BY Art Thiel 05:34PM 10/11/2019

Brown, Fluker, Pocic likely out for Browns game

The Seahawks’ best O-lineman, LT Duane Brown, is likely out Sunday for the game in Cleveland, as is RG D.J. Fluker. Ethan Pocic was put on injured reserve.

Duane Brown has started 30 games for Seattle since his midseason trade acquisition in 2017 from Houston. / Art Thiel, Sportspress Northwest

The Seahawks offensive line is in injury trouble — two starters, LT Duane Brown (biceps)  and RG D.J. Fluker (hamstring) are likely out of Sunday’s game at Cleveland (10 a.m., FOX), and versatile backup Ethan Pocic was put on the injured reserve list with a back problem.

Brown, Seattle’s best O-lineman, played the past two games despite a muscle damaged in the Saints game. He didn’t practice Friday and is officially listed as doubtful.

“That means that when you’re as optimistic as I am, there’s a chance,” coach Pete Carroll said after practice Friday, after which the team left for Ohio. “There’s a chance. He couldn’t practice today.

“It’s not responding as well as we had hoped.”

Carroll praised Brown’s toughness for going the whole way in the Seahawks’ 30-29 win over the Rams Oct. 3.

“That was heroic — he just toughed it out,” he said. “It was hard and really uncomfortable. He wouldn’t say anything about it, and finished the game. Couldn’t have been more admirable the way he pulled off a great game for us.”

In the same game, Fluker strained a hamstring early on and had to come out. He was replaced by second-year OL Jamarco Jones, who had been a tackle throughout his college career at Ohio State, as well with the Seahawks. But without Pocic, Jones changed positions and sides of the line to fill in well for 65 plays.

Among all Seahawks linemen in that game, Pro Football Focus graded Jones highest, despite the fact that he was often up against the best defensive player in the NFL, Aaron Donald.

“It’s really first class (to) come through for us, that he went over there and played so admirably under the circumstances,” Carroll said.

But he played it coy when asked whether Jones would get his first career start Sunday.

“We got to get that worked out,” he said. “If you don’t mind, we’ll let you know on the weekend. There may be an edge there somewhere for us. I’m not sure there is.”

However mysterious Carroll wants to be, Jones seems the logical choice at guard, while George Fant is the likely replacement at left tackle. But that would take away a tool Carroll covets — the tackle-eligible extra blocker Fant plays as a nominal tight end in the jumbo package.

Carroll wouldn’t say whether anyone else would step into Fant’s role.

“You’re asking questions I don’t want to answer,” he said. “They’re good questions though. Just wait and see.”

He didn’t minimize the loss of Brown.

“If Duane’s not ready to play, you’re losing a lot of experience and a lot of vision that he has, and he shares,” he said, suggesting much will fall to Justin Britt. “He’s got to have a really good game for us. He and (Russell Wilson)s have to communicate really well.

“The perception (Brown) has is extremely unique, and you’re going to miss some of that.”

To help compensate for the loss of Pocic, who hasn’t played the past three games and won’t be eligible to return for the next eight, the Seahawks promoted OL Jordan Roos and TE Jacob Hollister from the practice squad. To make roster room, the Seahawks also waived safety Adrian Colbert.

The good health news was that RB Chris Carson, who appeared on the Thursday report with a shoulder problem, was a go for Sunday.

“He came back,” Carroll said. “He’s fine today. Practiced the whole thing today.”


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YourThoughts

  • Alan Harrison

    Eek.

    Let me get this straight: Fant, Iupati, Britt, Jones, Ifedi, with only Roos and Hunt backing up? I suppose they’ll sign Nkansah to the practice squad, but, at the risk of repeating myself…

    Eek.

    • art thiel

      Don’t worry. They have only to stop Myles Garrett, 2nd on the NFL with seven sacks.

  • Husky73

    If the Seahawks lose on Sunday (going 4-2), will the whirlwind be loosed as it was after the Huskies dropped to 4-2?

    • art thiel

      Every circumstance is different. But if Seahawks play that bad relative to their own average, yes.

      • Husky73

        The current Coca-Cola “Tomcats, this is out team” commercial was filmed at Thiel College. Which begs the question to you— Coke or Pepsi?

        • art thiel

          I had no idea the Fighting Kitties made the big time. But I take a pass on consuming either toxic swill.

  • jafabian

    I can see Schneider swinging a deal if this goes too long. The Hawks have enough draft picks to trade.

    • art thiel

      The Brown injury is worrisome for the Seahawks because it’s a hard injury to heal in-season.

  • DJ

    Thanks Art!
    I can appreciate the difficult task facing the offense just when the O-line is close to hitting some sort of consistency and stride. Any more injuries there and Carroll may have to opt to Cable’s old trick of converting a D lineman, mid-game! I’m sure they have a better plan than that.
    I also appreciate Carroll’s manner in which he addresses difficult topics. He always seems to be able to handle the twists and turns with as much eloquence as is possible.

    • art thiel

      Carroll shows lots of patience with repetitive questions and the public’s need to know about injuries for gambling purposes. He’s the anti-Belichick.