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Seahawks LB Mychal Kendricks
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Seahawks inactives: Kendricks and Ansah out, Clowney to play

Seahawks starting LB Mychal Kendricks is inactive against the Rams with a hamstring injury. (Getty)

The Seahawks will be without two key pieces of their defense tonight against the 7-5 Los Angeles Rams as defensive end Ziggy Ansah (neck/shoulder) and linebacker Mychal Kendricks (hamstring) will not suit up.

Seahawks can move into No. 1 seed in NFC with a win over Rams

Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (core/hip) was listed as questionable on Seattle’s final injury report of the week, but as head coach Pete Carroll thought on Friday, he will play. Clowney has been a key part of the Seahawks’ defense this year and has said he is enjoying his time in Seattle.

Ansah has battled a shoulder injury all season and left Monday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings after making a tackle. He was questionable on the injury report.

Kendricks played the majority of the defensive snaps against the Vikings but left for a short period of time due to the injury before returning. He was listed as doubtful on Friday.

With Kendricks sidelined, expect to see rookie Cody Barton, a third-round pick out of Utah, get the most defensive snaps of his young career. Barton has been a special teams standout for Seattle but hasn’t had the opportunity to play much linebacker this season. It could also cause Seattle to play more nickel defense with either Akeem King or Ugo Amadi lining up in the slot cornerback position.

Tight end Luke Willson will miss his third straight game with a hamstring injury. He suffered the injury in Week 10 against the San Francisco 49ers and hasn’t played since. He was listed as doubtful Friday.

With Willson’s absence, Jacob Hollister and Tyrone Swoopes are the only two active tight ends aside from backup offensive tackle George Fant, who regularly plays as a tight end/extra blocker.

Fullback/special teams contributor Nick Bellore was also listed as doubtful and is inactive with a hamstring injury. He missed the Vikings game as well.

Cornerback and special teams captain Neiko Thorpe was ruled out ahead of the contest and head coach Pete Carroll announced Friday that Thorpe had sports hernia surgery and will miss the rest of the season. Expect the team to move Thorpe to injured reserve and activate offensive lineman Ethan Pocic sometime this week.

Along with those five, two Seahawks players are healthy scratches. They are rookie receiver John Ursua, who has been inactive for all but one game this season, and rookie offensive lineman Phil Haynes.

Rookie first-round defensive lineman L.J. Collier is active this week and could have a larger role since Clowney isn’t 100 percent healthy and Ansah is inactive.

For the Rams, the most notable name out is tight end Gerald Everett. When the Seahawks and Rams squared off in Week 5, Everett had seven catches for 136 yards.

A win would get Seattle to 11-2 and it would be the No. 1 seed in the NFC. It would also be Carroll’s 100th win with the Seahawks. A win or tie guarantees the Seahawks are in the playoffs as well.

Follow’s Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

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