RENTON — The Seattle Seahawks listed three key players as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Chargers — safety Bradley McDougald, linebacker K.J. Wright and running back Chris Carson.
But Seattle coach Pete Carroll said McDougald and Wright — each of whom have had knee issues this season — were just resting when they sat out practices this week and that they are expected to play against Los Angeles.
Carroll also indicated that Carson will play. But Carroll made his status sound a little more uncertain.
“He’s just got a little groin thing he’s feeling,” Carroll said of Carson, who is the team’s leading rusher with 457 yards. “So he got through today (Friday’s practice). He practiced every day this week. Just got to make sure on gameday that he’s okay. If not, we’ll go with other guys and move forward. We’ll see.” (Carson was officially listed as having a hip injury).
Carson was also listed as questionable, but expected to play, when he battled a hip injury prior to a week four game at Arizona. Carson ended up not being active for that game with Mike Davis starting and rushing for 101 yards in a 20-17 win.
Davis would undoubtedly get the start if Carson were not able to play against the Chargers while the Seahawks could also use first-round pick Rashaad Penny more.
Penny has not had an offensive snap in two of the last three games and has just 135 yards on 38 carries for the season.
“He’s doing fine,” Carroll said Friday of Penny, who also has emerged as the team’s primary kickoff returner. “He just wants to play more and I don’t blame him one bit. He just wants to get out there more but it just hasn’t happened enough for him to get a chance to really show it. But I am hoping that we can get that done for him.”
The Seahawks also have C.J. Prosise in reserve — he was active last week but did not play on offense.
Wright played 50 of 59 snaps against Detroit in what was his first game of the season following knee surgery and Carroll said the team just wanted to take it easy with him in practice this week.
“He got through today fine,” Carroll said. “We rested him two days really not knowing how he could got. Yesterday we decided to just make sure to give him another day of recovery and he did fine today.”
And as for McDougald, Carroll said: “”He’s ready to go. We just waned to rest him all the way through the week, so he’s had a good week, been working off the field. But he’s scheduled to play.”
Backup cornerback Neiko Thorpe (groin) and backup offensive lineman Jordan Simmons (calf) were listed as doubtful.
For the Chargers, running back Melvin Gordon was listed as questionable with a hamstring but with a general expectation that he will be able to play (the Chargers were off last week and Gordon last played on Oct. 14) while defensive end Joey Bosa (foot) was ruled out.
Turner steps into receiver rotation
When the Seahawks waived veteran receiver Brandon Marshall this week, one reason is that they needed a receiver who could help more on special teams (Thorpe is a key special teamer and didn’t play last week and may not this week, creating a hole in coverage units).
Seattle replaced Marshall with undrafted rookie free agent Malik Turner out of Illinois, and Carroll said Friday to expect Turner to be in the team’s receiver rotation (Seattle has just five) as well as on special teams.
“He’ll be in the rotations, ready to help wherever we need him,” Carroll said.
Turner was one of the team’s standouts during the preseason with five receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown and has been on the practice squad since Sept. 12.
“He was really steady throughout,” Carroll said. “We liked him on special teams and that was a big part of the consideration right here that he can jump in at a couple places. We think he’s ahead in that regard. We’ll find out how he does. But he really did everything well. He blocks well, he catches well, he runs good routes, he’s tough. … so we feel really confident he can do a good job.”
Dickson ready to assume regular role
Tight end Ed Dickson played 20 snaps last week in being eased in during what wash his first game of any kind this season — he didn’t play until the third series.
But Carroll said he had a good week of practice and all restrictions are now off.
“Yeah he should be a regular participant this time out,” Carroll said. “… We restricted him last time… he made it through the week really clean and he feels strong so he’s going to be in the regular rotation.”
Defensive end Green ready to return
Third-round pick defensive end Rasheem Green hasn’t played since the Sept. 23 contest against Dallas due to a high ankle sprain. But he’s healthy now, listed as a full participant in practice every day this week, and ready to play if needed.
Carroll said Friday, though, that there is no guarantee that Green will be active as all nine of the team’s defensive linemen appear healthy enough to play, and Seattle could have only seven or eight active.
“We’ll see how it works out,” Carroll said. “… A lot of guys we have the opportunity to choose between.”