By Matthew Asher
The entire point of having a Bye Week during the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs is to make sure the players on a team either get healthy or at least don’t get injured worse than they already are. It seems like that plan hasn’t worked for Seattle as they have 10 players listed on this week’s injury report.
It’s split down the middle for the ‘Hawks injured players with five on defense and five on offense. The good news is that only one ‘Hawk will not be suiting up for Saturday’s game: strong safety Jeron Johnson (elbow). He didn’t participate in practice at all this week. In addition to Johnson, just one other Seahawk is listed as questionable for the game: tight end Tony Moeaki (calf). Moeaki didn’t practice at all this week either.
The remaining eight Seattle players are all listed as probable. On the defensive side of the ball, defensive ends Michael Bennett (non-injury related) and Demarcus Dobbs (ankle) join cornerbacks Byron Maxwell (illness) and Tharold Simon (shoulder). The good news is that all four of these men were able to fully participate on Thursday and Friday. With the exception of Bennett and Maxwell, the other players fully participated in practice on Wednesday as well. Both Bennett and Maxwell didn’t practice on Wednesday.
On the offensive side of the ball, three players are skill positions while center Max Unger (knee/ankle) is the lone lineman listed. He joins tight end Cooper Helfet (ribs), wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (hamstring) and Beast Mode himself, Marshawn Lynch (back). The good news is that all four ‘Hawks were also able to fully participate in practice the entire week so don’t expect these players to miss any of their snaps.
Unlike the ‘Hawks, the Carolina Panthers did a great job of keeping their players off the injury report as just five players are listed for the NFC South champs. Defensive tackle Star Lotulelei (foot) is the lone Panther who will definitely not play on Saturday as he didn’t practice any day this week.
The remaining four Panthers are all listed as questionable. Wide receiver Philly Brown (shoulder) is the only offensive player listed this week. He didn’t practice on Wednesday but did practice both Thursday and Friday, albeit in a limited role both days. For the Panthers defensive players, safety Thomas DeCoud (hamstring), cornerback Melvin White (ankle) and linebacker A.J. Klein (ankle) complete the list. DeCoud was limited in practice all three days. White was limited on Wednesday but fully practiced both Thursday and Friday while Klein was able to fully participate in practice all three days.
Just a reminder to the 12th Man that just because Carolina doesn’t have a winning record it doesn’t mean they will be pushovers. This is a team that can be very effective if Cam Newton avoids sacks. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:15 pm PT from CenturyLink Field.
For more Seahawks news and updates, visit Seahawks Central.
Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist. From an early age, sports have played a major role in his life. He graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Journalism. After college he spent 2 years working with CNN Sports and still occasionally writes sports articles for several publications both in the United States and Canada. His work can be found on Examiner.com.