AP NEWS

Earl Thomas out for Seahawks

November 3, 2017

SEATTLE -- Redskins coach Jay Gruden spent the entire week navigating a raft of injuries. The Redskins’ offensive line is a mess and may have just one starter (Morgan Moses) able to play Sunday. Two tight ends are out. Jamison Crowder, Bashaud Breeland and Rob Kelley are questionable for Sunday.

Washington’s flood of injuries has influenced the preparation of Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.

“We kind of have to plan for everything,” Carroll said. “We have to plan for everything that they have done because they can do it. The players not being there doesn’t mean they can’t do stuff so we have to plan for everything and we will just see if they have made some choices to turn their emphasis in some direction, we will have to figure that out.”

The Seahawks have a significant injury of their own. Free safety Earl Thomas, the 5-foot-9 All-Pro whose parents claim could backpedal before he walked, will not play Sunday. He has a hamstring injury and is out.

Seattle is putting Bradley McDougald in his place.

McDouglald has played little this season, which is the expected time on the field for Thomas’ backup. He was a starter the last two seasons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before signing with Seattle in the offseason. In his typical rah-rah fashion, Carroll said Friday he believes McDougald will be fine Sunday afternoon.

“He is ready to play,” Carroll said. “He knows everything. He communicates beautifully with our guys. Has been on the field a lot so it really doesn’t feel like newness. You are going to miss Earl just because Earl is Earl but Bradley will do a really good job.”

All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner will be a “game-time” decision, according to Carroll. He also has a hamstring problem, though practiced Friday.

Last week disrupted Seattle’s push to again be the NFL’s best defense. The Houston Texans scored 38 points in Seattle -- though they lost a zany game, 41-38 -- skewing all of the defensive numbers for the Seahawks.

In the prior three weeks, Seattle had allowed 11.7 points per game and was at or near the top in most defensive categories, which has just become the norm in the Pacific Northwest.

Sunday’s situation may present an opportunity for Seattle to fix those numbers from the Houston game. Even without Thomas, the Seahawks will be filled with talent, at home, in the league’s loudest stadium, playing in cold and slick weather (high of 42, chance of rain 70 percent), and facing a Washington offensive line populated by replacement parts.