Merry Christmas to everyone everywhere. May your day and season be full of love, peace and joy.
The Seahawks had a late-afternoon practice Friday to allow time for players to spend the holiday morning with their families.
Here is the official injury report for Sunday’s game against the Rams:
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But Baldwin and Bennett practiced fully Friday, reinforcing the belief each will play Sunday.
Here’s what I sense based on what I’ve seen and been told this week:
▪ Baldwin is the most likely of the questionables to play. Carroll said Thursday he thinks the scorching-hot wide receiver will be able to go. The hamstring injury sounds like it’s been a longer-term, wear-and-tear issue rather than a tweak he had in last week’s win over Cleveland. He has 10 touchdowns in his last four games, something only he and Jerry Rice have ever done. In briefly talking to him this week in the locker room, Baldwin didn’t seem concerned.
▪ Chancellor and Okung are less likely to play. They haven’t practice this week, at least entering Friday’s light workout. Alvin Bailey seems likely to start at left tackle and Kelcie McCray again at strong safety instead.
▪ Bennett’s had this toe issue for a while, Carroll has said. This is the first time this season it’s left him questionable, which officially means a 50-50 chance of playing.
If the Seahawks would ever rest these four veterans on the conservative side of questionable, it’s Sunday. They already have a playoff berth locked up. While the Rams (6-8) have always given Seattle problems in St. Louis -- including a win there in this season’s opener -- they’ve lost 10 straight times in Seattle. The Seahawks are trying to get the No. 5 seed, yes. But resting banged-up veterans now then ramping them back up to play next week in the regular-season finale at NFC West-champion Arizona, to potentially clinch that fifth seed and prime them for the playoffs that begin the following week would be a prudent move.
If I had to make a (semi) educated guess, Baldwin and Bennett will play Sunday, Chancellor and Okung will not.