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Pete Carroll’s Monday injury updates for Seahawks Week 16 game

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Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

In the immediate aftermath of the Seattle Seahawks loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Pete Carroll stated that it was believed that right guard Jordan Simmons had a grade 1 knee sprain, and that his status would be evaluated going forward. That is not a horrible diagnosis, as a player’s ability to return from or play through such an injury exists at some level.

Unfortunately for the Hawks, it appears that the initial assessment of the injury may have been inaccurate. Specifically, on Monday Carroll provided an update stating that while it can not yet be categorized as a “legit” injury, it’s is a “pretty good” injury.

What that means for the Seahawks is that if D.J. Fluker cannot go, they may be looking for help at right guard. Whether or not Fluker will be able to suit up on Sunday is still up in the air, but they’ll know more in the coming days.

So, if neither Fluker nor Simmons are able to play, that then leaves the right guard spot to most likely fall to Ethan Pocic. However, following Pocic’s poor showing Sunday against San Francisco, if Fluker is unable to play, it is possible the team could look elsewhere for help. The most logical next choice could be practice squad guard Jordan Roos, who spent last season on the active roster, seeing mostly special teams action before playing in place of an injured Pocic against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 17.

If Simmons’ injury is significant enough to land him on IR, and the team decides to add outside help, there are not a lot of recognizable names available at this late juncture in the season. There are a handful, including:

  • Jahri Evans
  • Allen Barbre
  • Ethan Cooper
  • Matt Tobin
  • John Jerry
  • Skyler Phillips

Evans is a name everyone probably recognizes from his cup of coffee in Seattle in 2016 prior to his return to the New Orleans Saints that season, before spending 2017 with the Green Bay Packers. I don’t know if he’d have any interest in playing for a contender, or if he’s even in football shape, he just happens to be on this list of NFL free agents.

Barbre and Tobin both kind of fall into the same boat. They have both been in the league for some time, having spent time with several different teams over the years, but neither is great. Neither is truly a fit for right guard in Mike Solari’s system, but they’re both names that have spend time with the Seahawks in recent seasons, so are at least familiar with assistant offensive line coach Pat Ruel.

Next up are Jerry and Cooper. Jerry is a veteran of the league who spent the last two seasons playing for as a member of the New York Giants, and he has the size and familiarity with what Solari likes to do. Cooper was a 2017 undrafted free agent who spent most of last season on the practice squad of the Giants, so he also has experience with Solari, though at just 6’2” and 322 pounds, he doesn’t quite bring the size of a guy like Jerry, Fluker or Simmons.

Last on the list is Skyler Phillips, an offensive lineman who played college football at Idaho State before signing the with Seattle as an undrafted free agent in the spring. He was waived at the end of training camp and is currently a free agent. Listed at 6’3” and 344 pounds in college, at first glance he would seem to have the size Solari likes. Unfortunately, coaches seem to tend to overstate how big their players are, and when Phillips showed up at the combine he weighed in at just 318 pounds. He did demonstrate impressive athleticism for that size (31 reps on the bench at his pro day, 104” broad and 29” vertical at the combine, while posting a 5.09 time in the 40). I’m kind of suprised he is not a member of the Oakland Raiders, or at least not on their practice squad with those measurables, but perhaps Tom Cable simply wants to wait until he’s traded Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn in the offseason before bringing in any more of his players.

Speaking of Cable and the Raiders, over the past couple of weeks Jon Gruden’s Oakland squad has found itself in a very similar situation where it is short on guards. Osemele has been battling a knee injury since early in the year which caused him to miss Weeks 5 and 6, and a more recent toe injury has kept him out of each of the last two games. Stepping in to start for Osemele in Week 14 was Jon Feliciano, a 2015 fourth round pick who has made just eight starts in his career. However, Feliciano was promptly injured in Week 14, which led the Raiders to sign Chaz Green.

Green is a name that some fans may recognize from his time with the Dallas Cowboys from 2015 until 2017. A former third round pick of Dallas in 2015, Green spent the entire 2015 season inactive, and then was the swing tackle for 2016. And then 2017 happened.

For those who don’t remember what happened to Green, he is the tackle who stepped at left tackle in late 2017 for an injured Tyron Smith, leading to the Adrian Clayborn debacle in Dallas.

And here’s more just because I don’t like the Cowboys.

Now, back to Cable and the Raiders, following injuries to both Osemele and Feliciano (as well as to starting right guard Gabe Jackson), the Raiders were forced to sign the aforementioned Chaz Green at the end of November. Then, nineteen days after Green was signed, he was thrust into the starting lineup where he got to face off against two time All-Pro, six time Pro Bowler Geno Atkins. The result was, in a word, predictable. I could tell you all about it, but if a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ll simply put up a photo essay worth several thousand words.

In the fourth quarter Atkins simply took over and began dominating Green. The first two times he took down Carr, he did so on a swim move.

And then later in the fourth quarter he again used a swim move to slide right past Green.

So, after recording his second sack of the game on Carr, both on swim moves, Atkins decided to use a bull rush and absolutely obliterate Green.

I am fairly certain that is not proper form.

So, in short, what Green couldn’t pick up in three years with the Cowboys he probably hasn’t learned in less than three weeks with the Raiders. Point is, there’s not a lot of quality options available on the free agent market, so while the thought of the Hawks having to go with Pocic or Roos at right guard may not be extremely attractive, it may be the best option available to the Hawks.

Obviously, it’s only Tuesday, so we’ll have to wait and see what kind of updates we get on Fluker’s hamstring and Simmons’ knee, and until then it’s kind of wait and see. And hope.