The Seahawks host the Rams on Sunday in a game they need to win to keep their playoff hopes alive, their second straight must-win game to close out the season. The Seahawks also need help from the Lions to get into the playoffs—they would have to beat or tie the Packers Sunday night for Seattle to advance with a win—but regardless of how things shake out, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll loves the experience his young team is getting to close out the season.
"This is really good, and last week was the same," he said. "It just took a step forward more to the championship feeling and the playoff feeling, you're down to it. There's nothing in our minds at all about what happens Sunday night, that's not what's going on. This is our playoff opportunity right now to go further with our sights on, we're going to take on everything we can take on. It's very positive, it's upbeat, the guys had fun, they were tuned in, they're excited for it. It wouldn't matter who we're playing or where we're playing, but it happens to be the Rams at home, so we'll try to take full advantage of it."
And in good news for the Seahawks, they should be relatively healthy heading into the game, with several players listed as questionable expected to play, including receiver Tyler Lockett.
Standing at his locker after taking part in Friday's practice, Lockett smiled when talking about the leg contusion that knocked him out of last week's game—he was able to return to action in the second half—and held him out of the first two days of practice this week.
As much as a leg contusion might hurt, Lockett explained, it's even worse when it happens right where you happen to have a metal plate in your leg, the result a 2016 broken leg.
"Anytime you get hit with a plate, it hurts, but when you get a contusion on a plate, it's even worse," he said with a chuckle.
The good news for Lockett and the Seahawks, however, is that Lockett expects to play, despite his questionable designation, when Seattle hosts the Rams in a must-win game.
"I've just been working on it, but I should be good to go," he said. "I'm not worried about it."
Carroll added that Lockett "looked good today, had a good day of work." And quickly answers, "Oh yeah," when asked if Lockett would be able to play.
Lockett was one of five players listed as questionable, and while Carroll indicated that Lockett, defensive end Quinton Jefferson (illness) and left guard Damien Lewis (ankle) should be able to play, the status of safety Ryan Neal (knee) and guard Phil Haynes (ankle), was less clear.
Carroll said Neal, who has missed two games with a knee injury and didn't practice this week, would need "a big change on gameday" to play, while Haynes, who injured his ankle last week, also didn't practice all week, with Carroll saying, "We've got to see what happens all the way to the game."
On Lewis, who showed up on the injury report Thursday, Carroll said, "He's fine. He did turn his ankle in practice a little bit. He thinks he's playing."
On Jefferson, Carroll said, "He'll be all right, I think. He came back yesterday and just didn't quite bounce back, so we told him to get out of here again."
The Seahawks are expecting to get right tackle Abraham Lucas back after a one-game absence due to a knee injury. Lucas should benefit from the week off after playing every one of Seattle's offensive snaps through the first 15 weeks of the season.
"He had a great week, really bounced back," Carroll said. "With all the reps and plays that he's had, just like with Charles (Cross) on the other side, you can see that having to stay out a week helped him coming back. So that's a good sign."
The Seattle Seahawks take on the Los Angeles Rams, the 49th regular season meeting between the two teams, for Week 18 of the 2022 season. Take a look back at some of their previous matchups.