The mildly surprising entry is Lynch, who practiced for the first time this week today, as questionable for Sunday's game at Kansas City. That is somewhat counter to what Pete Carroll said when I asked the coach following the light indoor practice that just ended here in Renton if the Seahawks are merely maintaining the bullish running back's health by limiting him in practices this week or if some new injuries have appeared.
"He's just banged up," Carroll said. "In years past we've always given him a lot of consideration to get him right. And he's worked hard to make sure he stays (the) best way he can do, and he practiced well today."
Sounds to me like he'll start at usual Sunday, just as he did before romping for 140 yards and a career-high four rushing touchdowns last week against the Giants after also not practicing on Wednesday and Thursday and doing light work last Friday.
Carroll said the team was surprised with how well tight end Luke Willson practiced this week on an ankle he sprained last Sunday against New York. The fill-in starter now that Zach Miller is out for the year joins safety Kam Chancellor, defensive end Michael Bennett, tight end Cooper Helfet and outside linebacker Malcolm Smith as probable for the Chiefs, though Carroll added the caveat that all have to make it through pregame drills Sunday.
Then again, that's true of every player on the roster every Sunday, no?
Carroll said Byron Maxwell will start at cornerback in his second straight game played since missing three weeks with a calf injury. Tharold Simon will also get time at cornerback in Kansas City. Simon has started the last four games with Maxwell has been out.
The coach made it sound iffy for Jeremy Lane being able to play nickel back Sunday. With Carroll saying Marcus Burley won't be able to play, the Seahawks would have issues on who would be the fifth defensive back if Lane can't play. My sense is Maxwell would move in there and Simon would stay at cornerback.
--The latest weather forecast for the Seahawks' weekend in Kansas City: 1-3 inches of snow to fall during the day Saturday, partly cloudy with a high of 30 on Sunday. Carroll noted the Chiefs and the NFL have been taking steps to keep the field covered and prepared -- such as the league telling Washburn (Kansas) and Northwest Missouri State to take a hike out of Arrowhead Stadium and move their college game elsewhere Saturday. But the temperatures in Kansas City haven't been much above freezing such Tuesday afternoon; today's high of 34 degrees is the warmest it's been there this week. So the grass field may still be frozen Sunday at Arrowhead, and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is preparing for the possibility of wearing non-spiked shoes if it is.
Here is the Chiefs' injury report. Notice the Chiefs are without two of their top three wide receivers, and their backup tight end (Fasano) is questionable. Then again, Avery has just 14 catches this season and Jenkins has nine. The Seahawks' defense was already dialed in on defending TE Travis Kelce (34 catches and a team-leading four TD catches), WR Dwayne Bowe (team-high 39 receptions) and -- most of all -- All-Pro Jamaal Charles' running.
Head Coach Pete Carroll
November 14, 2014
(On having to be more creative this week with the new guys coming in and out) I appreciate that thought that we’ve been more creative but I’d have to tell you that we haven’t been. We’ve done what we always do, thanks anyway for bringing that up. I appreciate the thought that we’re creative. We had a great week. Everybody worked really hard. We had some surprises of guys coming back. Luke Willson really had a great week. We were a little surprised at that. Some guys looking sharp, it was a good upbeat week.
(On Kam Chancellor and Malcolm Smith) Kam’s okay. Malcolm Smith had a great week. We were really pleased about that. It’s been awhile since he’s been back out with us.
(On if Luke Willson, Kam Chancellor and Malcolm Smith will play) Yeah, all those guys have to make it through the pre-game warm-up. They do that, they’re good.
(On the injuries Kam Chancellor has had to deal with this year) Yeah, he’s had a hard time getting balanced where he really felt great. It’s been a long haul for him through the offseason, rehabbing and all that kind of stuff so he’s looking forward to good health and he feels good this week. Hopefully we can put some weeks back-to-back for him and he can get a little momentum going here to finish the year.
(On if the couple weeks off for Kam Chancellor helped with his other issues, the ankle and the hip) Yeah it did because he wasn’t pounding on those same things. In general he’s had to take care of more than one thing, you’re right. So anytime guys get a break like that it does help.
(On Jeremy Lane’s situation) It’s a pretty normal situation. He practiced today and did well. He’s running with the trainers to make sure he’s okay. He’s a little sore after the week so we will see how he goes. I can’t tell you more than that until game time.
(On if it’s a carry-over from his injury) Yeah, he’d been out for a long time and he got real sore and all that so we had to manage him back through it. He did a nice job today in practice so that’s a good sign.
(On if he is maintaining Marshawn Lynch throughout the week or if anything new popped up) He’s just banged up. In years past, we’ve always given him a lot of consideration to get him right and he’s worked hard to make sure he’s stays, if that’s what he can do and he practiced well today.
(On after only being here a week, how Tony Moeaki is doing) We were really excited about him the first week and thought to play him. But we felt he would be too limited because he didn’t have enough time to learn enough stuff. He’s picked things up. He’s practiced with the first group all week long, in-and-out. He’s definitely part of the game plan.
(On Allen Bradford working back in as the backup Mike linebacker) We’re fortunate to have Allen in our background. He’s been with us enough times and he has history with us back at school and all of that that he fit right in again. Brock [Coyle] is really banged up this week. He jumped right in at the Mike spot and gave us a sense of security there that we could go to him if we need to. He’s played for us enough and been on our special teams and been in our meetings for a long time, has a great relationship with Kenny [Ken Norton]. Kenny knows how to coach him up. He fit in really well. It was great to have him back.
(On if Brock Coyle is out for Sunday) We’re going to figure that out but right now he’s pretty banged up.
(On if Byron Maxwell will be back at his starting spot) He is going to start. Max is going to start and we’re fired up about that. It’s great to get the group back together. Tharold [Simon] is ready to go and he will play regularly through the game but we’re getting better, we’re getting stronger.
(On how Marcus Burley is doing) He’s banged up. He will not make it. He’s got a hamstring that’s not going to make it.
(On if anything happens to Jeremy Lane who will be at nickel) We will have to make some adjustments.
(On if Will Tukuafu is ready to go for Sunday) Yeah, he’s really been a great surprise. Will has really picked up on what we’re asking him to do on offense. I’m surprised at how easy that has been for him so we’ve worked him more at defense to give us some more help. He’s played quite a bit more defense than of course fullback so he jumped right back there too and did some good stuff. He’s a very mobile, very aggressive kid. So we’re happy to get him in anywhere we can.
(On the prognosis for Bobby Wagner at this stage) Everything has gone great to get him a shot to get back next week and we will see what happens. Like I said earlier, it’s a two week process that maybe he can jump ahead that.
(On an overview of Kansas City) Well, this is a really well equipped team. If you guys take a look at any statistic of the critical areas – red zone, third-downs, penalties, turnovers, all that stuff, they are really, really in good shape. That means that they have taken care of business in a lot of areas. They cover the football team as well as their special teams, which we think is the best group we’ve seen so you put all that together, it’s a really functioning football team. The quarterback is really solid, the running backs are good and the receivers can make the catches and the tight ends, anywhere you look. There’s no wonder they won so many games last year and they’re off to a good start again this year. So all of that, taken into account, we have to play really good football. Now, we’re going to have to take care of the ball, we’re going to have to do a good job in all the areas that they excel at that we’re still trying to aspire to. They’re ahead of us in some spots. We have a lot of respect for this team and the coach and the quarterback and all the key players that make this team up and not to mention you’re playing at Arrowhead which is a phenomenal place to play too. This is a big challenge and we’re really fired up about it because we know it’s a great challenge and these guys are ready – they practiced like it and their intent is really strong to go out there and play good ball.
(On if there is anything he can do beforehand to prepare for the cold weather) No, we were fortunate that we had some nice crisp weather. That’s been good for us. We’re preparing for that as well as the crowd and all that. We know that it’s going to be a little colder than it’s been, it’s going to be a little louder than it usually is so we’re going to take that as part of this challenge to function really well under those circumstances.
(On which extreme is worse, the heat or the cold) Well, I think once you burn up, you burn up. Once you don’t have any more juice left and you’re dehydrated, you’re done. The one thing about the cold is there is a good chance we will bring them back inside when it’s over, we won’t leave you out there. My grandpa taught me that a long time ago and it’s still true today and always will be. It’s temporary.
(On if he has to do anything out of the ordinary if there is a frozen field) I can’t imagine the way they have adjusted the circumstances there and they can treat the field, they will let that happen any worse than it could be. They will be able to cover it and all that. I know that they have taken great lengths to make sure that they’re managing it as well as possible. But whatever it is, they’re playing on it too and we will all adjust at the same time. We have the best in the business in Erik Kennedy back there, taking care of the footwear so whatever we need to do to adjust, we’re ready for. We will just have to take that as it comes.
(On working Christine Michael into the rotation earlier last week and if that’s still something he would like to do this week) Yeah, he’s done a really good job with the chances that he’s had. We continue to like inserting him in the lineup. He will continue to be a factor there. That’s a real positive for us. He’s got a real style about him that we like and he’s just getting going and just getting comfortable so hopefully we will be able to mix him in there some.