The Seahawks could have a different look to their offensive line Sunday if center Justin Britt and left guard Ethan Pocic are unable to play.
The Seahawks practiced again Thursday without two of their starting offensive linemen — center Justin Britt and left guard Ethan Pocic — increasing the chances that they could play without either or both Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.
Britt remains out with a shoulder injury suffered in Monday night’s 24-17 loss at Chicago while Pocic is out with an ankle injury of unknown origin and severity.
Three other players were also out Thursday — receiver Doug Baldwin (knee) and linebacker K.J. Wright (knee) and offensive lineman George Fant (illness). Baldwin has been considered unlikely to play against Dallas and Wright also appears unlikely at this point.
Ominously, Wright’s replacement, Mychal Kendricks, was a new addition to the injuy report Thursday, listed as limited with an ankle issue. Also limited was defensive end Dion Jordan, listed as non-injury related and likely meaning a rest day.
Most Read Sports Stories
- Kyle Seager speaks out about Astros' sign-stealing scandal, which touched his brother on the Dodgers
- KeyArena's luxury spaces will have a Seattle-inspired flair. Here's what they'll look like. VIEW
- Could the Seahawks sign defensive end Everson Griffen or former UW Husky Danny Shelton?
- Yes, that was Marshawn Lynch in HBO's 'Westworld' trailer
- Mariners pitcher Sam Carlson wondered if he'd ever throw again. Now, he's a spring training inspiration. WATCH
Everyone else was a full participant, including quarterback Russell Wilson, who was a new addition to the injury report Wednesday with a hamstring injury suffered Monday night. Wilson said before practice he is fine and will play against the Cowboys. Also back to full participation Thursday was free safety Earl Thomas, who sat out Wednesday as a rest day.
That leaves the big question as the makeup of the offensive line if one or both of Britt and Pocic cannot play.
Coach Pete Carroll called Britt “day to day’’ on Wednesday. But the team is also preparing for him not to play with Joey Hunt taking the reps at center with the starting offense this week in practice.
Hunt replaced Britt and played the final series Monday, a 99-yard drive. Hunt, who spent most of last season on the practice squad, has one previous career start, in 2016 at Tampa Bay in place of Britt.
Asked if things change much if Britt can’t play, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said “certainly some. Justin’s playing really, really well right now. But we have a lot of confidence in Joey. It’s great to have a guy that has been here and has gotten a lot of work. (Quarterback) Russell has a good feel for him, the guys have a good feel for him. He’s really on top of everything we are doing, so we don’t change too much. But obviously Justin is a really good player. But again Joey has had a really good week of prep.”
If Pocic can’t play then the Seahawks will likely go with J.R. Sweezy and D.J. Fluker — who has been listed as a full participant all week in practice — at guards. Most likely Sweezy would play at left guard after having gotten some significant work there in the preseason while Fluker would play on the right side, where he started in the preseason before hurting his hamstring in the third preseason game against the Vikings.
Fluker has not played since that game but appears on track to finally makes his Seahawks regular season debut. Sweezy has started the first two games at right guard in place of Fluker but given that Sweezy was brought in to be a backup at both guard spots and spent some time in the preseason playing the left side — while Fluker played solely on the right until his injury — it might make sense for Sweezy to play on the left side.
If Britt and Pocic can’t play then that would leave Seattle with just two other offensive linemen behind the starting five — Fant and Jordan Simmons, who was claimed off waivers from the Raiders before the season but has been inactive the first two weeks.
It’s unclear the nature of Fant’s illness and if it’s anything that could impact his availability Sunday.
If the Seahawks needed added depth they could look to any of the three offensive linemen on their 10-man practice squad — guard Jordan Ross, tackle Elijah Nkansah and center Marcus Henry. Henry, a former Bellevue High standout who was with Seattle for much of training camp, was signed this week in the wake of the injury to Britt.