RENTON, Wash. – Rookie Brock Coyle is about to become the next option for the Seahawks at middle linebacker.
Linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. said Wednesday the Seahawks plan to start Coyle against Oakland on Sunday.
The undrafted rookie out of Montana has only played a handful of snaps during the season but impressed coaches enough during the preseason that they’re comfortable with the move.
“It’s his position to lose,” Norton said. “He’s in there right now. He can mess it up by a bad week. We could change our mind. … He stepped in when Bobby (Wagner) was out (during preseason). He’s going to do the same thing now.”
The team has been without Wagner for the past two weeks because of a toe injury suffered against Dallas. Seattle’s initial move was to slide K.J. Wright to middle linebacker and insert Malcolm Smith at outside linebacker. But it’s unknown whether Smith will be healthy for Sunday after suffering a groin injury against Carolina. So Wright will move back outside.
Even with Coyle likely to start, the Seahawks will likely rotate their healthy linebackers. The Seahawks are high on the improvement of rookie Kevin Pierre-Lewis, who saw his most extensive play last week against Carolina.
C Max Unger (foot) and CB Byron Maxwell (calf) have a chance of returning this week from their injuries, coach Pete Carroll said… Carroll again did not have a timeline for the return of Wagner (toe) or TE Zach Miller (ankle).
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