A couple new injury situations cropped up Friday as the Seahawks prepared to fly to Chicago for Sunday’s game against the 8-3 Bears.
Veteran nickel back Marcus Trufant was listed as doubtful with a hamstring injury, while receiver Sidney Rice was added to the injury list as questionable because of a calf that tightened up. “Marcus, at the end of practice yesterday, felt his hamstring,” coach Pete Carroll said. “We took a look at it and he’s got an issue there we’re going to have to deal (so) with we put him down as doubtful at this time. We’re really surprised that popped up; it’s going to be really hard for him to get back from that.”
Rice was limited through the last third of practice on Friday. “We held him out at the end of practice today,” Carroll said. “He felt his calf tighten up a little bit, so we limited his work at the end of practice. We just have to see what happens tomorrow, but we think he’s okay.”
Walter Thurmond would be expected to step into Trufant’s role as the third cornerback in the nickel defense. The impact of Trufant’s injury status could be compounded by the results of the pending appeal of suspensions of cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner. If Sherman and Browner are taken down for four games for violations of the league’s ban on performance-enhancing drugs, the Seahawks’ secondary could soon face a critical manpower shortage.
Two other key injury concerns will be evaluated up until game time Sunday. Defensive end Red Bryant (foot) and linebacker Leroy Hill (ankle) are listed as questionable. “(Bryant) did not do much today,”Carroll said. “We’re going to take him all the way up to game time; he’s dying to play. “Leroy Hill ran and changed direction and had a legitimate workout today, so we’ll check him out tomorrow and all the way up to game time to see how that goes.”
Earlier in the week, Carroll said that if Bryant can’t go, tackle Alan Branch would move to end and rookie Greg Scruggs would jump in at tackle. On Friday, he was more vague, suggesting that there would be a rotation up front.
Carroll was asked if his defense had a chip on the shoulder after last week’s fourth-quarter letdown at Miami. “Yes .. .we were disappointed how we played, particularly at the end of that game. These guys are very sincere about it, it’s a very serious group, with a lot of pride. I expect we’l l play very hard in this game.”
The Bears injury report for Friday ruled out receiver/returner Devin Hester (concussion) and guard Chris Spencer (knee). Receiver Ashton Jeffery (knee) was listed as doubtful. Key players considered probable after limited participation earlier in the week include: RB Matt Forte, LB Lance Briggs and CB Charles Tillman, all with ankle injuries.