RENTON, Wash. – Pete Carroll says Marshawn Lynch is fine. The injury report says there’s a chance the running back won’t play Sunday.
We won’t know until Sunday whether Lynch’s new hip injury is an issue, but he did sit out Friday’s practice, and Carroll said, “We’re treating him for a little hip thing, but he’s fine.”
The league’s injury reporting protocol defines a player listed as questionable as having a 50/50 shot at playing, and while it sounds like Carroll is confident Lynch’s odds are much better than that, the fact that this injury crept up late in the week is at least a little bit of a cause for concern for the Seahawks.
The status of two other key players is much more clear-cut. Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner is almost certainly going to miss Sunday’s game because of a high ankle sprain, while center Max Unger is expected to return after missing two games with an arm injury.
On Wagner, who was injured in last week’s game in Indianapolis, Carroll described the linebacker’s chances in the most Pete Carroll way possible, saying he has an “outside chance if you’re really optimistic.”
With Wagner out, the Seahawks will move K.J. Wright from weakside linebacker to middle linebacker, a change that shouldn’t be too hard for Wright, who spent much of his rookie year playing in the middle in place of an injured David Hawthorne.
“It’s not difficult at all, because I’ve done it before,” Wright said. “The only thing that’s hard might be not being able to hear out there.”
With Wright moving to the middle, Malcolm Smith will come in to play the weakside spot, which is where he played last year, starting two games when Leroy Hill was injured. Smith started three games at strongside linebacker this year, but Bruce Irvin has taken over that spot since coming back from a four-game suspension.
Unger’s return, meanwhile, should help ease the burden on a line that is also without both starting tackles.