What does the Seahawks’ injury situation look like following Monday night’s thrilling 37-30 win over the Vikings that moved Seattle into first place in the NFC West?
And what did coach Pete Carroll think of how his team dealt with a flu bug compared to the New England Patriots?
Carroll addressed those questions and more during his weekly day-after-game radio show on ESPN 710 Seattle.
Here are highlights:
ANSAH’S SHOULDER ‘A PROBLEM’
A few players left for a play here and there Monday, including Chris Carson, who was examined for a concussion after a hit to the head from teammate Jacob Hollister’s thigh in the first quarter (Carson was cleared and returned on the following series).
But Carroll doesn’t think any of Monday’s injuries are anything that should linger until Sunday’s game against the Rams in Los Angeles.
“Nothing was real serious, it seems,’’ Carroll said.
If there’s one injury to watch, it’s defensive end Ziggy Ansah’s shoulder. Ansah left the game on the final series, missing Minnesota’s final two offensive plays, with what Carroll said was a stinger. Carroll implied it’s related to Ansah’s shoulder, which he had surgically reconstructed last year while he was with Detroit.
Ansah missed training camp as he was continuing to rehab and build strength in his shoulder.
“Ziggy’s shoulder is a problem,’’ Carroll said. “ … but he bounced back from that and he did recover from the stinger, so we’ll see. He’s been nursing the shoulder all along from last year, so well have to see how it goes moving forward.’’
Ansah had one of his best games against the Vikings with three quarterback hits and a batted down pass.
LOCKETT ‘GOING TO COME BACK TO LIFE’
Tyler Lockett, Seattle’s leading receiver with 63 receptions for 831 yards and six touchdowns, had no catches on three targets last night, the first time he had been held without a catch since late in the 2017 season at San Francisco — a span of 32 games.
He has just four catches in the last three games for 64 yards.
But anyone looking for reasons shouldn’t look too hard.
As Carroll noted, Lockett continues to deal with a shin injury suffered against the 49ers which caused him to stay in the hospital for two nights, and then last week was one of what Carroll said was “seven or eight’’ players who dealt with the flu (Lockett was one of four to miss practice at least once last week due to the flu).
The good news, Carroll said, is that Seattle won all three games anyway and he anticipates Lockett soon returning to form.
“He’s gonna be over the illness,’’ Carroll said. “ … He’s just had a couple rough weeks. What’s really great is he’s gonna come flying back at us. I think he’s gonna be back and I think he’s gonna be a much bigger factor.”
CARROLL LIKED NOT EMPHASIZING FLU BUG
Carroll said he thinks one reason the team’s flu bug ultimately didn’t turn out to be much is that the team didn’t make too big of a deal out of it.
That, of course, has always been the Carroll way, not worrying about things they can’t control (you also never hear him talk much about the start times of games or the weather).
“I would like to think that we handled it really well,’’ Carroll said.
He contrasted what Seattle did with the Patriots, who flew two planes for their game at Houston (a loss) — one plane with healthy players and one for sick players.
“I heard that the Patriots, they traveled their team in two planes to keep the sick guys on one side to quarantine them a little bit, which I’m sure it’s a great idea but that’s a lot of emphasis,” Carroll said. “That’s a lot of time spent on being sick. We tried to minimize that as much as we could, and the guys came through in great fashion .’’
Carroll said he couldn’t predict yet if the flu bug will be gone this week but that he’s obviously hoping so.
DIGGS’ HIT WAS CARROLL’S ‘FAVORITE PLAY’
There were a lot of highlights to choose from Monday night.
But Carroll, who earned his coaching spurs guiding defensive backs, said the one he liked best was a Quandre Diggs hit on Minnesota tight end Irv Smith Jr. midway through the second quarter.
Smith appeared initially to have space to convert on second-and-8 before he was met by K.J. Wright, then hammered by Diggs, falling two yards short of a first down. The Vikings failed to convert on third down and had to punt.
“That was my favorite play of the night by far,’’ Carroll said.
Carroll also noted the play “was clean,’’ with Diggs’ perfect shoulder-first technique.
“People want to know if the game is not as physical (as in the past),’’ Carroll said. “Well, it can be, and we’ve always tried to maintain that.’’
Diggs has started three games at free safety, with Seattle forcing 11 turnovers in that time — bringing back echoes of the 2013 Seahawks, who forced an NFL-high 39 on their way to a Super Bowl title.
To Carroll, forcing turnovers, stopping the run and running it well on offense are the hallmarks of a championship team, and Seattle did all three against the Vikings (the Seahawks had a 218-78 edge in rushing yards).
“I’m just excited that we are just getting going,’’ Carroll said. “It’s been a long haul kind of waiting for it. I think the guys are really coming on.’’