RENTON, Wash. — The Seattle Seahawks expect to have Tyler Lockett for their must-win regular-season finale on Sunday despite the leg contusion that has the star wide receiver listed as questionable.
Lockett and coach Pete Carroll both said Friday that he’s on track to play against the Los Angeles Rams, although the Seahawks may not have starting strong safety Ryan Neal, who’s questionable with a knee injury. They need a win as well as a Detroit Lions win or tie versus the Green Bay Packers in the Sunday night game in order to make the playoffs as the NFC’s seventh seed.
Lockett took a hard hit to his right leg late in the second quarter of the Seahawks’ win over the New York Jets last Sunday. He missed the end of the first half and the entire third quarter, returned at the start of the fourth quarter then was pulled for the final few minutes after Seattle had secured the victory. Lockett finished with two catches for 15 yards on 23 offensive snaps.
Lockett said he didn’t have any issues with his right hand while playing only 13 days after surgery to repair a broken bone under his index finger. But his leg was still sore days after the game, sidelining him for Wednesday’s and Thursday’s practice before he returned on Friday as a limited participant.
“He looked good today,” Carroll said Friday. “Had a good day of work as did DK [Metcalf]both those guys.”
Lockett said the area in question isn’t his shin — as is listed on the Seahawks’ injury report — but the part of his lower right leg where he had a metal plate installed after suffering a compound fracture of his tibia and fibula late in the 2016 season.
“I just got hit where my plate is in my leg,” he said. “So if you have a contusion right there, then you can imagine, anytime you get hit with a plate, it hurts. But when you get a contusion on the plate, it’s even worse. I’ve just been working on it. But I should be good to go. I’m not worried about it.”
Carroll said Neal — who’s missed the last two games — is making progress but that it would take a significant turn to be ready by Sunday. Johnathan Abram started against the Jets after sharing time with Teez Tabor the week before.
In addition to Lockett and Neal, the Seahawks list starting left guard Damien Lewis (ankle), right guard Phil Haynes (ankle) and defensive end Quinton Jefferson (illness) as questionable. Carroll expects Jefferson to play and said Lewis believes he will as well. Carroll said the team won’t know until game day whether Haynes — who shares time with starter Gabe Jackson — will play.
Backup running back Travis Homer (ankle) is doubtful.
The NFL’s decision to put the Lions-Packers game at night means the Seahawks — if they win Sunday afternoon — won’t know for another four hours or so whether they’ve made the playoffs as the NFC’s third wild-card team.
Safety Quandre Diggs said Wednesday that he reached out to some of his former Lions teammates this week with words of encouragement, but Seattle’s defensive captain said the Seahawks have a “hard test” just like Detroit does. The Seahawks needed a late Geno Smith touchdown drive to beat the Rams at SoFi Stadium last month. The Rams have since added Baker Mayfield and will have a highly-motivated Bobby Wagner playing at Lumen Field for the first time since the Seahawks cut him in March.
“I feel like it’s hard to stress about it,” Lockett said of the Lions-Packers result. “It’s like, if we belong then we’ll get there. If we don’t, then we’ll wait until the next season. But it’s hard to just sit and watch a game and just stress about it because in the NFL, you can be down 21 and come back and win, so we’re just going to watch the game. But first, we’ve got to take care of business because Sunday night won’t matter if we lose. And if there’s any team that wants to spoil our season, it’s the Rams – especially with Bobby being able to come back. So we’ve just got to … go out there, be ready to play. It was an all-out battle, all-out brawl the last time we played them, so we know that they’re looking forward to this game.”