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Earl Thomas, DeShawn Shead could miss 2 weeks

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be getting the best shot at the Seattle Seahawks of anyone all season.

On Monday, head coach Pete Carroll told 710 ESPN that safety Earl Thomas and cornerback DeShawn Shead have first-degree hamstring injuries which carry a timetable return of 10-14 days. That means that Thomas and Shead are likely going to miss next Sunday’s game in Tampa against the Bucs, and could also be out when they host the Carolina Panthers in two weeks.

Thomas has never missed a game in 118 opportunities, including playoffs. Shead’s been active every week since he became a 53-man regular at the start of 2014. These absences could signal more playing time for safety Steven Terrell, who has never made a start in three seasons and has seven career tackles, and perhaps rookie UDFA cornerback DeAndre Elliott, who quietly just returned from a hamstring injury. The good news, if you can call old news good news, is that the defense does have Kam Chancellor again and there’s a chance that Michael Bennett could return on Sunday. "He’s going for it," said Carroll.

However, CJ Prosise (scapula) is likely done for the rest of the regular season, though Carroll said there was no actual timetable for his return. Jeremy Lane could also see his role changed in the next two weeks, while Neiko Thorpe, Kelcie McCray, and Tyvis Powell are also in the mix.

Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston has been on fire as of late, with the Bucs winning four of their last six games as Winston has thrown 12 TD, two interceptions, 7.8 Y/A, and has a rating of 102.2. Wide receiver Mike Evans was going to be a handful either way, but now some of those guys who haven’t been tested after years of health from Thomas will need to step up and perform on the road.

And either way, will be hoping that he can miss only 10 days instead of 14 or more.