By Chris Cluff
The Seahawk defense is six for six in starting the top 11 players, and last week was the first time it has been without one of the top 15 players in the rotation.
Safety Kam Chancellor was limited in practice Tuesday because of an ankle injury. He did not take part in the walk-through Monday. Coach Pete Carroll also mentioned an elbow injury after Sunday’s game, but the ankle seems to be the issue that could keep him out, if anything does.
Jeron Johnson would replace him in the starting lineup if that was the case, but odds are the Hawks will keep their streak of starting all 11 defenders intact. Going into the New England game, Chancellor had been the only defender to play every snap this season.
Defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, a key reserve who missed the game against New England with a groin injury, practiced Tuesday and is expected to play Thursday.
RIGHT & WRONG GUARDS
John Moffitt will miss a fourth straight game as the team rests his surgically repaired knee. Carroll told reporters Moffitt could return Oct. 28, when Seattle plays in Detroit.
Meanwhile, Paul McQuistan figures to make his third straight start at right guard despite a reported knee issue.
McQuistan, who began the season at left guard but moved to the right side when James Carpenter was inserted at LG, had a horrible game against New England. He failed to pick up blitzing linebackers three times (Brandon Spikes twice and Rob Ninkovich), leading to negative plays every time, and he also was called for holding against Spikes.
Whether it’s a coincidence or not, the Hawks also have not run the ball well the last two games. Would rookie J.R. Sweezy, who started the season at right guard, be a better option this week?
OTHER INJURY NOTES
- Cornerback Walter Thurmond will not be activated from the PUP this week, but he told reporters he expects to play next week at Detroit. The Seahawks have three weeks to place him on the active roster. He told reporters, per The News Tribune, “I feel good. I’m ready to get back out here. It’s been a year, so I’m ready to go. It’s been hard. You never like watching from the sidelines, especially when you’re injured. So I’ve just been patiently waiting, and my time is about to come.”
- Surprise, surprise: Cornerback Byron Maxwell (hamstring) did not practice Monday or Tuesday. He was active the last two weeks and played on special teams after missing three of the first four games with shoulder and hamstring injuries.
- Center Max Unger played the entire game Sunday despite a hip problem and did not seem to suffer a setback.
- Rookie defensive tackle Jaye Howard, sidelined by a foot injury the last three weeks, has a chance to be active this week. He is no longer on the injury report.
- OUT: OG John Moffitt (knee).
- DOUBTFUL: CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring).
- QUESTIONABLE: SS Kam Chancellor (ankle).
- PROBABLE: DT Clinton McDonald (groin).
- PUP: CB Walter Thurmond (leg).
- IR: DE Dexter Davis (hip), TE Cameron Morrah (toe), RB Vai Tuau (knee).
- QUESTIONABLE: OT Joe Staley (concussion), WR Mario Manningham (shoulder), K David Akers (illness).
- PROBABLE: QB Alex Smith (finger), RB Brandon Jacobs (knee), P Andy Lee (hand), LB Tavares Gooden (groin).
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Chris Cluff worked as a sports editor and writer for The Seattle Times for 11 years and has written two books on the Seattle Seahawks. Since leaving the Times, he has written about the Seahawks and Seattle sports for Bleacher Report and the blog he shares with a fellow sportswriter, outsidethepressbox.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com.