Just as the Seahawks appear to be getting one of their starting safeties back, they could find themselves without the other.
Free safety Earl Thomas is in position to return to the lineup this week after missing the team’s last two games due to a hamstring strain. However, strong safety Kam Chancellor‘s status is uncertain due to a stinger sustained in last Thursday night’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.
“We’ll find out,” Carroll said of Chancellor on his radio show on 710 ESPN. “We don’t know yet. He had a stinger thing that happened during the game and we’re going to have to make sure he’s in good shape and he’s OK. Don’t know right now. He’s going to get some tests and make sure. This is stuff that is so crucial that we do a really good job and take our time with and all that. We’re doing that.”
Chancellor was carted to the locker room at the end of the game after playing late into the fourth quarter. He played 71 of 80 defensive snaps for Seattle on the night.
Thomas pulled his right hamstring against the Houston Texans two weeks ago. The injury forced him to miss Seattle’s games against the Cardinals and Washington Redskins. Bradley McDougald started each game in Thomas’ place. He’d likely move to the strong safety role in place of Chancellor should Thomas return this week.
Carroll is optimistic Thomas will be available.
“I really do,” Carroll said of Thomas’ chances. “I think he’ll make it back. He felt like he probably could have played had he gotten a couple days of practice in. So it worked out great. We made it through the game. Bradley did a great job of filling in for him and so he should be back. Now he has to make it through the days (of practice) and each doesn’t kind of pile up on him but I think he’ll do just fine.”
Having both Thomas and Chancellor available would be big for Seattle with the Atlanta Falcons coming to town this week. The Seahawks will be without Richard Sherman for the rest of the season after tearing his Achilles against Arizona. Matt Ryan threw for 335 yards with three touchdowns and an interception against Seattle last year with all three players healthy. Being without two-thirds of it’s touted secondary would be a tough situation to overcome.