Seahawks Notebook: RG D.J. Fluker’s status uncertain for SNF, RB Bo Scarbrough adds insurance
Despite their loss to the 49ers in Week 15, the Seahawks are still in the driver’s seat on their path to return to the playoffs. They’ll again have a chance to clinch a spot this Sunday — this time, though, they’ll need some help from the rest of the league (more on that here).
Head coach Pete Carroll spoke with reporters from Seahawks’ headquarters in Renton Wednesday to offer a few updates on the biggest injuries and the newest additions.
RG D.J. Fluker’s status uncertain for Sunday
The Seahawks have a few injury-related question marks heading into Sunday night. Linebacker K.J. Wright, who has been working through a knee issue all season, is looking to make his first start since Week 10. Safety Bradley McDougald, who was forced out of last Sunday’s game against the 49ers when a patellar tendon issue flared up, will be rehabbing his injury off-site until Friday. Running back Rashaad Penny (knee) will need to wait until the end of the week to get in the bulk of his work.
Right guard D.J. Fluker is also among those question marks. A decision on whether or not he’ll play Sunday night won’t be determined until the end of the week.
That position is now in flux again: Guard Jordan Simmons, who started in Fluker’s place for the last two weeks, was placed on the injured reserve Tuesday with a knee injury. Seattle has a few options at that spot, including Ethan Pocic, who had his number called after Simmons was sidelined.
“There’s some decisions that we’re making,” Carroll said. “Let’s see how the week goes, if you don’t mind.”
Whomever Seattle chooses to start at right guard, center Justin Britt said he has full confidence that the line will enter Week 16 with the same mentality.
“My mindset is what it’s always been,” Britt said. “Start with the run game, be physical, dominant finish. Injury-wise, it doesn’t matter who has to plug in where. We have a lot of depth and a lot of trust within each other that we’ll get the job done.”
Seahawks add RB Bo Scarbrough as ‘insurance’
The placement of Simmons on the injured reserve list was one of two roster moves made by Seattle Tuesday. In a corresponding move, the Seahawks signed rookie running back Bo Scarbrough off the Jacksonville practice squad. Carroll called the move “insurance” for Seattle’s running attack.
While Seattle sits atop the league in rushing offense in 2018, the team is still just a year removed from a season that saw them place two starters on the injured reserve list and finish with just one touchdown from a running back.
“We’re serious about running the football and this guy is a guy who gives us an attack mentality and a physical aspect of it in the event that maybe we’re coming up short here,” Carroll said of Scarbrough. “I think we realized it during the game last week when a couple guys got banged a couple times… and all the sudden you’re down to your last running back. Those guys are fine, but it did just remind of us the sense of urgency.”
Running back Chris Carson and Mike Davis were both momentarily forced out of last week’s game, though both players were able to return to the field. With Penny inactive, the Seahawks were facing the possibility of using just one running back, J.D. McKissic, for their run-first offense.
Carroll said Penny will get some work in Thursday.
“It’s uncertain if he can get back, we don’t know yet,” Carroll said. “He’s really determined to try to make it back so that Friday is the day he can go for it, and show that he can run and get rolling. He’s been really diligent about his rehab so we’ll see what happens.”
Pro Bowl reaction
The NFL announced its Pro Bowl selections and two Seahawks earned nods: Linebacker Bobby Wagner and rookie punter Michael Dickson.
“(Wagner) has done it again and in the same fashion, but just a little bit better,” Carroll said of Wagner’s performance year over year. This is the veteran linebacker’s fifth Pro Bowl.
“He just seems like he’s a little bit better. He’s made more big plays, more significant plays that have affected the game. The thing I love about looking at great players (is) do they show that ability to do it year after year after year? I think that’s what greatness is all about. Guys say, ‘Hey, this guy is going to be the next Jerry Rice.’ Well, let’s look 10, 12 years from now and see what he looks like. Bobby’s put together a resume of, really, Hall of Fame stuff. This is the kind of guy that gets there some day. Add onto that the leadership that he’s brought and the direction and focus that he’s brought on a regular basis. I mean, he’s been really a perfect Seahawk throughout the whole time he’s been here and we’re just really lucky to have him.”
Dickson becomes the first rookie punter to be selected to the Pro Bowl since 1985.
“He really has (surpassed expectations),” Carroll said. “I couldn’t imagine that he could be so consistent throughout the season in his rookie year… we’re thrilled about the pick and thrilled about having that guy on our team… I’m really proud of him.”
Seven Seahawks were named as Pro Bowl alternates, including running back Chris Carson, defensive end Frank Clark, wide receiver Tyler Lockett, safety Bradley McDougald, guard J.R. Sweezy, quarterback Russell Wilson, and linebacker K.J. Wright.