It will be a game-time decision for Kam Chancellor Sunday. The Seahawks' strong safety and key to the league's No. 1 run defense has a new hip injury and coach Pete Carroll said he is questionable for Seattle's game against Dallas and NFL rushing leader Demarco Murray.
Chancellor missed practices Thursday and Friday. Carroll said Chancellor will test the hip during pregame warmups. The Seahawks will then make a decision on his availability 90 minutes before kickoff.
Chancellor has missed only one game because of injury in his five NFL seasons with Seattle. On Oct. 2, 2011, Atari Bigby started at strong safety against Atlanta because Chancellor had a strained quadriceps.
Chancellor's battered, just four games into the season. He has bone spurs in his ankles that had him contemplating surgery last month. He had surgery in the offseason to repair a torn labrum in his hip; Carroll said this new injury is in the other hip.
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If the Seahawks don't have Chancellor, their job against Dallas and Murray -- and Cowboys tight end Jason Witten -- becomes a challenge on par to what Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates gave the gimpy Chancellor and Seattle last month in San Diego. Chancellor's replacement, Jeron Johnson, has never started a game in four NFL seasons and has nowhere near Chancellor's physical presence and linebacker-like hammering against running backs. Don't be surprised if DeShawn Shead brings a more physical presence with some snaps at safety if Chancellor can't go.
Of course, Dallas' counter can be more passes from Tony Romo down the middle of the field to tight end Jason Witten, whom Romo this week said may be the best Cowboy ever.
Roger Staubach, Bob Lilly, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Troy Aikman (who is calling Sunday's game for Fox television), Tony Dorsett and others may disagree with that.
I detail this potential problem for the Seahawks -- as well as two-time Pro Bowl center Max Unger's sprained foot making Stephen Schilling likely to make his first career start at center -- in today's News Tribune.
--Here are the NFL picks for Week 6 that I've filed for Sunday's News Tribune. As always, I present for argumentative purposes, starting with the Sunday's games that will be on TV in the Seattle-Tacoma-Everett market:
Denver at New York Jets, 10 a.m. Sunday, Channel 7
Time for the entire Jets roster to go to the movies, be late for meetings and get benched.
Broncos 34, Jets 7
Green Bay at Miami, 10 a.m. Sunday, Channel 13
Packers 3-10 all-time against Dolphins, but 2 of those wins have been in last 3 meetings.
Packers 27, Dolphins 21
New York Giants at Philadelphia, 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Channel 5
Eagles suddenly not soaring against better teams. How did the Giants suddenly become one of those?
Eagles 38, Giants 28
San Francisco at St. Louis, 5:30 p.m. Monday, ESPN
Team Drama starting to get some momentum and swagger back. Rams’ No. 3 QB, Austin Davis, not half bad.
49ers 28, Rams 17
Pittsburgh at Cleveland
10 a.m. Sunday
Pick: Steelers 23, Browns 20
Jacksonville at Tennessee
10 a.m. Sunday
Pick: Titans 9, Jaguars 2
Detroit at Minnesota
10 a.m. Sunday
Pick: Lions 31, Vikings 17
Baltimore at Tampa Bay
10 a.m. Sunday
Pick: Ravens 19, Buccaneers 16
New England at Buffalo
10 a.m. Sunday
Pick: Patriots 31, Bills 10
Carolina at Cincinnati
10 a.m. Sunday
Pick: Bengals 20, Panthers 10
San Diego at Oakland
1:05 p.m. Sunday
Pick: Chargers 41, Raiders 0
Washington at Arizona
1:25 p.m. Sunday
Pick: Cardinals 24, Redskins 20
Chicago at Atlanta
1:25 p.m. Sunday
Pick: Falcons 34, Bears 31
--And here is all of what Carroll said following Friday's practice:
Head Coach Pete Carroll
October 10, 2014
(On how the week went) Well you know it’s an abbreviated week for us because of Monday night and the trip and all that; so we adapted our practices like we do. Guys are really tuned into it and we hopefully made the most of it; you won’t know until you play so we’ll find out. We need to play really well; this is a really well-oiled machine coming in here and we’re up against it so I’m hoping that this week turned out and the attitude was great and the work was good so we’ll see what happens.
(On Max Unger) He’s doubtful at this point and we’re looking for a miraculous recovery at this point.
(On Max Unger’s injury lingering beyond this week) We don’t know that; they’re talking day to day right now so I’m sure it’ll continue throughout the week if we don’t get him back.
(On Steve Schilling being ready to go) Yes; he’s ready.
(On Kam Chancellor’s status) He’s questionable right now. We’ll run him on game day and see how he feels and see if he can go.
(On Kam Chancellor’s injuring the same hip) No; it’s different. He’s got a little strain in his hip.
(On DeMarco Murray) He does everything well. He can run with the elusive style, he can run tough, he’s certainly a good tackle breaker. He gets out of tackles and out of problems. He’s got a great straight arm that he really uses well. He’s just been on the very best of his game. He’s been a great player before but now you can really see it happening so it’s a big boost to their offense; they have great balance in it right now.
(On Dez Bryant) He’s such a strong receiver. He separates himself because he’s so physical. He’s got terrific speed and catching range, but the physical nature gets him the separation at the point when the ball is coming in. He really can make plays so it’ll be a great matchup for our guys. I’m sure he’ll get on both sides and our guys are gunning up to see if they can get it done.
(On Percy Harvin) He looked good today. I think he’s probable for right now but he looked very good today.
(On Tony Romo going after Richard Sherman) I don’t know it’s up to them; whatever they want to do, I don’t know. I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if they just throw the ball wherever they want to. They’re that good and he’s that good.
(On pass defense being 22nd in the league) Well we’ve seen the best of the very best and we get more of it. The fact that we’ve been able to keep it somewhat under wraps is maybe the positive right now. You couldn’t see better quarterbacks than what we’ve seen so we’ll see how we do this week and we won’t know how we’re playing for some time. I like the way our guys are playing; we’ve had a lot of attempts, a lot of great throwing so we’ll see what happens.
(On correcting offensive line penalties) We have to go out there and see and you don’t ever have it; it goes week to week. It’s a big focus for us; every day was a focal point. We don’t want to give away free yardage like that; we had eight line of scrimmage penalties in a game; you’re just wasting time doing that. So hopefully we’ll let that fall behind and we’ll get on to really good football right now.
(On Marshawn Lynch’s receiving yards) Well opportunities have come up and he’s cashed in on them. He’s always been a great receiver; fantastic hands and terrific route runner. We see how well he is after the catch too when you get him out in space. So we’re going to continue to go to him; we’ve never not. I think it’s just been happening a little bit better for us being effective in the red zone. So hopefully we can get that done.
(On advantages of defensive backs defending Marshawn Lynch) Well he just showed you a great example last week breaking tackles in the open field. He’s really difficult to get down so we’ll continue to try to spread it around so he can get it and make some things happen.
(On Alvin Bailey) He practiced today; first time he got out there. It was good to see him out there.
(On Cooper Helfet) Cooper’s a big part of the game plan again; he was last week really for the first time and we love what he can do and we’re probably going to feature him on Sunday.
(On Kevin Williams) He’s been right on it. He’s been exactly what we needed; we needed a good strong guy to give us the toughness and all. He’s done just that; he was a big factor in some crucial situations last week. I think Kevin played almost a thousand snaps last year. So we brought him in with the thought that it wouldn’t be like that so he’s really playing at a high level when he’s out there. There’s nothing that he can’t do; he’s playing inside, he’s playing outside, he’s in the nickel situation at times, but we really do feature him as a run stopper.
(On Kam Chancellor’s injury new) Yes, it was new last week.
(On how much concern does that bring with Dallas’ run game) Everything they do concerns us; particularly their effectiveness running right at you up front; they’re really good at it. Kam’s a big factor. Obviously, he’s been a huge element in our defense and we’re hoping he’ll be with us.
(On this injury being the hip he had surgery on) I think it’s the other side.
(On Alvin Bailey being able to go) We’ll find out day-to-day. It was a light practice today but the fact that he got out there was really positive for us. I saw Tharold Simon got a little bit of work today too which was really good.
(On how the team feels when a Make a Wish kids come to practice) Absolutely, absolutely we do. James Tardif was in here today, a little guy that’s really battling some stuff. Our guys recognize that he’s in the competition of his life right now and they know. Whenever they get around anybody that’s in that kind of mode, our guys gravitate. For us to have a chance to share our time with some kids, it’s amazingly rewarding to our guys and it’s the right thing for them to feel and to do so we look forward and we’re always very open to having people to come see us. His make a wish to anyone was to be with the Seahawks. He couldn’t even look at Russell [Wilson]; ‘I can’t open my eyes,’ because Russell Wilson was walking up. It was just as cute as it can be. So we welcome it and it’s great for our guys.