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Seahawks HC Pete Carroll: COVID postponement vs Rams, injury update

Dec 17, 2021, 4:37 PM
Seahawks Rams...
Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams in action against Brandon Shell and the Seattle Seahawks during the fourth quarter at Lumen Field. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

When Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll woke up Friday morning, he was expecting his football team to be facing the Los Angeles Rams in just two days. Now, he and his team will be going to Los Angeles to take on the divisional foe on Tuesday.

SEA-LA postponed to Tuesday due to Rams COVID outbreak

That’s because the Rams have nearly 30 players on the reserve/COVID list and the NFL announced that the Seahawks-Rams clash will now take place on Tuesday as a result. That was one of three games pushed back due to COVID outbreaks, the others being Las Vegas-Cleveland (moved from Saturday to Monday) and Washington-Philadelphia (moved from Sunday to Tuesday).

As he does every Friday, Carroll spoke to reporters about the upcoming matchup, but naturally, most of the conversation centered around the postponement of the upcoming game.

Right off the bat, Carroll was asked whether he feels his team is at a competitive disadvantage with the delay in the game.

“No, it doesn’t have anything to do with a competitive disadvantage or advantage. I don’t think that,” Carroll said.

Carroll, who has been very vocal about being pro-vaccine and following public health guidelines during the pandemic, said the league and teams are trying to get as many players healthy in order to play while also making sure that the right decisions are being made.

“In the midst of this kind of surge that we’ve seen in the league and around the country and around the world, we’re trying to make good decisions,” he said.

What Carroll clearly is not a fan of when it comes to this postponement, though, is how it impacts his team going forward.

The Seahawks’ opponent after the Rams is the Chicago Bears at home at Lumen Field in Week 16. Now instead of having a full week to rest for that matchup, the Seahawks will play just five days later after playing on Tuesday.

The Bears play on Monday, but that was a regularly scheduled Monday Night Football game. So instead of Chicago having one less day to prepare for the Seahawks, they’ll actually have one more day than Seattle due to the Rams game being pushed back until Tuesday.

The Seattle-Chicago game is not expected to be delayed to accommodate for the Seahawks playing the Rams two days later than expected.

“That’s a big concern,” Carroll said. “Anytime you (are on a short week) I think it’s a big burden on the players. It’s a big burden on the recovery time. It’s not what their bodies want to do. They’re trained to have a whole weekend to recover and they don’t get it … Now, if our game could move back to Monday, that would help some, (but) that would kind of get in the middle of the next week as well. So I don’t know what’s gonna happen. But I’m, not not a fan of that for the for the players’ sake.”

The Rams are in the midst of a major COVID outbreak but the Seahawks also have two players on the reserve/COVID list as well.

Receiver Tyler Lockett and running back Alex Collins tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and on Friday, Carroll said both had symptoms early on but are “OK now,” and that he believes they’re now both asymptomatic. Neither tested negative as of Friday, though.

Carroll told reporters that no other players have tested positive, but one assistant coach did as did multiple people who work in the organization.

With the Seahawks having been pretty great when it comes to COVID protocols – only three players have tested positive since the start of 2020 – Carroll was asked if he feels victimized by this situation as he and his team have been healthy and now get a game pushed back because of another team’s outbreak.

“I can’t do any about that,” he said. “I just wish nobody was getting sick.”

Injury updates

The Seahawks were thin at receiver during practice this week with Lockett out due to COVID and DK Metcalf (foot), Dee Eskridge (foot) and Freddie Swain (ankle/personal reason) all not practicing Thursday, but the latter three all practiced in full on Friday.

“Just judging on today, they’re ready to go,” Carroll said.

Pro Bowl safety Quandre Diggs is in a similar boat, Carroll said, as he missed the first two days of practice this week with a knee injury but practiced in full on Friday. He was questionable to play last week but suited up and played the whole game.

“He looked great today. Like to receivers, the days that they took off really made a difference. Those guys look good and Quandre was one of them.”

During his Friday morning interview with Steve Raible on 97.3 KIRO FM, Carroll said that starting right tackle Brandon Shell (shoulder) was unlikely to play but likely would be a gameday decision. With the game being pushed back two days, Shell may have a better chance of playing against the Rams.

“The (extra) days will help him. A couple more days will help him,” Carroll said Friday afternoon. “I can’t tell you about gameday stuff. That we don’t know. But  anybody that’s banged up, it’s going to help them (for) both teams, I’m sure.”

On the defensive line, veteran defensive end Carlos Dunlap (quadricep) “worked hard” on Friday in practice while defensive tackle Bryan Mone (knee) didn’t practice.

Mone and Shell were the only Seahawks to be listed as having not participated in practice on Friday, and no injured players were limited participants.

Heaps: 2 keys for the Seahawks’ offense against the Rams

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