Carroll also provided updates on K.J. Wright and thoughts on Mychal Kendricks, and more.
And then there was one.
When the Seahawks attempt to slow down the hottest offense in the NFL Sunday at CenturyLink Field, the Los Angeles Rams, they will try to do so with a defense featuring just one player from their 2013 Super Bowl title team — middle linebacker Bobby Wagner.
The Seahawks already knew they’d be without free safety Earl Thomas, placed on Injured Reserve Tuesday with a broken left tibia.
Wednesday, during his weekly press conference, coach Pete Carroll confirmed what also had appeared obvious — that Seattle will have to go another week without weakside linebacker K.J. Wright.
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Thomas and Wright were the only two other remaining defensive players from the team that beat Denver in the Super Bowl aside from Wagner.
Complicating matters, Seattle also found out Tuesday that Wright’s replacement, Mychal Kendricks — a member of Philadelphia’s Super Bowl team last season — is indefinitely suspended, with the NFL finally levying some punishment after he plead guilty to a felony insider trading charge in August.
In the place of Thomas and Wright/Kendricks will step two players making their first starts at the positions they will be asked to play Sunday — Tedric Thompson at free safety and Austin Calitro at weakside linebacker. For Thompson it will be the first start of his career and for Calitro the second — his other coming in place of Wagner at middle linebacker against the Bears.
Carroll can take solace in the fact that Seattle also only had one member of the Super Bowl title team against the Bears, Thomas, and kept it respectable — a 24-17 defeat that went down to the end.
The Rams, though, will be a different beast having scored 33, 34, 35 and 38 points in their four games this season while allowing only 67 total.
“We are going to have to do a really nice job in general to slow them down,’’ said Carroll in something that can accurately be called an understatement.
Here are five other takeaways from Carroll’s press conference:
CALITRO HAS ‘A CRUCIAL OPPORTUNITY’ STEPPING IN FOR WRIGHT/KENDRICKS
Calitro, a second-year player out of Villanova who went undrafted, has maybe been the pleasant surprise of the season for Seattle, making the initial 53-man roster as a backup middle linebacker and special teamer after signing in June. He moved to the weakside when Wright was injured and played some there in the opener against Denver before Kendricks arrived.
“This is a crucial opportunity for us just as it was when he had to play for Bobby,’’ Carroll said. “… We honestly were a little surprised (by his play). We didn’t know that he would be able to play to the level he has. But he’s been a good contributor whenever we have given him the opportunity.’’
As for Wright, Carroll said he will need at least another week, though with the bye following the trip to London to play the Raiders Seattle figures to be cautious, knowing he’d then have two weeks before he would have to play again.
Carroll said Wright will ramp up his workout program this week and that “he’s working his way back in, in hopes it kicks him into high gear for the next week.’’
CARROLL HAS NO IDEA IF KENDRICKS WILL PLAY AGAIN FOR SEATTLE
Kendricks was listed as indefinitely suspended by the NFL earlier this week. Asked if the team had any clearer idea of if that means there’s a chance he could play again this season, Carroll said no.
“How do you define indefinitely?’’ Carroll said. “I don’t know. We pressed that, what does that mean, and that means indefinitely. So we don’t have a sense for what is going to happen right now and they couldn’t give us any. So we know nothing moving forward. A month ago when we signed him up we thought there would be a time when there would be somewhat of a length of the suspension that wasn’t indefinite. I don’t know what that means, so we thought it was going to be 2-3 weeks or something like that. So I don’t know what is happening now with that.’’
Seattle didn’t add a linebacker to specifically replace Kendricks but did sign safety Maurice Alexander who played some weakside linebacker when he was with the team in the preseason.
Carroll said of Alexander that “he’s able to play both safety and WILL linebacker for is so he’s available for that.’’
NEW SEAHAWK T.J. GREEN IS AN ‘INCREDIBLE ATHLETE’
The Seahawks also signed free agent safety T.J. Green to help fill the depth in the secondary with the loss of Thomas.
Green was a second-round pick of the Colts in 2016 out of Clemson where he started 11 games over the last two seasons. The Colts also tried the 6-2, 209-pounder at cornerback (he also played receiver at Clemson) briefly and Carroll hinted Seattle may give him a look there at some point, as well. But for now the plan is that he will add depth at safety and maybe help on special teams.
“He’s an incredible athlete,’’ Carroll said. “Really fast (4.34 40 at the 2016 NFL Combine) and he’s over 6-2 and was a great tester coming out, that’s why he was cited as a second-rounder. So we think he’s got a lot of potential to help us in special teams, possibly, and we’d like to develop him. Those long guys, fast guys, look good as a corner someday. So that’s one thing that flashed. He’s been playing safety, played a little bit of corner. … He’s going to be a safety for us right off the bat and we’ll see how we progress with him.’’
SEAHAWKS TIGHT ENDS DON’T NEED TO MISS A BEAT WITH DANIELS
The other roster move the Seahawks made this week was to promote Darrell Daniels from the practice squad. He played the first three games of the season — though he saw action only on special teams — before going back to the practice squad last week when the team needed to promote defensive end Branden Jackson.
The Seahawks needed Daniels to replace the injured Will Dissly and now will have Daniels to pair with Nick Vannett at tight end for the next two weeks before Ed Dickson can return after the bye.
But while Daniels, who played at UW and last season with the Colts before being acquired in a trade the week before the season, has seen no time at tight end for the Seahawks, Carroll said the team won’t have to limit what it does when it comes to its tight end corps.
“Daniels has been with us for over a month now, I think, and been practicing with us and working with us,’’ Carroll said. “So we feel really comfortable with him.’’
Vannett now becomes the starter for at least the next two weeks — he officially started the first two games though Dissly was seeing more playing time of late before being injured.
“He’s the best he’s ever been,’’ Carroll said of Vannett.
BRANDON MARSHALL JUST NEEDS TO GET GOING AGAIN
The production of the 34-year-old receiver has tailed off since he caught a touchdown in the opener at Denver.
Marshall has just three catches for 35 yards the last two weeks, when he has also dropped a couple of passes — one last week on the drive when Seattle recovered a fumble in the first quarter and had a chance to go up 14-0 before settling for a field goal that was missed.
After that play the Seahawks began using David Moore a little bit regularly — Moore finished the game with 43 snaps to Marshall’s 24 of the 66 Seattle had offensively.
But Carroll didn’t sound a real alarm on Wednesday that maybe this is it for Marshall.
“We’ve just got to get him going,’’ Carroll said. “A couple of balls got away from him the last two weeks, and got a couple of passes broken up and had a drop last week. We’ve just got to get him going and get the feel for it and it’s been a little spotty with his opportunities as much as we have been running the football.
“… we also wanted to see David, too. And we’ve been wanting to get David more there and he did a nice job when he got his chances, so we are just maximizing the rotations there to try to use everybody effectively.’’
THE SEAHAWKS JUST COULDN’T AFFORD NDAMUKONG SUH
For a day or so last spring there was plenty of excitement over the prospect of defensive tackle Ndaumkong Suh becoming a Seahawk when he made a visit to the VMAC that Suh himself publicized via social media.
Suh, though, ended up signing with the Rams on a one-year deal worth up to $14 million and has teamed with Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers to form a defensive line as stout as any in the NFL.
“We weren’t able to get close financially on the deal,’’ Carroll said Wednesday. “But we did a lot of talking, spent a lot of time with him about the thought of it and he was considering it . But when it came down to it our capo situation didn’t allow it.’’
- Carroll said he had no update on Thomas and when or if he might have surgery.
- Carroll said again that Chris Carson is expected back Sunday after sitting out against Arizona but said he would likely be limited in practice Wednesday. In fact, Carson was listed as not participating in Wednesday’s practice. “Yeah, he’s going to be fine,” Carroll said prior to practice. “We’re going to go light on him today. He did the morning part of the work and then tomorrow, he should be full-go.”
- Carroll said DE Dion Jordan is expected to play Sunday.
- Carroll said Ethan Pocic should return this week but that J.R. Sweezy will remain as the starting left guard. Carroll noted Pocic can back up everywhere on the offensive line and that may be his role for a while, giving the team some added roster flexibility.
- Frank Clark was also listed as not participating in practice due to an illness.
- Russell Wilson was listed as a full participant in practice with a hamstring injury. It’s the third straight week Wilson has been listed on the injury report with the hamstring injury which he said occurred late in the win over Chicago in week two. Wilson hasn’t missed any practice time or snaps because of it, however.