The Seahawks (10-4) are just one game behind the Cardinals (11-3) and would take over the division lead with a win. A win the following week against the St. Louis Rams in Seattle would guarantee a second consecutive division title for the Seahawks and at least one playoff game hosted at CenturyLink Field.
In his press conference on Friday, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll stated that both Okung and Unger would be out in what is the most meaningful game of the season thus far.
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In last weeks victory over the San Francisco 49ers, Okung was seen on the sideline talking to a team assistant when he then pushed him out of his way and began spitting out blood. After the game it was revealed that Okung had a bruised lung. It’s not clear yet whether the Pro Bowl left tackle will return in time for the game against the Rams.
Alvin Bailey will start in his place against the Cardinals, who have one of the most feared defensive lines in the NFL. In their November matchup in Seattle the Cardinals sacked Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson seven times. Defensive end Calais Campbell alone recorded three sacks in the game. Now they’ll face a Seahawks offensive line that is without two Pro Bowl lineman in Okung and Unger.
Max Unger is out because of an ankle injury suffered in the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on November 16th.
“It’s one of those high ankle [sprains] that takes a long time. But he ran today and hopefully we can get him back next week,” said Carroll.
Lemuel Jeanpierre and Patrick Lewis are the two options that the Seahawks have at center. Jeanpierre has started the past three games, so it would make sense if he’s the one snapping the ball to Wilson on Sunday. Lewis got the start against the Cardinals when Wilson was sacked seven times.