Okung cleared to return, Kearse ruled out for regular-season finale
RENTON – The Seahawks should have at least one offensive starter back on Sunday as left tackle Russell Okung has been cleared to return. They’ll lose another as wide receiver Jermaine Kearse has already been ruled out while the status of a third, center Max Unger, remains a question mark.
Those were the three most notable takeaways as coach Pete Carroll met with the media on Friday for the final time before Seattle’s regular-season finale against St. Louis.
Okung missed Seattle’s last game with a bruised lung, an injury he sustained a week earlier against San Francisco. He practiced this week without limitation, and his potential return on Sunday would align with the initial timetable of a one-to-two-week recovery. Okung is listed as probable.
“Russell had a full week and he’s been cleared to play,” Carroll said, “so Russell is in good shape.”
Which is good news for the Seahawks given the issues they’ve had in pass protection when playing the Rams, who have 20 sacks over their last four games against Seattle.
Kearse didn’t practice this week after injuring his hamstring Sunday against Arizona.
Unger has missed the last five games after injuring his ankle and knee last month against Kansas City. He returned to practice two weeks ago only to experience a setback that kept him from practicing all last week. That explains why Carroll isn’t ready to declare that Unger is about to return even though he’s listed as a full participant in Friday’s practice.
“Max made it through,” Carroll said. “We’ll see how that goes. We’re going to take it one day at a time.”
Cornerback Tharold Simon practiced on Friday – listed as limited – for the first since injuring his shoulder last week against Arizona. He’s listed as questionable.
Seattle continues to be at less than full strength at tight end as Tony Moeaki and Cooper Helfet are both dealing with injuries. Moeaki is listed as probable after missing the last game with a shoulder injury while Helfet is questionable due to what he said is a cracked rib.
“Both guys practiced this week and made it through the week,” Carroll said. “They’re both banged up and we’re going to see how that works out all the way to game-time.”
• DE Demarcus Dobbs (ankle)
• WR Jermaine Kearse (hamstring)
• C Max Unger (knee/ankle)
• TE Cooper Helfet (ribs)
• WR Chris Matthews (hamstring)
• CB Tharold Simon (shoulder)
• LT Russell Okung (chest)
• TE Tony Moeaki (shoulder)
• RB Marshawn Lynch (back)