Seahawks Insider Blog

Starting C Max Unger's status for Sunday vs. Dallas iffy; Seahawks sign C Patrick Lewis; Richard Sherman says Dez Bryant "matters"

Coach Pete Carroll said this afternoon two-time Pro Bowl center Max Unger has a sprained foot and his status is "day to day," four days before the Seahawks (3-1) host Dallas (4-1).

An hour or so after he said that, Seattle announced it had signed second-year center Patrick Lewis off of Cleveland's practice squad onto the active roster.

So the struggling offensive line may have a new leader making its blocking calls Sunday against the surprising Cowboys.

Team usually don't sign guys off other team's practice squads without the intent of using them, because they go directly onto the acquiring team's active roster. So the Seahawks obviously feel that unsure about Unger playing Sunday that they waived Josh Thomas off of the previously thin defensive-back corps to make room for Lewis.

Lewis, 23 from Texas A&M (where he was Johnny Manziel's center), was signed onto Seattle's preseason roster on Aug. 27. That was the day before the Seahawks' final exhibition game, at Oakland. Lewis played plenty in that game then got released among Seattle's final preseason cuts on Aug. 30. Lewis is 6 feet 1 inches tall and 311 pounds.

He's been with Jacksonville, Cleveland and Green Bay since last season but has yet to play in a regular-season game.

Unger missed the final three plays of the Seahawks' next-to-last offensive drive Monday night at Washington then returned for the final possession. Carroll thought after the game that Unger was OK. But today the coach was far more guarded in assessing whether Unger will play against the Cowboys.

Steve Schilling filled in for Unger for the three plays in the fourth quarter Monday night at Washington. Seattle moved the former Bellevue High School and University of Michigan star to center from guard during training camp in mid-August, and he has been Unger's backup since the team lost Lemuel Jeanpierre for the season last month to a nerve issue in his neck. Jeanpierre got an injury settlement in the form of a cash payment from the Seahawks and is now a free agent. (Depending on the settlement terms, Jeanpierre may not be able to sign with another team for X number of weeks into the regulars season).

Schilling first played center in the NFL for San Diego's practice squad during last season.

When I asked Carroll how viable Schilling is as an option to start for Unger on Sunday, if need be, the coach said: "Oh, he's ready to go," and added the Seahawks are "really excited" with how he's progressed at center.

--Richard Sherman says DT Brandon Mebane and LB Bobby Wagner deserve to be Pro Bowl selections, and have for two seasons now. Calls them keys to Seattle's defense, which enters Sunday's game ranked No. 1 in the league against the run. Dallas is second is rushing offense, one place behind the Seahawks.

Sherman also a laugh out of Jim Moore of 710 ESPN radio asking if leading Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant "matters in this league." Monday night after Seattle beat Washington Sherman ruffled some D.C. folks by saying Washington WR Pierre Garcon "doesn't matter" in the NFL.

But Bryant?

"He does! He actually does!" Sherman said, smiling.

--Sherman and SS Kam Chancellor both say they hope and believe Monday's 40-yard touchdown catch and run by Washington's wide-open DeSean Jackson is the last time defensive coordinator Dan Quinn calls the "inverse Cover-2" coverage. Chancellor said it was the first time Quinn had ever called that scheme -- "and probably our last."

It called for Sherman to go from outside left corner to the deep middle third of the field and Chancellor to come from the center to Sherman's usual coverage outside. Jackson easily raced past the late-arriving Chancellor and then, well down the field, the even later-arriving Sherman near the 10-yard line for Washington's only touchdown in the game's first 56 minutes.

--More Sherman, on quarterback Russell Wilson: "They keep calling him 'not elite.' And he keeps winning. I don't know how that goes."

Wilson, four games into his third NFL season, is 27-9. That .750 winning percentage is second only to some guy named Tom Brady (151-45, .770) for best among active NFL quarterbacks with a minimum of 20 starts. At the end of last season he broke Ben Roethlisberger's record for wins over the first two seasons of an NFL career.

--Talked to LT Russell Okung at his locker, and he was having none of the how-injured-are-you talk. But he did say he was obviously "feeling the effects" of missing all offseason work and half of training camp following foot and toe surgery.

He also briefly left the win over Denver two games ago with an arm injury. When I asked him how close he was to feeling fully back to normal, Okung said: "I'm getting close.

"Injuries are part of the game. There's not a guy out there that is not playing injured. Just add me to the list. ... There isn't a guy out there who doesn't have a lingering issue."

--Amazing what people get wrapped up in through social media and the internet, eh?

By the way, Delta served me nothing but peanuts and/or pretzels during my eight hours of flying on the airlines yesterday from Baltimore through Salt Lake City to Seattle(!)