RENTON — Linebacker K.J. Wright was only on the field for three plays Sunday before leaving the game with a concussion, and left guard James Carpenter was unavailable because of concussion suffered earlier in the week.
Now the Seattle Seahawks have to wait and see when they’ll get those two starters back. A day after his team beat the Vikings 30-20, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll did not know if either player will return this week. That’s the nature of things in the more safety-conscious NFL, which requires players to go through a league-mandated protocol and be cleared by doctors before they can return to action.
“We’ll know later,” Carroll said when asked about Wright. “We’ve got to give him a couple of days to figure it out. The process is already underway, the testing and the stuff that’s going on, and we’ll know more on Wednesday.”
The answer was pretty much the same on Carpenter, who was ruled out Saturday after being listed as questionable on Friday’s practice report because of an illness. Carroll explained Sunday that they weren’t sure how or when Carpenter’s concussion occurred, but that it could have happened in Seattle’s previous game in Detroit, or in practice Wednesday.
While it is too soon to know if either player will be available for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, Carroll did concede it is unlikely that Carpenter or Wright will be cleared in time to practice Wednesday.
“The process almost doesn’t allow them to practice Wednesday,” Carroll said. “So unless something changes tomorrow, it’s more that way.”
The Seahawks are in pretty good shape at guard if Carpenter is out again thanks to John Moffitt’s return from a knee injury. Moffitt, Seattle’s starting right guard last season and for the first three games this season, played left guard Sunday and held his own at his former college position. Seattle also has rookie J.R. Sweezy, who started the season opener, as an option for depth.
“He did all right,” Carroll said of Moffitt, who missed the previous five games. “He held his own. He had some plays that got away from him, but all in all he did a good job, and we didn’t have to change anything. We got to do the game plan like we wanted to, so in that regard he did fine under the circumstances. He has not played a lot over there, he played it in college, but he hadn’t played there in a while, so that was good just to see him survive it and get through.”
The situation is not quite as good at linebacker if Wright is unable to play. Not only is Wright the Seahawks leading tackler as the starting strongside linebacker, he is also the backup to Bobby Wagner at middle linebacker. Mike Morgan took over for Wright Sunday and did “an adequate job,” according to Carroll. If Wright can’t play, the Seahawks would be comfortable starting Morgan, but would have concerns with their depth with only Malcolm Smith and Heath Farwell on the bench.
“We’re calling some guys to step up, because it gets kind of thin quick,” Carroll said. “K.J. has been the backup (middle linebacker) if we had to change that, so that does affect us. Mike Morgan did an adequate job in the game. He got caught a couple of times on some things and got out of position a little bit, but Mike played pretty well, and he maintained his snaps on special teams. From the next step, it gets a little bit crazy here. … We’ll see, and we’ll keep our fingers crossed on K.J.”
The injury news was better for safety Kam Chancellor, who limped off the field in the fourth down and was checked out on the sideline by trainers. Chancellor was able to return to the game for the Seattle’s final defensive series, and Carroll said Chancellor had a thigh bruise from getting kicked in the leg.
“He should be fine,” Carroll said.
The Seahawks are also hoping this week marks the return of receiver Braylon Edwards and defensive tackle Jason Jones, who have each missed the past two game, Edwards with a swollen knee and Jones with a sprained ankle.
“Hopefully we’ll get Jason Jones coming back,” Carroll said. “He seems to be in pretty good shape. Braylon should be able to get back this week. … He should be coming back.”
Still no decision on Thurmond
Cornerback Walter Thurmond returned to practice two weeks ago, but a decision has still not been made on if or when he’ll be activated from the physically unable to perform list. The team has another week — three weeks from when he returned to practice — to decide if it wants to add Thurmond to the active roster.
Herald Writer John Boyle: firstname.lastname@example.org.