In a somewhat surprising move Friday’s Seahawks injury report listed both Max Unger and Breno Giacomini as doubtful for Seattle’s upcoming matchup against the Texans with arm and knee injuries respectively. It is likely that if the duo cannot play on Sunday their replacements will be Lemuel Jeanpierre at center and Michael Bowie at right tackle.
There is a major discrepancy between the severity of these potential losses for Seahawks. Max Unger is a Pro Bowl player and one of the core components of this team while Giacomini is one of the least talented starters on the squad. Moreover, Unger’s replacement Jeanpierre is a depth player that the Seahawks have never really seen as a potential starter whereas Micheal Bowie has some serious potential, despite character concerns coming out of college. It is entirely possible that Bowie could develop into an upgrade over Giacomini, though probably not right away.
The loss of Unger is far, far more troubling. In the off-season I listed him as the third most indispensable Seahawk; or in other words one of the top three guys this team could least afford to lose. Losing him for such a difficult game is an enormous blow given both his talent and the lack of a starter quality backup.
No matter how much Seattle needs these two players against J.J. Watt and the Houston defense the team needs to be smart. The Seahawks are serious championship contenders and the health of Unger in particular is more important than the outcome of this game. This team is 3-0 and in a great position to win the NFC West having defeated the 49ers. Losing this game would not be nearly as bad as risking a further injury to players of importance to this team down the stretch. The Seahawks are currently a team trying to make due despite the losses of star players such as Percy Harvin and Russell Okung. Now it seems likely that there are a couple more names to add to that list. The defense might have to carry this team, but that’s something they are capable of doing. The Seahawks should be in the thick of it at the end of the year, but it’s starting to look like the way there might be a rougher road than expected.