The Seahawks — largely healthy for the first month — suddenly are suffering through an avalanche of injuries.
When they play in St. Louis on Sunday, they will be without four starters and two reserve defensive linemen and might be down to one tight end as well.
Already out were tight end Zach Miller (ankle), center Max Unger (foot) and linebacker Bobby Wagner (turf toe). Joining them is cornerback Byron Maxwell (calf) and D-linemen Jordan Hill (ankle) and Cassius Marsh (broken foot).
On top of that, wide receiver Percy Harvin (thigh) and tight end Luke Willson (groin) are questionable.
Darrell Bevell has taken a lot of heat this week for the terrible performance by the offense in Seattle’s 30-23 loss to Dallas on Sunday.
Among the biggest failings, Marshawn Lynch carried the ball just 10 times (despite gaining 61 yards) and Percy Harvin netted minus-1 yard on six touches. That had many people pointing the finger at the play calling.
Bevell laid most of the blame on poor execution by the players, but he also admitted he needs to get the ball to Lynch more.
“It’s overall execution. There’s not one thing,” he said. “I can do a better job. I can get us into some better situations. We can run the ball more like everyone’s asking. … But overall execution is what it comes down to.”
Pete Carroll has been complaining about the NFL’s roster rules all season, lamenting the fact that he has had to sit young skill players for most of the year.
Last Sunday, second-round wide receiver Paul Richardson joined fellow rookie receiver Kevin Norwood and second-year running back Christine Michael on the inactive list.
Carroll said he will try to get the league to change the game-day roster rule next offseason, but — as roster choices are being questioned in the wake of the offense’s ongoing struggles — he said he is not going to change his game-day personnel.
The Seahawks’ move to release defensive back Steve Terrell and bring back D-lineman Greg Scruggs on Tuesday appeared to be a sign that the Seahawks feel much better about their secondary this week than they did last week.
And Pete Carroll’s words today seemed to confirm that, as he said cornerback Byron Maxwell might be able to play Sunday in St. Louis.
“He’s made a big jump, and we’ll see,” Carroll said of Maxwell, who suffered a strained calf vs. Dallas last Sunday. “We’re going day to day with him and will see what happens. He’s shocked the guys that he’s back as quick as he is to this point. We don’t know what that means until the weekend.”
At his media session last week, Sherman stumped for the middle linebacker to be voted into the Pro Bowl — and now it looks like Wagner will have no chance to make it.
Coach Pete Carroll said Wagner is likely to miss several games with a sprained toe suffered in the loss to Dallas on Sunday.
It’s the second straight year Wagner has suffered a significant injury that has cost him games. Last year, he missed two games with a high ankle sprain, which affected him for a couple of games beyond that.
Wagner has played very well ever since he got over the ankle injury, and his 50 tackles this season are 13 more than No. 2 tackler Kam Chancellor and 15 more than K.J. Wright, who will now take over Wagner’s spot in the middle.
Malcolm Smith will start at weakside linebacker, with Bruce Irvin at strongside. Both of them have been off to slow starts after offseason surgeries.
For the first month of the season, the Seahawks largely had avoided the big injuries that had hit many other teams.
The Rams, Redskins and Vikings lost their starting quarterbacks; the Eagles and Falcons lost multiple starting linemen; the Chargers lost five key players; the Chiefs lost two starting defenders; the Panthers lost just about all of their running backs; and other stars such as Charles Tillman and Chris Long hit IR.
The worst that had happened to the Hawks was the temporary loss of their third and fourth cornerbacks. But the injury bug has bitten them pretty good the past couple of weeks.
The Dallas Cowboys came to Seattle with the 20th-ranked run defense in the league. You would think the Seahawks would have tried to exploit that weakness using their top-ranked rushing offense.
But, the same Seattle offense that ran for 225 yards on 36 attempts against Washington on Monday chose to eschew the run Sunday in a 30-23 loss. Coach Pete Carroll blamed it on losing the third-down battle, but it certainly was more than that.
True, the Hawks won just 12 of 30 third downs on both sides, which led to a 38-22 edge for Dallas in time of possession. And the defense gave up the biggest conversion — on third-and-20 — with five minutes left.
But the Hawks could have run the ball more than 18 times. Marshawn Lynch carried it just 10 — even though he averaged 6.1 yards per tote. Russell Wilson, who ran for a career-best 122 yards on 11 carries last Monday, ran it just twice for 12 yards vs. Dallas.