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Seahawks LT Duane Brown
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Which Seahawks injury is most critical on Sunday?

Seahawks LT Duane Brown had knee surgery Monday and will not play against the 49ers. (Getty)

The Seahawks have a litany of injuries they’re dealing with on both sides of the ball.

Moore: Seahawks’ injuries and shaky defense can’t compete with 49ers

While they will get some key players like defensive end Jadeveon Clowney back for the Sunday Night Showdown with the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC West title, at least two of the team’s best players won’t play and a third appears unlikely to suit up.

Those three players are running back Chris Carson, left tackle Duane Brown and safety Quandre Diggs.

Carson injured his hip last Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals and will miss the rest of the season while Brown had minor knee surgery and is expected to miss at least this week’s game. Diggs’ status is more up in the air, as he hasn’t played since Week 15 with an ankle injury and hasn’t practiced yet this week.

Dave Wyman and Jim Moore of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob, Dave and Moore had Dave “The Groz” Grosby on to talk about which of those three hurts the team the most come Sunday. Wyman, a former NFL linebacker, was initially conflicted.

“At first, I looked at Chris Carson’s name and that’s a no brainer. It’s Chris Carson, it has to be,” Wyman said.

Carson has rushed for 1,000-plus yards in back to back seasons, and to replace him and Rashaad Penny and C.J. Prosise who are also done for the season with injuries, the Seahawks signed Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin.

After more consideration, Wyman thinks Brown being out hurts the Seahawks the most.

“But you’ve got the fourth-best pass rush coming in here,” he said.

The 49ers’ defensive line, led by Erik Armstead and rookie Nick Bosa who have 10 and nine sacks, respectively, has terrorized opposing quarterbacks all year long. After watching Cardinals’ pass rusher Chandler Jones sack Russell Wilson four times last Sunday, Wyman thinks Brown’s absence will be bigger than Diggs’ or Carson’s.

“This is a good pass rush and that (game against the Cardinals) was kind of a wake-up call,” Wyman said.

Moore thinks Diggs is the most important, as the depth behind him doesn’t inspire much confidence.

“I just think the drop off from Quandre Diggs to (backup safety) Lano Hill is more significant than some of the others and I just worry about this defense without Quandre Diggs,” Moore said.

Seattle has 13 takeaways in the five games that Diggs played for Seattle compared to 19 in the other 10 games. Diggs has three interceptions and a forced fumble in his brief time with the Seahawks.

“Diggs has made such a big difference on the back end of that defense that I think he’s going to be missed the most,” Moore said.

Grosby thinks Brown’s absence will loom the largest because of what’s likely to happen at the left tackle position. Last week, Jamarco Jones started so backup tackle and occasional extra blocker George

Fant could stay in his regular role for “jumbo” packages. After Jones’ struggles against a top-tier pass rusher in the other Jones, Fant may slide in at left tackle, eliminating his role as a sixth lineman.

“That hurts your running game even more,” Grosby said.

To listen to the full discussion, visit this link or listen to the player below at the 25:01 mark.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jim Moore and Dave Grosby on Twitter.

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