Def coor Ken Norton Jr. on CB Tre Flowers’ Seahawks debut, more from opener and Monday vs CHI
Now Bobby Wagner and Tre Flowers are hurt, too.
Both starters on the Seahawks’ changed defense missed practice Thursday, four days before Seattle (0-1) plays at Chicago (0-1). The team listed Wagner, the All-Pro middle linebacker, with a new groin injury and Flowers, the rookie right cornerback, with a hamstring injury.
Wagner played all 74 of the Seahawks’ snaps on defense last weekend in the opening loss at Denver. His backup is Austin Calitro.
That is why the second-year free agent from Villanova made the team out of the preseason, to be the backup middle linebacker. But Calitro made his Seattle debut Sunday in the second quarter against the Broncos at weakside linebacker, to replace struggling rookie Shaquem Griffin.
Griffin was starting in his first NFL game because Pro Bowl veteran K.J. Wright is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery 17 days ago. His return remains unknown.
Wide receiver Doug Baldwin is likely out at least two weeks with a sprained medial-collateral ligament in his right knee; coach Pete Carroll said he had no new estimate on when the Pro Bowl receiver might return.
So just one player still on the team from the Seahawks’ last Super Bowl one, from the 2014 season, practiced Thursday: quarterback Russell Wilson.
The Seahawks’ concerns with Griffin, with Wright and with Calitro now possibly having to play for Wagner helps explain why the Seahawks are expected to sign Super Bowl starting outside linebacker Mychal Kendricks to a contract for the rest of this season.
Wagner, though, has missed just one game due to injury the last four seasons. The two-time All-Pro played with a pulled hamstring last December and was severely limited in Seattle’s decisive home loss to the eventual division-champion Los Angeles Rams. That game was a rout, 42-7, and after it fellow All-Pro Earl Thomas said publicly Wagner should not have played through the injury.
D.J. Fluker did not practice again Thursday. That’s because of the hamstring injury he got late last month. That increased the chance of J.R. Sweezy starting again at right guard Monday at Chicago.
Defensive end Dion Jordan (knee) and starting strong safety Bradley McDougald (knee) were limited in practice. Both missed defensive series in last weekend’s opener. Jordan played just 15 snaps at Denver. Carroll said Jordan will be able to play more Monday against the Bears.