Mychal Kendricks, Jadeveon Clowney Ruled Out vs. Panthers
After missing practice time this week, the Seahawks will be without starting strongside linebacker Mychal Kendricks and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney for Sunday’s important Week 15 contest against the Panthers.
Kendricks originally suffered a hamstring injury during practice two weeks ago, but he did manage to play limited snaps against the Vikings in Week 13. He was held out against the Rams last Sunday and after testing the injury on Wednesday, he will be replaced by rookie Cody Barton in the starting lineup for a second consecutive week.
Barton recorded four tackles and a pass deflection in his first NFL start, and despite leaving briefly with knee and ankle injuries of his own, he returned to game action and has been a full participant at practice this week. Coach Pete Carroll expects the third-round pick out of Utah will be more comfortable this time around.
"It was just fast and furious and he was busting his tail running around trying to make his plays and all that. I think he'll settle in even more so. He's such a smart kid and he's worked so hard at it since it's so important to him."
Dealing with a core muscle injury, Clowney missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday with the flu. He was limited on Friday and Carroll indicated "it hasn't been a great week for him at all," but the Seahawks hoped he'd turn the corner and suit up on Sunday.
Instead, Clowney will miss his second game in four weeks, leaving Seattle without its best defensive lineman going into a game against a Carolina squad that has allowed 44 sacks in the past 11 games.
Among other notable injury updates, the Seahawks listed defensive end Ziggy Ansah, tight end Luke Willson and cornerback Shaquill Griffin as questionable to play on Sunday.
"Those questionables that are on there are legit. We've gotta wait and see where these guys fit in," Carroll said.
Still recovering from a stinger suffered in Seattle’s win over Minnesota, Ansah's status now remains far more critical with Clowney out. Citing strength concerns, the Seahawks didn’t play him against the Rams and he's remained limited at practice this week.
Willson hasn’t played since injuring his hamstring against the 49ers in Week 10 and though he’s itching to return, the organization has been cautious about bringing him back too quickly. After sitting out three games, this may be his best chance to get back in uniform and he's been pushing Carroll's buttons trying to get back on the field.
"Luke is doing really well. He's wearing me out," Carroll smiled. "We'll see what happens on game day."
Griffin apparently tweaked his hamstring during last week’s loss in Los Angeles, and after being limited on Wednesday, he sat out practice on Thursday and Friday. If he’s unable to play, Akeem King would slide into his spot and Ugo Amadi would likely take over as Seattle’s nickel cornerback.