In Week 9 the Seattle Seahawks travel east to take on Josh Allen and the first place Buffalo Bills in a matchup the Hawks need to win to maintain control of the top spot in the NFC, as well as to ensure they remain atop the NFC West. However, when the two teams face off, Seattle could be missing multiple starters, as the Thursday injury report was once again lengthy, including a half dozen starters not participating at all.
As Joe Fann of NBC Sports Northwest notes, none of Chris Carson, Benson Mayowa and Shaquill Griffin practiced Thursday, nor did Mike Iupati, Ugo Amadi or David Moore. Five of those injured players did not practice Wednesday, and Moore was added to the the list of players not practicing Thursday with ankle and back issues. How serious Moore’s injuries may be is unknown, and it’s entirely possible he practiced Wednesday with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett having a light day in order to rest. That means the Friday injury report could shed light on whether to expect to see Moore Sunday against Buffalo, or if Freddie Swain or Penny Hart could be called upon to pick up some snaps from Moore.
In addition, backup running back Carlos Hyde did not practice with a hamstring injury, while Travis Homer was limited. The Seahawks recent addition of Alex Collins to the practice squad should allow the team to have better depth against the Bills than they did against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 8, when only Homer and DeeJay Dallas were active. That’s not to say that Collins will see a lot of snaps, but it will not be a surprise to see the Hawks to elevate Collins from the practice squad for the game in order to have the necessary depth.
Homer practicing on a limited basis is a good sign, as that is an improvement from Wednesday when he did not practice at all. Along with Homer, Greg Olsen, Duane Brown, Quinton Dunbar and D.J. Reed also returned to practice as limited participants after not practicing at all Wednesday, which should be a good sign for their availability for Sunday. Also limited Thursday were Ryan Neal and Jamal Adams, so whether Adams makes his return to the lineup for the first time since late September or whether Neal is called upon again as Adams continues to recover from a groin injury remains to be seen.
In any case, as always the Friday injury report will be key for which players will be available against the Bills. At 6-1 and atop the NFC it’s not a must win game, but if Seattle does somehow manage to lose to Allen and the Bills, possibly because their pass rush isn’t able to get to Allen even with the newly acquired Carlos Dunlap (but without having been able to acquire Jacob Martin from the Houston Texans), it would open the door for the Arizona Cardinals to take over first place in the NFC West with a victory over the Miami Dolphins in the late slot Sunday afternoon.