Free safety Earl Thomas missed practice for a second consecutive day for the Seattle Seahawks as he continues to recover from a hamstring strain sustained in the fourth quarter of last Sunday’s win over the Houston Texans.
Thomas pulled up with the injury attempting to chase down DeAndre Hopkins on a 72-yard touchdown. While Thomas has missed practices in recent weeks for maintenance, his absences this week are far more likely to foreshadow his absence this week against the Washington Redskins.
“Well very fortunately on our end of it, Bradley has been a starter in the league for years and he’s got the experience, the savvy, he is a playmaker, he is really tough, he’s a good tackler, and we have spotted him all over the place to do things in coverage as well as the running game,” Carroll said.
“We don’t have any hesitation in him playing or keeping the plan, principles intact or anything of that. This was a guy that we were very fortunate to get in the offseason. John (Schneider) figured this one out early on and he’s been a great addition to our team and now he is ready to go. He is excited about it and I’m anxious to see him play.”
Carroll’s last comments would seem to indicate that McDougald will indeed play in place of Thomas on Sunday. Steven Terrell started five games in place of Thomas last season when he was lost for the season to a broken leg. McDougald has far more experience than Terrell did if Seattle must call upon him this week. McDougald has started 36 games over the last three seasons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“My spirits have definitely been high since I’ve been here. I’m happy to be a part of this and I’ve been working to be a starter since I’ve been here so this is nothing different,” McDougald said of his potential chance to start this week.
Thomas is such a vital cog to Seattle’s defense in allowing them to play the style of defense that has made them so successful under Carroll. They haven’t had to play without him very often since he joined the team in 2010 as a first-round draft pick. The five games missed last season were the first of his career. Sunday could be game number six.