Monday night the Seattle Seahawks moved into first place in the NFC West, sliding past the San Francisco 49ers via tiebreaker at the conclusion of their 37-30 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Wednesday the team was back to practice in preparation for the Los Angeles Rams. Or, at least they were on the field pretending to practice.
The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement severely limits the amount of time teams may spend practicing compared to prior CBAs, and in particular over the final six weeks of the season, teams may hold no more than three padded practices. So, on Wednesday, less than two days after defeating the Vikings, the Hawks were back on the field for a walk through rather than a full practice.
As for how the team came out of the Minnesota game in terms of injury, it’s a picture of fairly good health, particularly this late in the season.
Duane Brown did not practice, as has effectively become the norm for him as he nurses a biceps injury, along with a knee issue. Brown is the seventh oldest offensive lineman to appear in an NFL game this season (trailing only Andrew Whitworth, Jason Peters, Richie Incognito, Donald Penn, Joe Staley and Marshal Yanda), and the fifth oldest to have started ten or more games. Thus, taking the steps necessary to preserve Brown’s health for a potential postseason run makes all the sense in the world.
Notably, both of the big defensive line acquisitions, Jadeveon Clowney and a suddenly resurgent Ziggy Ansah were listed as limited, which is good. For however long he is able, Clowney will be playing through a core injury that will require surgery once the season is over, while Ansah, as noted, has all of a sudden found his form when it comes to getting after the quarterback.
Through Week 10, Ziggy Ansah had 3 QB hits on 218 snaps.— John P. Gilbert (@JohnPGilbertNFL) December 5, 2019
In the last two games Ansah has 5 QB hits on 63 defensive snaps.
As for the others who did not practice, Mychal Kendricks did not practice, but given that he played against the Vikings on Monday, it doesn’t seem hard to imagine him being able to play Sunday against the Rams. Nick Bellore was out, but it seems many fans would prefer the team not use a gameday active spot on a fullback, so it appears those fans will get their wish, at least until Bellore is healthy. Missing Neiko Thorpe could be detrimental to the special teams, but at least to this point the youngsters behind him have been able to fill in adequately.
In any case, the Thursday injury report should be more revealing in terms of how things should look for the Week 14 game that comes with a playoff berth sitting there for the taking, so we’ll look to see what that says.