Seahawks Injuries: DT Reed, CB Griffin questionable but expected to play
Last year, the Seahawks were limping into the playoffs as their roster was ravaged due to injuries.
The team’s top three running backs were all on injured reserve, its starting left tackle missed the last two games of the regular season and its best defensive lineman was playing through a major core injury.
This year, ahead of their first playoff game, the Seahawks have just two players listed on the team’s final injury report for their Saturday matchup with the Los Angeles Rams.
Head coach Pete Carroll went over his team’s health and a key question pertaining to the Rams in his Thursday press conference. Here’s a bit of what Carroll had to say.
Reed and Griffin expected to play
There may have been just two players on the Seahawks’ final injury report, but those two players are key defensive starters in defensive tackle Jarran Reed, who is second on the team in sacks, and cornerback Shaquill Griffin.
Both are listed as questionable to play, with Griffin having a hamstring injury while Reed has an oblique injury.
Griffin missed four games this season with a hamstring injury, but Carroll said this injury is unrelated and that Griffin, who wasn’t on the injury report before Thursday, is expected to play.
“It’s not related, it’s just a little bit tight,” Carroll said. “We just wanted to give him a day.”
Reed suffered his injury late last week against the San Francisco 49ers and missed practice Tuesday before being limited Wednesday. Like Griffin, Reed is expected to suit up against the Rams.
“He practiced today and he did fine,” Carroll said. “We kind of managed him as he got through it to make sure we’re doing the right thing and we feel like he made it through it. He’s ready to go.”
Rookie DE Taylor looks the part, may play soon
Of the Seahawks’ eight-man rookie draft class, seven have played this year. The lone exception, second-round defensive tackle Darrell Taylor, may soon make it and even eight-for-eight.
Taylor had surgery on his shin over the offseason and just last week began to practice. Carroll said the rookie looked great during practice this week, especially on Thursday.
“He’s flashed, obviously,” he said. “We’ve seen the quickness and today, I’m anxious to see this film because this was the best day for him. We’re ramping him up and today he cut it loose a little bit, so I’m anxious to see it. There’s no question that he belongs out here with those guys.”
Taylor is currently on the non-football injury list and not the Seahawks’ 53-man active roster. But despite not playing at all this year, Carroll said Taylor could make his NFL debut during the postseason.
“Yes, it is possible,” he said.
OL back to full strength
The Seahawks’ offense started the season hot and has cooled off the second half of the season. Carroll said that an underrated element of the offense’s early success will be back this Saturday.
“We’re going to have our full group up front (on the offensive line) playing for the (sixth) time this year,” he said. We’ve done a lot of damage when those guys are on the field together, so hopefully that will add to everything we’re doing in this game.”
That group will be at full strength as left guard Mike Iupati will be back for the first time since Week 15 while right tackle Brandon Shell will also return and play for the first time since Week 14, though he was active for Week 16 but didn’t play.
Rams question at quarterback
The last time the Seahawks and Rams faced off, Los Angeles starting quarterback Jarred Goff hurt his thumb. That injury required surgery, which kept him out last week in the Rams’ win over the Arizona Cardinals. Goff is officially listed as questionable with the injury, and head coach Sean McVay hasn’t tipped his hand as far as whether Goff or backup John Wolford will play.
The Seahawks know a lot about Goff, who has started nine games against them since entering the league as the No. 1 pick in 2016, but Wolford has only played in one NFL game and that was last week. Carroll was asked what Wolford brings to the Rams’ offense.
“There’s just a couple plays in there that are different. He took off and ran a couple times and it was a little bit of a different dimension for them,” he said. “And they had a couple plays in the offense that allowed him to run the football. There’s just a little bit of an opening there for how they think he can fit in and help them.”
Against the Cardinals last week, Wolford completed 22 of 38 passes for 231 yards and an interception while also running the ball six times for a game-high 56 yards.
Carroll said that with it unclear whether Goff can make it back for Saturday, the team is preparing for both quarterbacks.