Carroll: Jamal Adams’ status unclear, but Seahawks’ O-line at full strength
The Seahawks finished the 2020 regular season on a high note, beating the San Francisco 49ers 26-23 to get to a 12-4 record. Now, Seattle sets its eyes on the Los Angeles Rams for the first round of the playoffs.
The Rams have a key player in question ahead of the game as starting quarterback Jarred Goff missed Week 17 due to surgery on his thumb, an injury he suffered against the Seahawks in Week 16. It’s unclear if he will play this Saturday.
The Seahawks also have some major injury question marks of their own after Week 17 with two of the defense’s best players getting knocked out of action late against the 49ers.
SS Jamal Adams
Pro Bowl strong safety Jamal Adams has been beat up basically all year long in his first season in Seattle.
First it was a groin injury that cost him four games, then it was an injured right shoulder followed by broken fingers. Now, it’s the left shoulder that Adams has injured. While blitzing 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard in the fourth quarter, Adams got hit hard on a block by running back Jerrick McKinnon and immediately left the game.
During his postgame press conference, Carroll said the hope was that Adams can play this week but didn’t have specifics about the injury yet. As of Monday morning, that had not changed.
“I haven’t seen him today,” Carroll said. “… He’s real disappointed. He wants to play and he wants to get out there.”
Adams, in his fourth NFL season and first with Seattle, has yet to play in a playoff game in his career. Carroll said the former New York Jet getting hurt with the postseason right around the corner “kind of crushed him.”
“He’s very emotional and all that and he’s going to deal with it,” Carroll said. “We’ll see what happens in the next couple days and see how he feels, but he got hurt.”
Adams was visibly frustrated on the sideline and the TV broadcast showed him throwing his helmet while upset. Carroll said Adams was held out the rest of the game by the coaching staff despite wanting to continue playing.
“He handled it and wanted to go back in and we had to take his helmet away and all that on the sidelines because he wanted to fight with his guys,” Carroll said. “So we’ll see what happens. I can’t tell you right now, I don’t know.”
RT Brandon Shell and LG Mike Iupati
The Seahawks’ offensive line was without two starters in Week 17 as left guard Mike Iupati missed his sixth game of the season while right tackle Brandon Shell missed his fifth.
Iupati hasn’t played since Week 15 when he suffered a neck stinger. He also battled a back injury earlier this season, but the stinger is what has held him out the last two weeks. Shell, meanwhile, has missed four games with an ankle injury, but missed Week 17 as he was placed on the COVID-19/reserve list. A close contact of Shell’s tested positive for the virus, though he hasn’t tested positive.
Carroll expects both to play against the Rams and their elite defensive line this Saturday.
“We’re going to be at pretty much full strength this weekend,” he said. “Brandon Shell will be back and Mike Iupati will be back and this will be fun to have all those guys back together. But if anyone has to come out, we’re OK … We’re very fortunate that we’re going to be back on track and full (strength).”
With those two back, Seattle will have its five starting offensive linemen ready for the playoffs. That group of five, which also includes left tackle Duane Brown, center Ethan Pocic and right guard Damien Lewis, hasn’t played together since Week 14.
DT Jarran Reed
A year after possessing one of the worst pass rushes in football, the Seahawks ended 2020 with 46 sacks, which ranked seventh in the NFL. Of those 46, 6.5 belong to defensive tackle Jarran Reed.
Reed left Week 17 with an injury and didn’t return, appearing to be in pain as he walked off the field and into the locker room. Reed has battled a bruised sternum recently but Carroll said that wasn’t the issue.
“Pretty sore,” he said of his star defensive tackle. “He’s had this injury before. It’s an oblique strain. We don’t know how difficult it will be to come back, I don’t know that, but he was pretty uncomfortable last night.”
If Reed misses any time, that would be a big blow to the defensive line, especially as he is one of just three defensive tackles on the Seahawks’ active roster along with Poona Ford and Bryan Mone. Defensive ends L.J. Collier and Rasheem Green have also lined up inside as defensive tackles this season. The Seahawks recently waived 2016 All-Pro Damon “Snacks” Harrison per his request, and he is now with the Green Bay Packers, who are the NFC’s No. 1 seed.
RB Rashaad Penny
The Seahawks were without three running backs in Week 17 as Travis Homer is on injured reserve, DeeJay Dallas was out for the second week in a row with an ankle injury and No. 2 back Carlos Hyde didn’t make the trip due to an illness. That meant Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny and Alex Collins were all that was left.
With Hyde out, it was thought that Penny, a 2018 first-round pick who tore his ACL in Week 15 of 2019, would get his first extended look in a long time after getting just five carries since his return two weeks prior. Penny did get six carries for 19 yards but also injured his leg and left the game. Carroll said it wasn’t anything serious.
“Just classic cramps, you know? Just ran out of juice,” he said. “(It was) his first time of playing a long time and it being all day long and all that and it just caught up with him a little bit. So just classic stuff.”
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