After being shredded by the Rams for 455 yards, the Seahawks defense will be without two starters, and possibly a third, for the game in Charlotte Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. DE Jadeveon Clowney and LB Mychal Kendricks are out, and CB Shaquill Griffin is questionable with a tender hamstring.
Coach Pete Carroll was optimistic Friday that Clowney would be over the flu that sickened several teammates the previous week. But after Carroll met the media, the team released a statement saying Clowney won’t play.
“Just judging from how other guys have recovered, the couple days from this point forward, he should bounce back pretty good,” Carroll said. “It hasn’t been a great week for him at all. We need to just wait and see.”
Clowney earlier missed the game against Philadelphia with a core-muscle injury that likely will linger for the rest of the season.
Kendricks will miss a second consecutive game with a sore hamstring, meaning rookie Cody Barton will get his second start after mixed results in Los Angeles.
“I think he’ll feel much more comfortable,” Carroll said. “We’re expecting him to make a little jump and just clean it up, and be more specifically accountable. The running and hitting part, he was fine. It was just the little things on assignments and recognition.”
Griffin was hurt in the Rams game.
“It’s bothering him a little bit,” he said. “We’re just making sure that we’re managing him through it.”
A fourth starter, DE Ziggy Ansah, missed the Rams game with a neck stinger and will be a game-time decision.
Some good health news was that the Seahawks will regain FB Nick Bellore after a quadriceps strain, and TE Luke Willson is nearly recovered from a hamstring strain. OL Ethan Pocic will return from injured reserve after a back injury Sept. 15, and will be available to back up at center or either guard spot. He will take the roster spot of RB Rashaad Penny, who underwent surgery for an ACL tear and is done for the season.
For the Panthers, veteran TE Greg Olsen, always a tough cover for the Seahawks, will remain in the concussion protocol and miss his second game in a row.
If they don’t already flu shots should be required for players and administered at the VMac. Too much at stake and too much invested in the players not to.
The recent spate of injuries shows one of the Hawks biggest weaknesses is depth which lackluster drafts have contributed to. This Sunday would be an opportunity for Josh Gordon to shine. They really could use him to do so. I’d like to see Bellfore used more if not starting. I’ve always been a proponent of a FB leading the way for the RB. Marshawn’s best years were when Michael Robinson was clearing paths for him.