Sunday Night Football in Week 17 of the NFL season is set to be a showdown that will decide the NFC West, as the Seattle Seahawks host the San Francisco 49ers. In addition, the game will also carry significantly implications in the race for home field advantage in the NFC, as the 49ers stand to gain the top seed overall with a victory, or could plummet all the way down to the fifth seed with a loss.
For the Seahawks, it will be a chance to wash the bad taste from the Week 16 27-13 embarrassment at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals out of their mouths, but it looks like they’ll need to do it without being at full health. Of course, it’s Week 17 of the NFL season, which means no team is truly at full health, but even for this late in the season the Hawks are a team that is beat up, especially up front on the offensive line. Seattle has ten offensive linemen on the roster, but seven of those linemen were listed on the Thursday injury report.
We already know that regular starting left tackle Duane Brown won’t be in the lineup against the 49ers, as he is recovering from knee surgery that he had earlier in the week.
#Seahawks LT Duane Brown is having surgery to trim a meniscus today, source said, a surgery that often has a 2-3 week recovery period. That’s why he has at least a chance to play in the playoffs.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 23, 2019
In his place at left tackle second year man out of Ohio State Jamarco Jones started against the Cardinals in what turned out to be an ugly debut at tackle, but Jones is now listed as having some sort of shoulder injury. Starting left guard Mike Iupati missed a good portion of the Arizona loss due to an in game injury and is listed on the injury report with a neck issue. His replacement during the Cardinals game, Ethan Pocic, who just recently returned from injured reserve is on the injury report with a core injury.
At center, one time backup Joey Hunt who took over as the starter following Justin Britt tearing his ACL in Week 8 has been listed on the injury report each of the last two weeks with a fibula injury. At right guard D.J. Fluker is the lone starter on the line not to be listed on the injury report, as right tackle Germain Ifedi has been on and off the injury report this season with a knee issue of his own. That said, expect Ifedi to play, as he has yet to miss a snap at right tackle this season, and since the start of the 2017 season has played all but 143 offensive snaps at the position for the team. Of those 143 snaps he did not play at the position, he spent 63 of them at right guard in the season finale against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 17 of 2018 and was only out of the lineup for 80 offensive snaps against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 16 of the 2018 season.
In any case, even as injuries have ravaged the roster at this point in the season, the Hawks will take the field on Sunday with a chance to win the NFC West title, so there is no time for excuses. Even though the team’s injury situation could provide the team with as many excuses as it would like.