Bradley McDougald, a starter in all 14 games at strong safety this season, is out of the area until Friday getting treatment on a persistent knee injury.
One veteran Seahawk — weakside linebacker K.J. Wright — vowed to be back better than he has been all season when Seattle hosts Kansas City on Sunday night.
But the status of two other key vets — strong safety Bradley McDougald and right guard D.J. Fluker — remained murky Wednesday.
Here is more wrapping up those topics and a few other items from the team’s media availability Wednesday.
K.J. WRIGHT SAYS HE FEELS ‘NIGHT AND DAY’ BETTER THAN HIS FIRST RETURN TO FIELD
Wright has had a trying season, beginning with surgery to repair cartilage damage following a knee injury suffered in the third exhibition game at Minnesota.
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He had a setback in training a few weeks later that delayed his return until the seventh game of the year at Detroit.
After playing in three games, he continued to feel pain and was again shut down, this time having a special treatment on the knee to try to fix it once and for all.
Wright said Wednesday he thinks the plan worked. He returned to practice on a limited basis last week and plans to go full at least some of the days this week to prepare for a return to Sunday. He was officially listed as limited Wednesday.
Wright may be eased into duty, splitting time with Austin Calitro. But he said the hope is that he can play a full game by the time playoffs roll around, assuming the Seahawks get there.
“It just wasn’t ready,’’ he said of his first return to the field. “Had the first setback and the second setback. This time it’s night and day, night and day better. It should be good to go.’’
Wright’s return comes at a good time with Mychal Kendricks lost for the season with a knee injury during the win over Minnesota.
Wright said the plan is that he will not need to wear a knee brace as he did in the three earlier games this season, which he said made it hard to play to his usual level.
“Anytime you see a guy with a knee brace on as a linebacker he’s obviously feeling something,” Wright said. “I haven’t worn a knee brace my whole career, and I don’t ever want to wear one again. It’s not fun.
“It’s really stiff. You can only get a certain distance, so you are not balanced, and obviously not feeling 100 percent. A linebacker wearing a knee brace is not good, and I would go at them every time if I was an offensive coordinator.’’
Seattle defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. called it a welcome sight to have Wright back in the fold.
“Oh, he looked really good,” Norton said of how Wright practiced Wednesday. “It’s really good to have him. As good as (middle linebacker) Bobby Wagner is, he makes Bobby better.”
BRADLEY MCDOUGALD ‘POSSIBLY’ CAN PLAY SUNDAY
McDougald departed early in Sunday’s loss to the 49ers, replaced the rest of the way by Delano Hill. It was the second time since Nov. 4 that McDougald — who has battled a persistent patella tendinitis issue — had to leave a game and not return.
Carroll said there is no guarantee that McDougald will play Sunday against the Chiefs.
Carroll said McDougald is having a similar treatment as Wright had a few weeks ago and will be out of the area until Friday. The hope is he can practice and show he can play.
But when asked if McDougald will play, Carroll said “possibly, yeah.’’
That would mean going with a safety tandem of Hill — who has never started a game in his two-year career — and fellow 2017 draftee Tedric Thompson against one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL.
MORE CHANGES ON THE OFFENSIVE LINE?
Carroll said the team won’t know the status of Fluker — out the last two games with a hamstring injury — until later in the week. Jordan Simmons started in Fluker’s place but is done for the year after suffering a knee injury against the 49ers that will require surgery (Carroll said the surgery should not impact Simmons’ ability to be ready for 2019).
“I just talked to him out there on the field during walk through, and he’s going to try to find out what he can do at the end of the week,” Carroll said. “We’re not going to know until the end of the week.”
If Fluker can’t play, the team could go again with second-year player Ethan Pocic, who filled in late for Simmons but was called for two holding penalties in fourth quarter and overtime.
Carroll wouldn’t say what the team will do at right guard. Joey Hunt — who played guard briefly in two games this season when Fluker was injured — could be an option as could be promoting Jordan Roos from the practice squad.
Seattle has just eight offensive linemen on its 53-man roster with the loss of Simmons, whose spot was taken when the Seahawks signed running back Bo Scarbrough off Jacksonville’s practice squad.
But moves can be made until Saturday, and Carroll hinted something more could be afoot.
“That’s why all the questions are so out there about what we’re doing at guard,’’ Carroll said.
The Seahawks on Wednesday added another lineman to the practice squad, re-signing former Bellevue High star Marcus Henry, who was with Seattle in training camp and on the practice squad for a week in September.
Elijah Nkansah, listed as a tackle, is also on the practice squad.
TEN SIT OUT PRACTICE
The Seahawks had one of their lengthiest injury reports of the season with 10 players listed as out and another four as limited.
The 10 who sat out included Fluker and McDougald as well as WR Doug Baldwin (hip), RB Rashaad Penny (knee), S Tedric Thompson (chest/ankle), DE Frank Clark (elbow), CB Shaquill Griffin (hip), DT Jarran Reed (oblique/groin), OT Duane Brown (non-injury related, meaning rest) and DE Dion Jordan (knee).
The four limited players were Wright, RB Chris Carson (NIR, rest), safety Maurice Alexander (concussion) and DT Shamar Stephen (foot).
Of the injuries are new ones to this week, notably Griffin and Thompson. It’s unclear if either could impact whether they play Sunday.