RENTON — The debate over Jadeveon Clowney’s hit that knocked Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz out of the wild-card playoff game Sunday showed no signs of dying down a day later.
It was endlessly discussed on social media as well as national platforms such as the NFL Network.
But in Seahawks coach Pete Carroll’s eyes, there wasn’t all that much worth talking about.
“He hit him in the back of the head,’’ Carroll said of Clowney’s hit, which came when Wentz tried to scramble on the first play of the Eagles’ second drive of the game.
“He wasn’t trying to hurt him or anything, that just happened. It’s football and unfortunate that he got banged. Hate that he didn’t get to play the game. But I don’t know why there is much discussion about it. I mean, the guy is chasing and he dove on the guy and hit him and it’s unfortunate.’’
Clowney likewise said it was a “bang-bang play’’ and that he wasn’t trying to hurt anybody. No penalty was called, and referee Shawn Smith said through a pool reporter later that Wentz was not giving himself up on the play and that “we saw incidental helmet contact, and in our judgment we didn’t rule that to be a foul.’’
Still, the league office can review plays even if no penalty is called at the time. So it’s possible the NFL could have a last word on the play later in the week if it were to decide to fine Clowney.
Wentz took to his Instagram page Monday to say he is feeling fine.
“Also, appreciate the thoughts and prayers — I’m feeling good today and will be just fine!,’’ he wrote. “Head injuries are a scary thing so I appreciate everybody’s thoughts and prayers. Hate not being out there to finish it out with my guys because of a play like that, but it’s the unfortunate part of this game. It’s all in God’s plan, not mine! Trusting in him.’’
No word yet on Ansah, Iupati’s stinger still an issue
The Seahawks suffered only one apparent new injury against the Eagles with defensive end Ziggy Ansah leaving with a stinger in the second quarter.
Carroll said Monday he had no further word on the severity of the injury.
But that isn’t the only injury to watch this week: The Seahawks are hoping they might be able to get back two offensive linemen who sat against the Eagles — left guard Mike Iupati and left tackle Duane Brown.
Iupati was listed as questionable with a stinger he has dealt with for a few weeks now but was declared out before the game at Philadelphia began. Carroll said the injury has gotten worse.
“He had a few episodes the week before,’’ Carroll said. “Just didn’t quiet down in time. It has quieted down when he’s had the episodes in the past. He’s still symptomatic today. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen this week.’’
Jamarco Jones started in Iupati’s place for his fourth career start, and, according to Carroll, “did a nice job, particularly in pass protection. He held up really well and he came through for us.’’
Brown has missed the past three games after having knee surgery to repair a meniscus injury.
Carroll said Brown was “doing some stuff’’ Monday as the Seahawks begin to assess if he can return against the Packers.
“I don’t have any updated information for you,’’ Carroll said. “We’re trying to see if he can get back.”
George Fant filled in for Brown against the Eagles, and Carroll said “he had a real nice game.’’
Having to start both Fant and Jones, though, means the Seahawks had to scrap their package using an extra offensive lineman, a role typically held by Fant but that Jones also filled against the 49ers.
Carroll said that, given the way the Eagles play, it might not have been a big part of the game plan but that “it didn’t help us to not have that.’’
Carroll also said receiver Jaron Brown will be back this week after missing the Eagles game to deal with a family matter.
“It was not an injury,’’ Carroll said of Brown being inactive Sunday. “This was a family situation. I understand he’s back already. He’ll be back in the meetings today, so he should be fine. This week going forward, he should be OK.”
Carroll explains another reason DK Metcalf was “a monster’’ Sunday
What Seahawks rookie DK Metcalf did Sunday against the Eagles — catching seven of nine passes thrown his way for 160 yards and a touchdown — was so spectacular it even drew the attention of LeBron James, who posted a message to Metcalf on Instagram: “CONGRATS YOUNG (King emoji).
But to Carroll, what stood out just as much about Metcalf’s game when he reviewed film is what he did without the ball.
“The blocking was really obvious,’’ Carroll said. “He had probably three or four downfield blocks that were significant in the game. …
“He was just a monster out there. He played really, really well. I don’t know how much he’s talking about it, but he didn’t play the game he wanted to play last time we were there (when he had three catches for 35 yards). It was important to him to put that to rest. He was very competitive about it. Did a nice job.”
But to Carroll, it’s no surprise Metcalf has excelled in areas other than just receiving. He said since the day Metcalf arrived following his selection in the second round of the draft last spring that he has attacked all aspects of the game with equal enthusiasm.
“He really does care,’’ Carroll said. “He wants to be on special teams. He wants to rush the punter. He’s tapping us on the shoulder all the time, what more can I do? He really does take pride in all aspects of it.’’