When the Seattle Seahawks take on the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, the team will be using its fifth different configuration along the offensive line with tackle Duane Brown and guard Luke Joeckel making up the left side of the line. Joeckel is returning for the first time since the week five win against the Los Angeles Rams, following which he had a follow-up procedure to remove scar tissue from his surgically repaired knee.
Brown, who was acquired at the trading deadline after Week 8 has not yet lined up next to Joeckel in a game, or even a practice since he has been resting his own ankle injured against the Arizona Cardinals and has not participated this week. Joeckel, on the other hand, only returned to practice this week, so was not taking part last week when Brown was a limited in . In any case, here is the full injury report:
Notably, Jimmy Graham, Michael Bennett and Michael Wilhoite were all full participation on Friday, although Wilhoite remains listed as questionable.
Also on the injury report is Oday Aboushi, who had started the last eight games at right guard, but is out this week after having dislocated his shoulder late in the Monday game against the Atlanta Falcons. The team has not announced who will start in place of Aboushi, but it likely will come down to Mark Glowinski and Ethan Pocic. Glowinski started the first two games of the season before being benched in favor of Aboushi, and then platooned with Pocic at left guard for the game against the Giants in week seven after Joeckel’s surgery. However, Pocic quickly took control of the starting spot, and Glow had been relegated to special teams duty for the three games leading up to the matchup with Atlanta.
Once Aboushi went down with the injury late against the Falcons, Glowinski stepped right in and played the remainder of the game. He had mostly good moments as he was facing off fresh against rushers who had played the whole game, though there were two moments that jumped out: one positive and one negative. I will discuss these two moments in greater detail in a separate post, but I feel that the positive may have been enough to give Glowinski the nod as the starter at right guard this week. He has likely already qualified for the proven performance escalator, which will result in a material increase in his salary in 2018, and as such the team likely wants to evaluate how much he has learned during the eight weeks he spent mostly on the sideline.
As for the defensive front seven the 49ers line up across from the Seahawks realigned offensive line, it will be significantly different from the unit Seattle faced in Week 2. Arik Armstead is on injured reserve and NaVorro Bowman has been released. Armstead had a sack and four tackles in while Bowman who had ten tackles (seven solo) the first time around. In addition, third overall pick Solomon Thomas, who recorded four tackles the first time these two teams played, is listed as questionable for the Sunday game. If Thomas is ruled out Sunday, it could prove beneficial for the Seattle offense, as it is likely to have its hands full for other reasons, including playing on a grass surface in the rain.