RENTON — The Seahawks, who are hoping to break a slump of no sacks in their last two games, still have questions about their star defensive ends — Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah — as they turn their focus to Sunday’s game at Carolina.
Clowney, who also is battling a core muscle injury, missed practice due to the flu. He’s the latest Seahawks player to catch a bug that has been going around the locker room for a few weeks now.
“He’s sick today,’’ said coach Pete Carroll. “He got the flu thing, it finally hit him.”
Carroll had said on Monday that Clowney is “hurting. He’s going to have to work his way through the week to make it for game day.’’
Throw in the flu bug (Carroll said Clowney was the only player to have it this week) and Clowney’s ability to be 100% — if able to play at all — appears in pretty serious question.
Ansah did not play Sunday against the Rams, the fourth game this year for which he has been inactive, due to a neck/stinger issue while also still dealing with getting full strength back in a shoulder on which he had surgery at the end of last season while he was with Detroit.
Ansah was listed as “questionable” in practice Wednesday, and Carroll spun that as positively as he could while stating that Ansah will likely be a game-time decision.
“Ziggy’s practicing today,’’ Carroll said. “He’s got a chance, a real good chance to be OK, but he has to still prove it. It’s a strength issue right now.”
Ansah practiced on a limited basis all of last week, which led to the idea that he’d play against the Rams even though he was listed as questionable for the game. But Carroll said he just didn’t have the strength needed to be able to play.
LOCKET IS FINE, AND OTHER INJURIES
As far as a few other injury issues:
• Carroll tried to put to bed any idea that receiver Tyler Lockett remains less than 100% after battling a shin contusion that kept him in the hospital for two days last month and then being one of the players hit the hardest by the flu bug. “Yeah, I think he’s really back,’’ Carroll said. “He felt really good last week and he’s going into this week raring to go. He’s fine.” Lockett has just five receptions for 81 yards and no touchdowns in the three games since the injury against the 49ers.
• Tight end Luke Willson was listed as limited in practice after missing the last three games with a hamstring injury and Carroll said he may make it back for the contest at Carolina. “He’s champing at the bit to play this week,’’ Carroll said. “He’s politicking. Like those guys in Washington D.C., he’s working it. Give him credit, he wants to play in the worst way. He ran well today. He was really pumped up about it. He told me at least four times how well he looked in his workouts.’’
• Carroll said before practice that linebacker Mychal Kendricks, who sat out against the Rams with a hamstring injury, wouldn’t practice. But he was listed as limited on the practice report indicating that maybe there is more optimism that he can return Sunday. Kendricks was replaced against the Rams by rookie Cody Barton. Barton hurt his knee and ankle against the Rams but Carroll said Barton is “kind of like denying being hurt. It’s not there. We’ll see how he does during the week.’’ Barton was not listed on the injury report Wednesday.
• Fullback Nick Bellore has also missed the last two games with a quad injury but was back Wednesday on a limited basis and Carroll said he’s “got a chance’’ to play this week.
• The Seahawks placed veteran cornerback Neiko Thorpe on season-ending injured reserve and signed Ryan Neal off the practice squad to take his place on the 53-man roster. Neal, who played one game for Atlanta in 2018, has been on Seattle’s practice squad all season and Carroll said to expect Neal to play on special teams against the Panthers.