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Seahawks notebook: A return for Mychal Kendricks, no new update on K.J. Wright

Mychal Kendricks played three games for the Seahawks before his suspension. (AP)

Of the four games remaining on the Seahawks’ schedule, Monday night’s matchup against the Minnesota Vikings might be their most important.

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At 7-5 and with a tiebreaker over the Carolina Panthers, the Seahawks currently hold the fifth wild card spot. A win would boost their odds of making the playoffs to nearly 98 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight. The Vikings (6-5-1) hold the sixth seed, just behind Seattle.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said Thursday the Vikings bring a unique challenge. That’s especially true for Seattle’s run-first offense. Minnesota’s defense ranks 7th-overall in stopping the run and has limited teams to an average of 99 yards per game while not allowing a run of more than 21 yards.

“It’s the kind of matchup that we need,” Carroll said. “We need tough matchups that really challenge us in many ways and this is one of them for sure.”

Here’s what Carroll had to say about facing the Vikings, and more notes, from today’s press conference at Seahawks headquarters:

Return of Mychal Kendricks

Linebacker Mychal Kendricks will make his first return to the field since serving an eight-game suspension, which provides relief to a Seahawks team short starting weakside linebacker K.J. Wright (knee). Kendricks had two sacks and 15 tackles in three starts earlier this season.

Carroll said an official decision on Kendricks’ playing time would be made closer to the end of the week, but hinted he would be able to play a full game.

“He’s a really well-conditioned player,” Carroll said. “So I think we’ll be able to count on him to take a good dose (of defensive snaps).”

Injury Updates

The two biggest injury concerns remain right guard D.J. Fluker (hamstring) and Wright. Thursday didn’t bring an update on Fluker’s status.

Regarding Wright’s injury status, Carroll didn’t provide a specific timeline but said the team is hopeful they’ll have him back before the end of the season.

“(Wright) had a good day yesterday, worked well and he (felt) good again the next day,” Carroll said. “We’re going to just take it one day at a time and see how he progresses. He’s upbeat about it, but I don’t have a timeline for you.”

In addition to Wright and Fluker, three other Seahawks were sidelined at practice: wide receiver Doug Baldwin (hip), left tackle Duane Brown (ankle), and defensive end Dion Jordan (knee). Running back Chris Carson was limited after suffering a dislocated finger in Seattle’s Week 13 win over the 49ers but, as Carroll noted earlier this week, is expected to play Monday.