RENTON, Wash. – The Seahawks had their longest injury list of the regular season Wednesday as they prepare for Sunday’s game at Tennessee, with seven players sitting out.
One, Doug Baldwin, missed practice for a personal reason that coach Pete Carroll referred to as “a family thing” and defensive end Marcus Smith was ill.
But five others have injuries, led by tight end Jimmy Graham, who has what coach Pete Carroll described as “an ankle issue” suffered in Sunday’s 12-9 win over the 49ers that could sideline him Sunday.
“He’s not going to practice today and we will wait a couple days to see how he does,” Carroll said of Graham. “He’s had the same injury before, and we think he’s got a chance to do it. His mind is that he can play, but we will have to wait and see later in the week.”
Also out were guard Luke Joeckel (knee), linebacker Bobby Wagner (thigh), cornerback Neiko Thorpe (ankle) and linebacker Terence Garvin (shoulder).
The injuries to Wagner and Joeckel had not been revealed when Carroll talked to the media, and it’s unclear if either is in danger of missing Sunday’s game. Wagner has played every defensive snap this season, and Joeckel has played every offensive snap. Joeckel had knee surgery last fall and could just be getting a rest day.
Garvin sat out Sunday’s game against the 49ers, replaced by Michael Wilhoite, but could be back this week, Carroll said.
“He has a chance,” Carroll said. “He’ll get a little bit of work today, and then we’ll see how he does in the next couple of days and see if he can get back out.”
Carroll said if Garvin makes it back that it’s unclear who would start at strongside linebacker.
“These guys are still battling,” Carroll said. “We’ve got a lot of competition across the board, which I think is really good. I think it’s good for us and it’s the early part of the season and we’re still developing and growing and guys are battling. I like that, I like that that’s happening across the board.”
Thorpe was carted off in Sunday’s game, but Carroll said X-rays for a break proved negative. A backup cornerback, Thorpe is a key part of special teams.
“He’s moving around OK,” Carroll said. “It’s not out of the woods here, he’s got a chance, so we’ll see. That’s a big deal to us; Neiko’s been a very effective special-teams player, and he’s a tough dude on our football team. We’ll miss him if we can’t have him.”
Graham has just four catches for nine yards and Carroll said Monday that Graham was undoubtedly impacted on Sunday’s game by the ankle injury, which he suffered on a play with 11:15 left in the second quarter. Graham had just one catch for one yard against the 49ers, that coming after his injury.
“Certainly it did,” Carroll said. “We had some stuff going early, and it didn’t hook up and he was not 100 percent, but he finished and did a great job of doing that. He was banged up.”
Seattle’s other two tight ends are Luke Willson and Nick Vannett who would each likely take on bigger roles if Graham were out. Tyrone Swoopes is also on the practice squad, but the team would have to create space on the 53-man roster to activate him, something Seattle probably wouldn’t do if Graham’s injury is short-term.
Carroll also said the team waived defensive end David Bass to sign defensive tackle Garrison Smith on Tuesday due in part to the nature of opponents upcoming.
The 295-pound Smith is a sturdier inside player than the 267-pound Bass and gives Seattle four tackles, a more usual number than the three the Seahawks had for the first two games. Tennessee ranks sixth in the NFL in rushing after two weeks at 137.0 per game, which likely factored into the decision.
“Well, we just thought for the matchups we have and the game that’s at hand, we thought that was the right thing to do,” Carroll said. “David did a really nice job for us, and we like the heck out of him, but it’s a little bit of game planning.”
Carroll said Bass could return if he is not picked up elsewhere.
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