As the Seahawks hobble into their Preseason Week 4 matchup with the Raiders, it's easy to look past this matchup and focus on the opener against Carolina. My guess would be that we'll see a lot of reserves in there on Thursday night as the Hawks try and get all their core, contributing players healthy Week 1. So, where do we stand, injuries wise? Well, I'll just break down each positional group.
So far so good.
Marshawn Lynch has seen a few snaps during the preseason but as you'd expect, the team has been limiting the contact he takes in the hopes of keeping him very fresh and healthy heading into games that count. Lynch, barring anything popping up in practice, will be ready for the opener against Carolina.
Robert Turbin battled a foot issue early in camp but has come on strong the past two weeks, and is looking to be full speed. Christine Michael had back issues crop up after a heavy dose of carries against San Diego, but seems to have bounced back. Spencer Ware missed most of the game last week after injuring his wrist in the second play he took part in, and missed practice on Monday, but should be good to go by the regular season (that's me guessing).
Derrick Coleman has played tough, so nothing to report there at the moment, and Michael Robinson has been battling an illness the past couple of days so the team is just trying to get him rested up and healthy before next week. It will be interesting to see if Robinson feels the ill-effects from being sick - I know it's possible to lose weight, strength and stamina after battling the flu (or whatever) for a week, so hopefully that won't be the case with Mike Rob.
Overall - good heath at running back, relatively, though.
Sidney Rice is likely going to be on the injury report a lot this year as the Seahawks limit his reps and protect his knee. I am guessing that he'll be good to go for next week though, and he's reportedly been going full speed in practices that he takes part in.
Stephen Williams sat out practice on Tuesday (today) but I haven't heard of anything serious with him.
Obviously, Percy Harvin is the big name on this list he's been placed on the reserve/PUP list, which means he'll miss the first six games of the season, at least, after having surgery on a torn labrum. The Hawks are hoping to get Percy back by Thanksgiving, or around that time.
Zach Miller refuses to stipulate exactly what the issue with his foot has been this preseason but apparently it's different than the torn plantar fascia injury he suffered against Atlanta in the Playoffs. Regardless, he's evidently running full speed and getting himself into football shape to be ready for the season, so I'm optimistic. Foot injuries have a sneaky habit of reappearing later on down the road so the Hawks are taking every precaution with Miller. Let's all hope it doesn't come back down the line, but for now, it's looking good for a start to the season.
On the depth chart, Anthony McCoy, the presumptive #2 tight end for the Seahawks, tore his achilles over the offseason and was placed on the injured reserve. His replacement is ostensibly Luke Willson, who has remained relatively healthy thus far.
Willson is backed up by Sean McGrath and Cooper Helfet. Further down the line is Darren Fells. All three are healthy thus far.
The big name here is James Carpenter, and he returned to practice on Monday. I'm still holding out hope for Carpenter at the left guard position but until he displays some consistency in staying healthy, I may be in for a disappointment. Regardless, Pete Carroll keeps saying that they're shooting for week one to get him back, so let's hope he can get into some semblance of football shape in the next couple weeks.
Aye gavalt. Where do I begin.
Cliff Avril recently re-aggravated his hamstring injury and his timetable for return is unknown. Michael Bennett will have to cope with a previously known shoulder injury the whole season, and hurt his knee earlier this month. He'll probably appear on a lot of injury reports but I'm guessing he'll play against Carolina. Jesse Williams went to the IR after his knee failed to respond to treatment. Brandon Mebane injured his groin this week. Tony McDaniel has had knee issues over the past few years and has battled a groin injury in camp as well. Chris Clemons' return is unknown at this point but he's recovering from a torn ACL. Greg Scruggs was just placed on the PUP list so he'll miss at least the first six weeks with a torn ACL. Jordan Hill has an injured bicep. Jaye Howard had missed some time with an injured shoulder.
Am I panicking? Not yet, to be honest. I'm worried, somewhat, about injuries, but I'm always worried about injuries. Here's why I'm not to a point where I'm really worried, though: built-in positional versatility.
Red Bryant can play the 5-technique defensive end and can also slide inside in a jam. Tony McDaniel has experience in a 3-4 and can play inside and out. Michael Bennett can play inside or at defensive end. Jaye Howard has looked good at the 5-tech spot but can also slide in and rush from the middle (which he did against Green Bay and looked good doing so). Clinton McDonald has looked pretty good this preseason and is best at the NT spot but could also play 3-technique (and has). Newly signed DT Sealver Siliga is a mountain of a man and looks like he could be one of the war daddies on the inside for Seattle.
At defensive end, with the new-look LEO/SAM interchangeable scheme, guys like Malcolm Smith, O'Brien Schofield, Mike Morgan, and K.J. Wright can play either outside linebacker or LEO in a pinch and provides the Hawks with more options within their scheme. Benson Mayowa has looked good and if he makes it onto the roster, there's some possible quality depth there as well. This ad hoc defensive end/LEO situation only improves dramatically as Chris Clemons and Cliff Avril return from injury and Bruce Irvin comes off suspension, and while the situation is currently anything but ideal, it does seem like something the Hawks could survive.
Injuries are a way of life in the NFL. Having enough positional versatility within your scheme in order to mitigate injuries at key positions is the way to go. The Hawks seem to be doing this on the offensive line as well, with every guy on the list able to play at least two spots.
As of right now, things are looking good at these positional groups.