It turns out this big Seattle-Arizona clash might not be a very good gauge of where the Seahawks stand vs. the Cardinals, who are Seattle’s biggest hurdle to reaching the Super Bowl.
Half of Seattle’s key offensive players won’t be in the game, with J.R. Sweezy and Luke Willson (concussions) ruled out Friday — joining Marshawn Lynch, Jimmy Graham, Thomas Rawls, Paul Richardson and probably Russell Okung. That means the Hawks are down to second- or third-stringers at four positions.
It’s hard to imagine the offensive line being any worse than it was against St. Louis last week, but playing without the top two experienced linemen surely wouldn’t seem to bode well. If Okung sits again, it probably would mean rookie Mark Glowinski would get his first start in place of Sweezy.
Although Pete Carroll said he wanted to play this game like it means something (it may or may not), he might be forced to surrender if Russell Wilson gets his butt kicked behind that line in the first half. If it is anywhere near as bad as it was vs. the Rams, Carroll has to sit Wilson in the second half so he doesn’t get pummeled before the playoffs even arrive.
On the other hand, maybe Glowinski, Alvin Bailey and the other young linemen will step up to the challenge and give Wilson time to do some damage. It would be a great confidence builder for an offense that was horrendous vs. St. Louis and also would show Carroll, Tom Cable and John Schneider where they stand on possibly replacing Okung and Sweezy from within.
Carroll called Glowinski “a real battler” and said, “He’s a very technique sound kid and he’s got a chance to help us. I’m really excited about him getting a chance to play. … It’s the maximum challenge for the guy, but he’s tough and he’s done a lot of cool things since he’s been here. It’s his turn.”
Meanwhile, Carroll said he expects Lynch back with the team on Monday.
“The latest update today is that he’s really doing well,” Carroll said. “He’s done about all he can do at that end of it. That’s great to hear. We’ll see what that means here in the next couple of days. He’s really tried to get back as soon as possible; he’s having that kind of success, and the workouts are not setting him back. We’re hoping that means that he has a chance to get back to us next week.”
The Hawks look pretty good on defense, with Michael Bennett ready to go after having a procedure on his troublesome toe, Jordan Hill returning after missing four games with his own toe problem and Kam Chancellor likely to play after missing two games with a bruised tailbone.