The heart of the Seattle Seahawks defense will be literally removed before Monday night’s game starts. K.J. Wright will miss his second straight game with a knee injury. He hasn’t practiced in weeks and will not play. Last week, the defense really could have used him, and he might have been a difference maker on Phillip Lindsay’s touchdown.
As if Wright’s injury weren’t bad enough, middle linebacker, and perhaps the Seahawks best defensive player, Bobby Wagner won’t suit up against Chicago either. Aside from being an All-Pro player, Wagner also calls the signals on defense. With so many, young players, new players and backups playing significant minutes tonight, he is the one man Seattle could least afford to lose.
There will be a makeshift group of linebackers starting in the middle of Seattle’s defense. The names are going to be very different for football fans watching the nationally televised game. Second-year pro, Austin Calitro, a free agent signing this summer, got his first NFL game action last week. He’ll take Wagner’s spot in the middle.
Rookie Shaquem Griffin, the Seattle Seahawks 2018 fifth-round made his NFL debut and started against Denver last week. He often looked out of position and his coverage gaff last week led to Lindsay’s touchdown. #49 will need to make a huge leap forward.
Another newcomer to Seattle starts opposite Griffin. Journeyman Barkevious Mingo will open the game as the Seahawks strong-side outside linebacker. He’s been in the league for several years and has proven himself to be a reliable backup. How effective he can be and for how long are his biggest questions.
Backing up the unfamiliar trio are more new faces. Recently signed Mychal Hendricks will be one replacement. The former All-Pro has only been with the team for a few days. How much he’ll actually play is up in the air. Also in the rotation is 2018 sixth-round pick, Jacob Martin.