Preparing to fly to Green Bay for a divisional round matchup with the Packers, the Seahawks won’t know the status of tackles Duane Brown and George Fant until a few hours before kickoff on Sunday.
After undergoing minor knee surgery three weeks ago, Brown returned to practice as a limited participant on Friday, an encouraging development. According to coach Pete Carroll, the 34-year old veteran had been doing work off the field earlier in the week and the team will find out if he’s ready to go on game day at Lambeau Field.
As for Fant, who replaced Brown as Seattle’s starting left tackle the past two games, he also practiced in limited fashion after sitting out on Wednesday and Thursday with a groin injury suffered in last week’s wild card win over the Eagles. Like Brown, he’s listed as questionable and though Carroll says he’s “improved”, he’s expected to be a game-time decision.
In the improbable event that Brown and Fant both are inactive against Green Bay, Carroll indicated Seattle could turn to Chad Wheeler, who was promoted from the practice squad on Wednesday. He started 19 games at right tackle for the New York Giants during the past two seasons and played for line coach Mike Solari in 2017.
“He’s played for Mike and Mike knows him really well,” Carroll said. “I’m real confident that if he we need him, he’ll be able to jump up. He’s worked on the left side for us almost the whole time.”
While there’s a sense of optimism around Brown and Fant, the Seahawks will likely be without starting left guard Mike Iupati for the second straight game due to a neck stinger. He didn’t practice at all this week and Jamarco Jones is expected to start in his place once again.
“He’s done a really nice job to acclimate because he’s been a left side guy, too,” Carroll told reporters on Friday in regard to Jones’ versatility. “A while back a few weeks, he played right side and did a fine job there. It hasn’t been a struggle for him at all. Either side, either spot really. I think he’ll do good wherever we need him.”
Away from the offensive line, the Seahawks should be at full strength at receiver, as veteran Jaron Brown will be back after missing last week's game for personal reasons and second-year receiver Malik Turner cleared concussion protocol earlier in the week.