Three real reasons the Seahawks could miss the playoffs

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 09: Ezekiel Ansah #94 formerly of the Detroit Lions, now with the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 09: Ezekiel Ansah #94 formerly of the Detroit Lions, now with the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /
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Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson of the Seahawks
GREEN BAY, WI – SEPTEMBER 10: Russell Wilson #3 high fives Bobby Wagner #54 of the Seattle Seahawks during the first half against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on September 10, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Seahawks can’t afford an injury to either of these players

Ah yes, the easiest call of all. Injuries to key players. The gloom and doom piece I mentioned previously cavalierly stated that Chris Carson is on the field one week, then off the next. I didn’t break out my slide rule on this one, but I’m pretty sure when you play 14 games in a 16 game season, you didn’t miss every other game.

That being said, injuries are a big concern for the Seahawks. Losing Carson would be a blow to be sure. But a death blow to playoff hopes? Nope. Rashaad Penny is doing all the right things to make good on his first-round draft status. Too many people wrote Penny off as a bust. I am not saying he’s the next Shaun Alexander, however: Alexander had fewer carries for fewer yards than Penny in his rookie season. I’m just saying that if Carson does go down, Seattle has a very capable backup.

No, the injuries I’m concerned about are to the big guns for the Hawks. Obviously, Seattle isn’t going anywhere without Russell Wilson pulling the trigger. We don’t have Earl Morral on the roster – or for those of you younger than dinosaurs, Nick Foles. No disrespect to either of the potential backups, Geno Smith or Paxton Lynch, but they aren’t playoff quarterbacks.

The possible injury that no one seems to talk about is to the other irreplaceable player. That player would be All-World middle linebacker Bobby Wagner.  The most games he’s missed in a season was five, in 2014. The Hawks went 3-2 in those contests; with him, they were 9-2. None of those three wins were against winning teams. They beat the 7-8-1 Panthers, the 3-13 Raiders, and the 6-10 Giants. Consider the Hawks still had Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, and Richard Sherman on that team, and still struggled (the Giants game was the only victory by more than a touchdown). Anyone care to go into this season without Wagner?

Next. McDougald is bringing the LOB back, baby!. dark

So we have three possible scenarios that could lead to another season of postseason misery in Seattle. Once again, I don’t think any of these will happen. I think the offensive line will have its best season of the past five years, at least. I think the pass rush will be rejuvenated by Ansah and a swarm of linebackers coming off the edge. As for Wilson and Wagner, well… keep praying, 12s.