Based on its slim probability, Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright isn’t picking a repeat this week.
Which means he isn’t predicting another tie with the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday at CenturyLink Field.
“I don’t make guarantees, but I don’t think there will be a tie come Saturday,” Wright said.
Nearly two months ago, the two NFC West rivals played to a 6-6 tie at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Afterward, most of the players in the locker room felt deflated over the result, almost equating it with a defeat.
Right now with two weeks remaining in the regular season, that result is the decisive tiebreaker in the Seahawks’ favor between earning a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs and playing in a wild-card game.
Seattle is 9-4-1 and holds a half-game lead over Detroit and Atlanta (both 9-5) for that No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs.
“A win would have been better,” Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman said. “It is advantageous, I guess, in some respect because it has given us a tiebreaker in some situations. But a win would have given us a greater tiebreaker.
“There are some benefits, but as a competitor, you always want to win.”
Another oddity about this NFC playoff chase is that another contender — Washington (7-6-1) — also has a tie on its season record.
“We should have won the (Arizona) game,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “The way it’s worked out now, it is interesting how it’s playing in (as a factor). And it is fascinating that it happened to another team, too. We’ll see what happens. We’ll know more when it’s all over.”
REECE FITTING IN
Just like he had for his six-plus seasons in Oakland, fullback Marcel Reece has done a little bit of everything in his two games with the Seahawks.
Against Green Bay and the Rams, Reece has played 22 snaps. He has caught three passes. He has run the football. And he has been a blocker near the goal-line for Thomas Rawls.
“For me, I am still playing football for one reason, and that is to win,” Reece said. “I want to contribute. I am a competitor. I want to play. And I knew once I came here, I was going to be able to prove myself.”
The NFL had suspended Reece for the final game last season for violating league policy on performance-enhancing substances. The Raiders released him early this season right after his four-game suspension concluded.
It appears Reece has already moved ahead of backup Alex Collins on backfield touches.
“This is a special place. I am happy to be here,” Reece said. “I want to be a special player in a special place.”
PRO BOWL NODS
Four of Seattle’s defensive players made the 2017 Pro Bowl, the NFL announced Tuesday.
Sherman was one of four NFC cornerbacks selected. This is the fourth consecutive season he’s been picked.
Bobby Wagner made it to his third consecutive Pro Bowl squad. He and Carolina’s Luke Kuechly were the selections at inside linebacker.
And the Seahawks took two of the three defensive end spots with Michael Bennett (second time) and Cliff Avril (first time), along with Minnesota’s Everson Griffen.
ALL THAT WORK
In the last Seahawks-Cardinals clash on Oct. 23, Seattle safety Kelcie McCray played an NFL-high 108 snaps.
Starting in place of Kam Chancellor, McCray saw 95 snaps on defense. He also had 13 snaps on special teams.
“I definitely had to do some extra recovery,” McCray said. “When you are out there on the field and playing with your brothers, you are not thinking about how tired you are.”
After the game, he said his whole body ached, adding he had to do extra stretching and drink lots of water to get back to feeling normal.
Now back as a reserve, McCray isn’t expected to see that heavy of a workload this time around.
After practice Tuesday, Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable confirmed that third-year pro Garry Gilliam has reclaimed the starting right-tackle spot ahead of Bradley Sowell and will start Saturday against Arizona. But Cable warned “anyone is really an option until we get it right.” …
Punter Jon Ryan (head) is out of the hospital and has returned to the practice facility this week. Carroll said the veteran is still in concussion protocol, but added he isn’t anticipating signing a free-agent replacement at this point. Ryan was injured on a hard hit in the fourth quarter following his 26-yard run off a fake punt against the Rams. …
Defensive end Damontre Moore (foot) was put on injured reserve Tuesday, ending his season. He is also coming off a weekend arrest for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. … Seattle signed running back Terrence Magee off the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad to fill the spot. … Also, the Seahawks waived tailback Kelvin Taylor and signed running back J.D. McKissic, who was a receiver with the Falcons. …
There weren’t real definitive updates from Carroll on defensive end Michael Bennett (neck), who went through a team walkthrough, and tailback C.J. Prosise (shoulder), who has resumed some activities after not being able to run for three weeks. Carroll said it will be another couple of weeks before the team evaluates his status for the postseason. …
Gus Bradley was the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator from 2009-12 before being hired as the coach in Jacksonville. He was fired Sunday. Does that open the door for a return to Seattle? “He would be great asset to any staff,” Carroll said. “We’ve certainly already communicated with him.”