All-Pro defensive nerve center Bobby Wagner’s status to play in the Seahawks’ key game Sunday against unbeaten Carolina will remain in doubt up to kickoff because of a pectoral injury, coach Pete Carroll says.
“He feels a lot better than he did ... when he got hurt. We’ll just see how it goes. It will go all the way to the game, for sure,” Carroll said Wednesday. “He’s determined to play. He wants to play ... but we won’t know until we get to it.”
The man who is practicing at middle linebacker this week in case Wagner can’t play there thinks Wagner will be in there, as usual.
“I think he’s actually going to be able to go. I think everything’s going to work out,” Wright said before practice Wednesday here at team headquarters in Renton. “I talked to him and he said he’s going to be fine.”
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Wagner hurt his pectoral muscle in his chest in the fourth quarter last weekend at Cincinnati. He left for two plays with the Bengals driving while a team doctor examined him on the sidelines. On the second one Cincinnati scored on a pass behind where Wagner normally plays over the middle. Wagner yelled and angrily stomped away from the doctor’s exam as the Bengals closed Seattle’s lead to 24-21 in a game the Seahawks lost in overtime 27-24 after leading 24-7 with 12 1/2 minutes left.
If Wagner is overestimating his recovery and can’t play against the Panthers, Wright is a the primary option to start at middle linebacker by sliding over from his usual outside spot. That’s what Wright did last Oct. after Wagner got a turf-toe injury and missed five games. Second-year man Brock Coyle played the two snaps for Wagner at Cincinnati, but Wright is the Seahawks’ preferred choice for the longer term, if need be.
For insurance and depth at linebacker, the Seahawks signed Nick Moody from their practice squad Wednesday. Moody, signed last month after San Francisco released him, said he has been learning weakside and middle linebacker since arriving in Seattle. But Carroll said the team regards Moody as a weakside, “Will” linebacker. Moody could play if Wagner can’t and Wright moves inside.
Moody and Crezdon Butler, the free-agent cornerback Seattle signed Wednesday, fill the roster spots opened when the Seahawks waived wide receiver B.J. Daniels and running back Rod Smith.
Dallas claimed Smith off waivers prior to Wednesday’s 1 p.m. deadline to do so.