RENTON The Seahawks’ latest, potentially last challenge of this tasking season: a virus spreading through the locker room.
Three-time All-Pro safety Earl Thomas and running back Eddie Lacy were the latest players quarantined by the team Friday, sent home and missing practice after getting sick. Two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett and reserve offensive lineman Matt Tobin had that happen to them on Thursday.
Thomas has had better weeks, eh?
Seattle’s good news: None of those sick four are on the official injury report for Sunday’s must-win regular-season finale against Arizona at CenturyLink Field.
“Earl got sick. Had to get him out of here,” coach Pete Carroll said following Friday’s light workout indoors.
“You quarantine the guys that are sick. We send them home.”
Also not on the injury report: Bobby Wagner. The All-Pro middle linebacker was limited in practice Friday, his first practice of this week. He re-injured a nagging hamstring on Dec. 10 and left the loss at Jacksonville that day then was severely limited playing through the pain in the blowout loss at home to the Los Angeles Rams one week later. Wagner started again last weekend in the Christmas Eve victory at Dallas, but still wasn’t at full speed, particularly in lateral movement sideline to sideline.
“He is in good shape. He is ready to go,” Carroll said. “We did it the right way to get him through the week where this is the best he’s been. Like I said last week, he is better again. So we are in good shape.
Last weekend, Wagner was beaten to the outside one on one in the open field by Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. That doesn’t happen when Wagner’s legs are fully healthy and he’s at full speed.
“He’s got a little bit more. He’s got a little bit more to go. Yes, he is not quite to full speed,” Carroll said of Wagner to get to full health.
“We will see if he is this week. He is doing everything he can. Everything he can possibly do, he’s doing it.”
Left guard Luke Joeckel is listed as questionable with a foot injury he got in Dallas, but Carroll said Joeckel is “fine” and ready to start again against Arizona.
Luke Willson and Nick Vannett, the tight ends behind starter Jimmy Graham, are questionable. Willson turned his ankle in practice Thursday.
“It’s a minor sprain. We will see what happens,” Carroll said. “We got to give him a day here and we will see what happens on game day.”
The team added Vannett to the report as questionable with a back injury later Friday afternoon.
The Seahawks (9-6) need a New Year’s Eve win over the Cardinals (7-8) in the last home game of this season plus a victory by Carolina (11-4 and already in the playoffs) at Atlanta (9-6) at the same time on Sunday to advance to the postseason for the sixth consecutive January.
“Here we go. New Year’s Eve. A big, big match-up,” Carroll said. “It feels like a championship game. It felt like a championship preparation. Really excited to go out and play really well for the 12s at CenturyLink. Everybody is pumped up for it.
“You can tell these guys are jacked up and looking forward to it.”