Seahawks getting defensive reinforcements for 49ers game

Dec 27, 2019, 2:39 PM | Updated: 2:40 pm

Seahawks CB Shaquill Griffin...

Seahawks CB Shaquill Griffin returns to the lineup Sunday against the 49ers.

While injuries have piled up for the Seahawks over the last few weeks, Seattle will get some help on the defensive side this Sunday.

Which Seahawks injury is most critical on Sunday?

After missing games in recent weeks, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, cornerback Shaquill Griffin and linebacker Mychal Kendricks will all play against the San Francisco 49ers.

Clowney has been dealing with a core injury since Week 10 that has cost him three games, including the last two.

Griffin and Kendricks both have been battling hamstring injuries and Griffin missed the last two games. Kendricks missed Week 14 and 15 and returned against the Arizona Cardinals, but Carroll said earlier this week he was pretty sore from the game.

Getting Clowney and Griffin back is a big boost for what has been a depleted defense.

“It’s a huge deal,” head coach Pete Carroll said at his Friday press conference. “Our top cover guy and our top rusher, that’s a big deal. So it’s great to have those guys back.”

Clowney was a limited participant earlier this week and Griffin practiced fully on Thursday. When these two teams squared off in Week 10, Clowney was a force and ended up winning NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

“I’m anxious to get (Clowney) back in the game. Clowney had a heck of a game against these guys,” Carroll told KIRO 97.3 FM’s Dori Monson on the weekly Pete Carroll Show Friday. “He hasn’t played against in a couple of weeks and he’s rearing to go. He really was a big factor in that game, and we haven’t had him at his best for some weeks now, so he feels really good, he’s ready to roll and we’ll see what that factor is.”

Getting Griffin back will also allow Akeem King to return to the nickel corner position. He had been playing outside while Griffin was inactive.

One big question mark is safety Quandre Diggs, who has a high ankle sprain. He got the injury Week 15 against the Carolina Panthers and didn’t play this week. He is listed as questionable for Sunday.

“He ran both yesterday and today and there’s a couple miraculous opportunities coming up before Sunday, so we’ll see what happens,” Carroll said.

Backup offensive lineman Ethan Pocic is also questionable with a core injury.

Two players have already been ruled out for Sunday’s game: left tackle Duane Brown and wide receiver Malik Turner.

Brown had microscopic knee surgery Monday and is recovering while Turner has a concussion.

“He’s just getting rid of the swelling right now,” Carroll said of Brown’s status. “This should be a really quick recovery. How quick? We don’t know that, but it will be a quick recovery overall and we’ll just go week to week … He’s working really hard at it and he’s such a stud worker and so diligent about his habits and all that that if anyone can get back, he will and he’ll do it.”

Turner got the concussion during the Cardinals game, which the team didn’t know about until after the game. Receiver John Ursua, who has been a healthy scratch most of the year, will be active against San Francisco.

“Johnny’s done great. He’s been battling and he’s ready,” Carroll said of the rookie receiver. “He jumped in a couple weeks ago and dressed with us. He’s ready to go. It’s been good for him to know all throughout the week that he was going to get the call, so he’s fitting in. We love the stuff that he does, so he’ll be in the game.”

Offensive guard Mike Iupati left Sunday’s game with a stinger, but will play. He is listed not on the team’s final injury report.

For San Francisco, defensive lineman Dee Ford has already been ruled out with a leg injury. On the offensive side of the ball, the 49ers will look different than they did in Week 10 as star tight end George Kittle will play. He missed that game with a leg injury.

“George Kittle didn’t play in our game, so he’s a factor in a lot of games, so we’ve got to see if we can minimize his part of the game and keep them down,” Carroll said on the Pete Carroll Show.

Follow’s Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

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