BY Art Thiel 04:36PM 10/31/2014

Seahawks’ list of hurts a bad trick and no treat

Cornerback and center are piling up casualties as the Seahawks, trying to hide their vulnerability, seek to avert the calamity of being the Raiders’ first seasonal victim Sunday.

Kam Chancellor, the defense’s hardest hitter, has been limited most of the season. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

The injury list grows chubbier each week. Make sure you start there when assessing why the Seahawks aren’t as good as a year ago — their health luck has run out. Four starters are out for Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders and four more are questionable — SS Kam Chancellor (groin), LT Russell Okung (calf) and both centers, Max Unger (foot) and Steven Schilling (knee). 

Most odious for the Seahawks is the continuing inability of Chancellor to get healthy. Beset by bone spurs in both ankles and a hip problem, he developed a strained groin muscle.

“He’s banged up,” coach Pete Carroll said Friday. “He’ll be worked out on game day. We’ll see what happens.”

Every NFL team has some key players missing by midseason, but the 2013 Seahawks’ casualties were fewer and not clustered so much by position. Chancellor’s backup, Jeron Johnson, did not pass the concussion protocol, leaving the Seahawks with backups DeShawn Shead and Steven Terrell, the latter going back and forth from the practice squad.

The secondary will also miss CB Byron Maxwell (calf), forcing virtual rookie Tharold Simon to start a third consecutive game. Simon had some knee soreness in practice, and he figures to be the Raiders’ No. 1 target. Richard Sherman sat out Thursday with a sore back, but will play. CB Jeremy Lane won’t return until next week.

Among linebackers, Bobby Wagner remains out (toe) and is joined by Malcolm Smith (strained groin), meaning rookie Brock Coyle will start at middle LB while K.J. Wright returns to the outside. Another rookie, Kevin Pierre-Louis, will get significant playing time.

Coyle had “a terrific week, and really, KPL did as well,” Carroll said. “Those guys are ready to play for us. Brock played a lot of football for us. He started games for us in the preseason, got a lot of comfort with being on the field, making the calls, and adjustments. We raved about his ability to do that so early.”

At center, Carroll said he expects Unger, out since Oct. 6, and Schilling will dress from the game. Unger making it through a week of practice was “a real good sign.” Even though he said Schilling did a good job as an emergency fill-in — he never played center before this season — Unger has been missed.

“You miss his leadership and his connection with (line coach) Tom Cable,” Carroll said. “His ability to communicate, adjust, and do the things in the middle of a game that experienced pros can do. It’s hard — there’s no other way to get that but through the years of working together.”

Okung has a new calf injury to go with a sore ankle and sore shoulder. If he can’t go, second-year man Alvin Bailey in the next man up. At center, Patrick Lewis would start if neither Unger nor Schilling can’t. Lewis played five snaps against the Rams two weeks ago.

The collective absences also impact special teams, where mistakes due to inexperience killed the Seahawks against the Rams. A key man on special teams, FB Derrick Coleman, has been lost for the season.


  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    Injuries are just part of the game! Now go out and take it to our
    old AFC nemesis.

    So much easier said than done. At least they got to sleep in their own beds all week for what its worth. October was road trip month for this squad and that in itself is brutal. It seems a bit unfair when say Harvin’s new team plays on the road and they are in New England or Buffalo. They could technically get to those places by bus. Seattle Never has that luxury.

    Every win is reaching critical mass in importance. Az has been been
    playing almost mistake free football. Falling behind smacks of
    danger.They dont need the win to qualify but they do need the win to
    avoid the exact same scenario New Orleans faced in 2011. A SB Champion
    having to play on the road as a wild card in Seattle and thus run into
    an inspired club… a beastquake and their demise. Seattle could be
    there in 2014(and maybe even at the Saints against say a 8~8 team at
    that~now wouldnt that create media drama.) Winning vs the Raiders keeps
    them in line for a chance to catch the red birds and avoid that wild
    card thing. Food for thought. Now go out and take it to our
    old AFC nemesis. Just win and to hell with Vegas odds and covering the spread.
    Go Hawks.

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  • Effzee

    We had some really baffling, confusing, hard fought games (some of them losses) early to mid-season last year as well. Same with RWIII’s rookie year. Then we got on a roll. Its about making sure to win games now, yes, but playing our best at the end of season is the real goal, which this team is really good at. Add to that the injury situation, free agent losses in the offseason, The Harvin Debacle, sketchy officiating, and everyone giving us their best shot, and I say its pretty damned impressive to be where we are. Even considering all of the above, I am not in the least bit worried about anything. The way they have built this team is on talent evaluation and plugging in excellent young players that nobody has ever heard of. They fit the system, play hard, and become important, contributing sought-after NFL players who other teams want. As long as Pete and John are running things, that’s fine by me. They somehow managed Percy well-enough last year to earn one of the most dominating Super Bowl performances anyone has ever seen. We are going to get progressively healthier as the season goes on, the defense will get stronger as it gets healthier, and the offense will find its way, which will take the pressure off of said defense… I don’t even care if we struggle to beat the Raiders, just as long as we win. They are going to give us their best game of the season, just like everyone else. Maybe that’s what Al Davis meant. Once you’re the best, everyone’s coming after you, so just win, baby. It can be by 2 or 20, just get the “W.”

  • Gerald Turner

    Looking to see how Paul Richardson progress, also the Richard Sherman interception drinking game is not much fun. How about a sack or two from our ends? Christen Michel breaks one at last? Going to the Seahawk fan club tomorrow, different this year, some have on SB jackets. This season is gravy.