Just a few short weeks ago coming off a bye, the Seattle Seahawks were the healthiest they had been all season.
Trying to bounce back from Sunday's 25-17 loss to the Chargers, however, the team now has a bevy of injuries to be concerned about with a critical rematch against the NFC West-leading Rams looming only a few days away.
For the second straight practice, running back Chris Carson, guard D.J. Fluker, defensive tackle Shamar Stephen, and safety Bradley McDougald didn't participate. Joining them after a limited workload in Wednesday's session, linebacker K.J. Wright also sat out to rest his surgically-repaired knee, leaving the Seahawks with five starters sidelined.
In total, 11 different Seahawks didn't practice or were limited on Thursday. In addition to Carson, Fluker, McDougald, Stephen, and Wright, cornerback Neiko Thorpe still appears a few weeks away from returning due to a groin injury, while defensive tackle Nazair Jones was listed as out without an injury designation.
In the only real positive news of the day, Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin returned in a limited capacity, though he's clearly not 100 percent and hasn't been all season.
On the flip side, the Rams didn't have a single player listed on their Thursday injury report and will be at full strength barring an unexpected injury over the next couple of days.
Seattle hung tough in a 33-31 loss to Los Angeles at CenturyLink on October 7, running for 190 yards against a stout defensive front headlined by 2017 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh. Carson rushed for 116 yards behind the strong blocking of Fluker and his offensive line counterparts, and if those two players can't suit up at the Coliseum on Sunday, those may be insurmountable losses for the underdog Seahawks offensively.
Losing McDougald or Wright would also be significant hits for Seattle's defense, which already gave up over 460 yards of offense to the high-powered Rams in the first matchup. McDougald leads the team in tackles and has been the glue guy for a very young, inexperienced secondary around him, while coach Pete Carroll emphasized the importance of Wright for handling quick underneath throws against quarterback Jared Goff.
“There’s no question he’s going to help us. He just understands the principles that are necessary in this game because of the play passes and the things they do." Carroll said on Wednesday. "He’s extraordinarily equipped to take care of some of those players [that] a lot of players aren’t able to make, so we’re hoping that that will come through for us and he’ll be a big factor.”
There's still three days until kickoff and several players could be back to work on Friday to boost morale. But for now, the injury situation has become bleak for the Seahawks at the wrong time against the wrong opponent.