RENTON — Kam Chancellor’s ankle was nearly a big issue for the Seahawks defense. Instead, for now at least, Seattle’s Pro Bowl safety is able to manage the sore ankle that hindered him in a Week 2 loss in San Diego.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll never mentioned Chancellor when asked about injuries following that Chargers loss, but then Chancellor showed up on last week’s injury report after missing Wednesday’s practice.
Carroll again downplayed the injury Friday. But following Sunday’s game, which saw Chancellor make nine tackles, force a fumble and come up with a key fourth-quarter interception, Fox Sports 1 reported that Chancellor was dealing with bone spurs in his ankle that could have led to surgery had he not bounced back well following the San Diego game.
Carroll didn’t address the specifics of Chancellor’s injury Monday, but did acknowledge that it was an issue for the San Diego game, and that there was uncertainty about Chancellor’s availability last week.
“He’s had ankle issues for some time, and his ankle really bothered him in the San Diego game; it was on fire, and it really got in the way of his play,” Carroll said. “Fortunately he had a great week coming back, they found a couple of things they could do to help him. He didn’t practice Wednesday because of his ankle, and he got out there after the Wednesday stuff, Thursday was good, Friday was good, and he was ready and felt great. He was really back to full form, but he was really hampered in the San Diego game, and it showed.
“He was really regretting the way that came out, and he was hoping he could get back. We didn’t have a great outlook going into the week, we weren’t sure, but it just turned really quickly on Thursday and fortunately he came flying back.”
While the bye week should allow Chancellor a good chance to rest before Seattle’s next game, Carroll said this could be an issue going forward that the team has to manage.
“It might be, we’ll see,” Carroll said. “We managed it really well. Maybe we figure something out. We’ll find out.”
Russell Okung was motionless on the field for a brief time during Sunday’s game, but the left tackle’s seemingly scary injury turned out to only be a shoulder strain, Carroll said.
“He went down, he knew something happened,” Carroll said. “He got a strain, and I think he took the time to really pray that it wasn’t something bad. When he jumped up, he felt like those prayers were answered. He felt a lot better than what he thought was happening, so he just took his time to try to get through it, and in great fashion he came back and finished the game and did a nice job.”
Carroll said Tharold Simon, who is recovering from knee surgery, was scheduled to run for the first time Monday, but that he doesn’t yet know if the cornerback will be back to practicing next week.
“Those will be day-to-day evaluations,” Carroll said. “The two weeks does come at a good time, and we’ll be thrilled to get him back. It seems like everything’s going well, but we won’t know anything until we get to Thursday or something like that.”
On Jeremy Lane, who is on short-term injured reserve with a groin injury, Carroll said the cornerback is still on track to return as soon as he’s eligible to do so, which would be Seattle’s Week 10 game against the New York Giants.
A long break
Seahawks players were at team headquarters Monday for meetings and film study, but after that it was off for a long break. Carroll is giving the team the rest of this week off before they return to practice early next week. Week 4 is the earliest bye week in the NFL, and it’s seemingly not ideal given that the Seahawks are pretty healthy now, and could perhaps use the break more later, but as Carroll notes, it’s not as if they have a choice in the matter.
“We really want our guys to rest as much as possible, we want them to get as much downtime as we can so that we can have a factor coming out of it — fresher legs, the injuries get taken care of, the bumps and bruises go away, we want to make sure we take care of that,” Carroll said. “It’s been, what, nine, 10 weeks or something that we’ve been going, so we get a good break.”
“People say, ‘well it’s better if it comes later.’ Well, we don’t have a choice, so we’ll try to make it as good a factor as possible.”
Carroll said he’s comfortable giving his players nearly a full week off because most of the players have been in the system for a while and know what’s expected of them. Early in his tenure in Seattle, Carroll did have his team practice some during the bye week.
“We did it last year this way exactly,” Carroll said. “We’ve done it different ways over time. Really it depends on the development of your team too. … We’ve been around our football for some time now and our guys know what’s going on, so I’m not worried at all about us losing connection with the notebook and that kind of stuff. With a team you’re just developing, you need to take advantage of all of those chances, so we would maybe come back on a Thursday or something to get back at it. Most important, we’ve found with our team we need to keep them fast and keep them fresh and rested, and if we do that, they work so hard that they’re in good enough shape, so we want them just as strong as they can be.”
The right call
Safety Earl Thomas appeared to have forced a big turnover when he knocked the ball out of Demaryius Thomas’ hands, but after reviewing the play, officials overturned the call and called in an incomplete pass.
Carroll checked with league officials on that ruling, and was told it was correct.
“They really feel like they called that one right, because they say the second foot didn’t get down before he had a chance to make a football move,” Carroll said.
After Marshawn Lynch was stopped just short of the goal line on a first-quarter run, Carroll had the challenge flag in his hand but decided not to throw it, a decision he said he regrets a day later, even though he knows it may not have been overturned. Lynch reached for the goal line as he went to the ground, and did get the ball over the line, but it wasn’t clear on replays if he was down before that happened. The Seahawks were then stopped on the next play and had to settle for a field goal
“I was ready to go, and the guys upstairs couldn’t see it,” he said. “I should have thrown it. I should have thrown it just because that’s the way I like to battle. I’d have given it up just to try. As I look at it now, I’m really upset I didn’t throw it because I think he was laying on top of guys and his knees weren’t on the ground. … They might not have, because they wouldn’t have been able to see, but it looked like he was on top of guys while he was sticking the ball out, and I wish like crazy I would have done that. I was there, I was poised and ready to chuck it, but we couldn’t get verification. I should have just done it on gut.”
Herald Writer John Boyle: email@example.com.