RENTON – Seahawks running back Alex Collins is “ready to go” for Monday night’s clash with the New Orleans Saints while defensive end Darrell Taylor may also be able to play but is officially a game-time decision.
That was the word from coach Pete Carroll after Saturday’s practice, the last for the Seahawks before kickoff against the Saints at 5:15 p.m. Monday at Lumen Field.
Each was listed as questionable, along with cornerback John Reid (knee) and guard Damien Lewis (shoulder).
The rest of Seattle’s 53-man roster is considered healthy to play, including receiver DK Metcalf, who continues to have his practice time limited due to a lingering foot injury.
Collins, Taylor and Lewis were all unable to finish last Sunday’s overtime loss to the Steelers but appear to have made solid recoveries.
Taylor was carted off the field after a scary incident in which he hurt his neck making a tackle on Najee Harris in the fourth quarter.
But Taylor had full movement all along and the measures to take him to the hospital were largely precautionary. Carroll said all Taylor ended up having was “a stiff neck.”
Carroll said Taylor is “really anxious to play and excited about that and I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t.”
But Carroll said he wanted to wait until game day before declaring that Taylor will play.
Taylor leads the Seahawks in sacks with four and a Seattle team that has struggled to get a consistent pass rush going could use him back for what is just about a make-or-break game.
Collins sat out the last six minutes and overtime Sunday after suffering injuries to his glute and hip, with the Seahawks officially listing him this week with a groin injury.
Collins sat out practices Thursday and Friday but was back on a limited basis Saturday.
“Looked good today so he’s ready to go,” Carroll said of Collins, who had Seattle’s first 100-yard game since 2019 with 101 yards on 20 carries against Pittsburgh. “We were planning on giving him a break on the first day anyway and we gave him one more just to bounce back and he looked fine. He’ll be part of the rotation.”
Carroll said Lewis will be a game-time decision. If Lewis cannot play then Jamarco Jones will likely start at left guard.
Carroll says there’s ‘a chance’ Wilson has pin removed next week
Quarterback Russell Wilson is having the pin removed from his injured right middle finger next week and could return as soon as a game against Green Bay on Nov. 14, according to a report from the NFL Network.
Carroll was predictably vague about the report while confirming there’s “a chance” it may be accurate.
“Wait and see when they pull the pin,” Carroll said. “I know it’s coming but I don’t know, just depends on the docs. I don’t know where that report would have come from. I think it’s a good guess is what it is. But there’s a chance.”
Wilson had surgery Oct. 8 after the injury against the Rams.
He was placed on injured reserve last week meaning he has to miss the Saints game and then an Oct. 31 contest against Jacksonville. But he is eligible to return off IR anytime after that and the NFL Network report indicates there’s a chance he will.
Geno Smith will start again for Seattle on Monday and Jake Luton is in line to be the backup, with the expectation he will be elevated off the practice squad.
Seattle claimed former UW quarterback Jacob Eason off waivers this week but Carroll said Eason is not yet ready to be the backup after not practicing with the team until Thursday.
“Not this week,” Carroll said.
Carroll said Eason got “a lot of work” against the No. 1 defense in practice this week “just to see him, to see what he brings. So we’ll see what happens. Take it one week at a time right now.”
Eskridge’s return from concussion still uncertain
Carroll said there remains no clear timeline or a return for rookie receiver Dee Eskridge, the Seahawks’ first pick in the 2021 draft at 56th overall.
Eskridge suffered a concussion in the opener against Indianapolis and has not played since. Seattle kept him on the active roster for three more weeks hoping for a quick return before he was placed on injured reserve before the Rams game.
That means he is eligible to come off IR next week.
But Carroll said he didn’t know if that would happen, saying Eskridge traveled out of the Seattle area this week for some additional work.
“He was doing some work outside of here and I haven’t seen him and haven’t heard any report of what happened with the work that they did,” Carroll said. “… But we’ll be revisiting all of that for next week and see where he is.”
Seattle signed veteran Phillip Dorsett II to the practice squad Sept. 29 and elevated him to the active roster the last two weeks to fill depth with Eskridge out. But Dorsett is out of elevations and would have to be signed to the 53-man roster to play anymore this year.
Seattle also has already used both of its practice-squad elevations on Cody Thompson.
But other receivers on the practice squad who could be elevated are former Husky Aaron Fuller and undrafted rookie free agent Cade Johnson.
Seahawks monitoring Metcalf’s foot
Metcalf practiced on a limited basis Saturday after sitting out Friday as the Seahawks continue to be careful with a foot issue he has dealt with since before the San Francisco game Oct. 3.
Carroll has described the injury only as “a sore foot.”
Metcalf has played through the injury but has seen his playing time decrease somewhat the last three weeks since the injury first crept up. After playing 89% or more of snaps the first three games, he has played 82%, 74% and 75% the last three weeks, respectively.
Carroll said Metcalf “worked beautifully on Saturday and he’s ready to go” but said the Seahawks’ task during the week was to “make sure we don’t overdo it where he is going to have to miss some time.”
Seattle has its bye after the Jaguars game Oct. 31 and Carroll said they hope that break might allow for the injury to heal more fully.
“We’re anxious to get to the break and see what happens,” Carroll said. “… We are working directly with him and listening to him and he’s working really well with our trainers and all to make sure we communicate really well.”
No ETA on return for Carson
Running back Chris Carson also remains on injured reserve and, like Wilson, is eligible to return after the bye.
But Carroll said there remains no ETA for Carson, who is dealing with a neck injury.
“He is working really hard, which is really important right now so that when it’s time he will be ready to come back,” Carroll said. “… He’s doing good but I don’t have any thought about when the time is. I don’t have any update on that.”
Jones healthy, but unclear who will start
Cornerback Sidney Jones was a full participant in practice Saturday after he missed much of the second half against the Steelers with a concussion.
Rookie Tre Brown replaced Jones at left cornerback and impressed with his play. Carroll said earlier in the week that Brown will continue to play even with Jones healthy.
So who will start Monday?
Carroll only said, “We’ll see.”