Carroll: Seahawks Brown and Iupati game-time decisions, Packers pose major issues

Jan 10, 2020, 1:19 PM
Seahawks HC Pete Carroll...
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said his left guard and tackle are game-time decisions. (Getty)

The Seahawks are one win away from the NFC Championship, and to get there, they need to win another game on the road, this time against the Green Bay Packers.

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The Seahawks have been described as “road warriors” this year after compiling a franchise-best seven road wins during the regular season and following that up with a road win last weekend against the Philadelphia Eagles to advance to the divisional round.

The Packers are well rested after earning the NFC’s No. 2 seed and being on bye last week, while Seattle won another one-score game against the Eagles 17-9. They won that game without two of their starting offensive linemen, and according to head coach Pete Carroll, their statuses are unclear again.

Left tackle Duane Brown had minor knee surgery before Week 17 and left guard Mike Iupati has battled a neck injury for the second half of the season. Brown is progressing while Iupati is seemingly not.

“Duane made it through today. We’re going to take it all the way to game time,” Carroll told KIRO 97.3 FM’s Dori Monson on the weekly Pete Carroll Show Friday. “Mike’s struggling a little more coming back. We’ll see how he does. We’ll have to wait and see on both of those guys.”

Along with Brown and Iupati, the other notable name who may not play is defensive end Ziggy Ansah, who has missed time this year with a shoulder injury. He left last week’s game with a neck stinger.

“(It’s) still bothering him,” Carroll said. “He practiced (Wednesday), Thursday we took it easy on him and today we were quiet with him again. Those three guys are kind of in the same boat where we’re going to wait all the way up to game time.”

If Brown and Iupati are out again, George Fant and Jamarco Jones will start at left tackle and guard for the Seahawks like they did against Philadelphia. They will have a tough task against a Packers defense that has two linebackers/edge rushers who can really get after the quarterback in Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith.

“He’s a disrupter,” Carroll said of Za’Darius Smith, who has 13.5 sacks. “They know it and they move him all over the place. They match him up in different aspects.”

The other Smith has 12 sacks and offers a different look on the field than Za’Darius Smith does.

“Preston is really effective as well. They’re totally different style of players but they pressure (the quarterback) a lot … they’re problems,” Carroll said. “And (middle linebacker Blake) Martinez in the middle is a problem. They’ve got a really nice scheme going for them.”

The defense has improved tremendously this season, ranking ninth in scoring defense at 19.8 points per game, but they still have a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Aaron Rodgers, who had 4,002 yards and 26 touchdowns with just four interceptions.

Carroll has coached against Rodgers since he was in college at California when Carroll was at USC. Carroll said Rodgers is one of the most gifted quarterbacks he’s seen.

“He’s been beyond just a really good quarterback that can throw the ball and sit in the pocket and read the coverages and all that,” Carroll said. “He’s been way better than that. He’s been so special in his ability to make things happen and make extraordinary plays, extraordinary comebacks, wins from out of nowhere and all the things he’s done have just been historic.”

Rodgers also has a star running back in Aaron Jones, who had 1,086 yards and was tied for the league lead with 16 rushing scores. He was also a threat in the passing game, catching 49 passes for 474 yards and three touchdowns. His presence has been a big help for Rodgers in new head coach Matt LeFluer’s offense.

“Now he’s got a really good running game to go along with it and that’s different now,” Carroll said. “They have better balance to their offense than they’ve had in the past. Aaron Jones has been a great, great find for them and it’s a tough offense to deal with.”

Listen to Carroll at this link or in the player below.

Follow’s Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

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Carroll: Seahawks Brown and Iupati game-time decisions, Packers pose major issues