Kam Chancellor doubtful, Kevin Pierre-Louis out for Seahawks vs Cardinals
RENTON – The Seahawks will likely be missing two defensive starters Sunday night against Arizona with linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis ruled out and strong safety Kam Chancellor listed as doubtful.
Chancellor’s status has been in question due to a groin injury that kept him out of Seattle’s win over Atlanta and kept him from practicing at all this week. Coach Pete Carroll had expressed hope at the start of the week that Chancellor would be able to make it back. He said Friday that Chancellor has a good chance to return next week assuming his status doesn’t take an unexpected turn before Sunday.
“We surely think that way because we thought we would have a shot at this week; we just couldn’t get there,” Carroll said. “Next week is quite likely. Hopefully we’ll get it done.”
In the meantime, Kelcie McCray will likely make his second straight start at strong safety.
Pierre-Louis injured his ankle last week while making his first start at strong-side linebacker, leaving briefly before returning for the remainder of the game. He didn’t practice the last two days, with Carroll calling the injury a sprain on Friday.
He wouldn’t reveal who will start in Pierre-Louis’ absence. Cassius Marsh would seem to be the likeliest replacement as the most experienced of Seattle’s options, the others being Jordan Tripp and Dewey McDonald. Seattle acquired McDonald in a trade with Oakland the week before the opener while Tripp was promoted from the practice squad when the Seahawks put starter Mike Morgan on Injured Reserve.
Whichever player gets the nod may have a reduced role Sunday night. That’s the way it’s been for Seattle’s strong-side linebackers this season as the defense has spent most of the time in nickel, which entails that position being subbed out for a third cornerback. Arizona frequently uses more than two receivers at once, so it could be another nickel-heavy game for Seattle’s defense.
Also ruled out for Sunday night’s game is rookie defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson. He was set to return after missing last week’s game following thumb surgery, but he hurt his knee in practice Thursday. He will undergo tests to determine the severity of the injury.
Seattle’s defensive line will otherwise be at full strength with ends Michael Bennett and Frank Clark on track to play. Bennett left last week’s game with a knee injury while Clark missed it due to a hamstring injury, but both practiced this week.
Tight end Jimmy Graham is also fine, Carroll said. He returned to practice Friday after sitting out Thursday. Carroll said he was dealing with some hip soreness from last week’s game.
Running back C.J. Prosise will likely play for the first time since breaking a bone in his wrist in the opener. Carroll said he hasn’t had any issue practicing while wearing a new protective device on his wrist, which he will also wear Sunday night.
“C.J. had a really good week. He’s ready to play football,” Carroll said. “We’ll see what we do with that. It’s really exciting to have him. At least he’s part of the decision making if he can dress on game day. We’ll see what happens.”
Tight end Luke Willson and running back Thomas Rawls are the other two players Seattle has ruled out for Sunday night’s game. Each are expected to miss a few more weeks at least. Rawls is dealing with a crack in his fibula while Willson had arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday. Carroll continued to predict an exceedingly quick recovery for Willson, noting that he was walking around the facility Friday a few days after surgery.
“He’ll do a crazy, miraculous turnaround, I would think,” Carroll said. “He’s just an amazing healer and he’s got an extraordinary attitude about it and if you talk to him, he wishes he could play this week. We’re not going to do that, but he’s on the road to recovery and it won’t take him long.”