Rather unexpectedly, the Seattle Seahawks’ week seven matchup against the St. Louis Rams feels like some kind of a must-win. As recently as a week ago this game was seen as a walk in the park, an assured win on the road to postseason riches. One loss to the Dallas Cowboys later and this game is a lot more important than anyone had thought it’d be. And the Hawks will have to play it at less than full strength.
With this game now less than 48 hours away, the Hawks have a pretty clear picture of who will and who won’t be participating. You’d like your best players to be on the field, and yes, Russell Wilson is fine. Same goes for Marshawn Lynch, Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, and so many other critical Seahawks. That being said, the list of players expected to watch from the sidelines is pretty significant.
Via the Seahawks’ official injury report we have a list of guys who’s status may or may not be in question for Sunday’s action. Let’s start with the injured probables: Alvin Bailey and Tharold Simon. Bailey’s been dealing with a strained oblique, but practiced this week and is expected to be available as Russell Okung‘s backup at left tackle. Simon was limited by his ailing knee early in the week, but has practiced recently and may well end up starting in Sunday’s game.
Why might the second-stringer Simon play the full game Sunday, you ask? That would be due to the meddling of Byron Maxwell‘s calf, which he strained last week against Dallas. Maxwell didn’t get into any practices this week and won’t be playing against the Rams. Which is, of course, a significant blow that can perhaps be softened by a big showing from Simon.
Maxwell isn’t the only starter sitting out this week, as he’ll be joined on the sidelines by Bobby Wagner, Max Unger, and Zach Miller. Boom. All four big names, all four talented players, all four not physically able to help the Hawks right now. This could mean starts for… Brock Coyle? Stephen Schilling? Luke Willson?
Which, speaking of Willson, brings us to the questionables. Willson’s got a groin strain and didn’t practice at all this week. Yet his current spot on the depth chart means he’s who the team would like to have starting at tight end. Yeesh. But that’s not nearly as bad as the problem the team might have at wide receiver.
Percy Harvin, he who essentially lost the 2013 season to injury, is currently questionable with an injured thigh. Jermaine Kearse is a quality backup, but Harvin is Harvin, an explosive and integral part of the Seattle Seahawks. If he plays, it’s a major boost. If he sits, it’s just going to amplify the woes of missing so many stars. He returned to practice in a limited capacity today, so keep your fingers crossed.
The Seattle Seahawks are better than the St. Louis Rams. That doesn’t mean this game is going to be an automatic win, and that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to overcome on Sunday. Every team deals with injuries, some more often than others. The 2013 Seahawks had good luck with keeping their players healthy. The 2014 team, not so much. Let’s hope the backups can fill in admirably – assuming they can stay healthy.