neiko Thorpe (groin, did not participate in practice)
S Bradley McDougald (knee, limited participation in practice)
DT Shamar Stephen (foot, did not participate in practice)
LB K.J. Wright (knee, limited participation in practice)
DT Nazair Jones (illness, full participation in practice)
RB Chris Carson (hip, did not participate in practice)
G D.J. Fluker (calf, did not participate in practice)
G Jordan Simmons (calf, full participation in practice)
The Seahawks and Rams face off for the first game of the regular season on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023. Kickoff is set for 1:25 p.m. PT. Take a look back through history at the Seahawks' matchups against the Rams.