Carson, Fluker, McDougald likely OK for Packers
RENTON, Wash. — Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll says it looks as though running back Chris Carson, right guard D.J. Fluker and strong safety Bradley McDougald will all be available for Thursday night’s game against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field.
Carson (hip) and Fluker (calf) were inactive for Seattle’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday while McDougald (knee) was in and out of the game. Carroll said afterward that the quick turnaround to Thursday played into the decisions to sit Carson and Fluker as did the fact that neither were able to finish Seattle’s loss to the Chargers the week before. The team wanted to avoid a repeat of that Sunday while also giving Carson and Fluker the best chance of being ready for the Packers game.
Linebacker K.J. Wright‘s status is less certain. He started Sunday but couldn’t finish the game because of a balky left knee that required arthroscopic surgery in late August and kept him out of the first six games. Carroll wouldn’t comment on what Seattle would do at weak-side linebacker against Green Bay if Wright can’t play. The team used rookie Shaquem Griffin there in the season opener and then Mychal Kendricks before he was indefinitely suspended. Barkevious Mingo moved over to that spot from the strong side for a few plays Sunday when Wright went out.
Carroll said Wright wouldn’t have been able to participate Monday if the team had a normal practice. The Seahawks instead held a walk-through, as is common ahead of a Thursday night game. Participation was thus an estimate of what players would have been able to do on a full-scale practice.
Seattle listed Carson and Fluker as limited and McDougald as a full participant.
McDougald missed 21 of the team’s 65 defensive snaps Sunday but Carroll said he came out of the game feeling much better than he did the last few weeks.
“We’re very encouraged that he’s going to be OK for this week,” Carroll said. “He might have turned the corner a little bit in his rehab.”
Despite not having Carson and Fluker, the Seahawks rushed for 273 yards and an average of just over 8 per carry against the Rams. It was a silver lining amid a second straight loss that dropped them to 4-5, essentially making the Packers game a must-win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Jordan Simmons made his first career start for Fluker while Mike Davis and Rashaad Penny picked up the rushing slack in Carson’s absence. Davis carried 11 times for 58 yards and caught a late touchdown pass while Penny, Seattle’s first-round pick, went for 108 yards and his first career touchdown.
It was a breakout performance for Penny, whose rookie season had been unexpectedly quiet to that point. Carroll answered in the affirmative when asked if Penny has earned a role in Seattle’s offense while indicating that it won’t necessarily be an expanded one with Carson coming back.
“Yeah, yeah. But when everybody’s healthy, not everybody is going to get the ball a lot,” he said. “It’s just the way it goes. So we’ll figure that out. You’ll see how it comes together, but we think Chris is going to be healthy this week. He’ll be excited to get back out there too. It’s a good group. It’s a good problem. It’s not a great problem for the running backs, but it’s good for us and we’ll try to make the most of it.”
Carroll said running back J.D. McKissic, who’s been on injured reserve all season after breaking a bone in his foot, won’t resume practicing for at least another week.