RENTON, Wash. (AP)The identity of the player who will be protecting Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson’s blind side will remain unknown until just before Sunday’s NFC divisional playoff game against Green Bay.
Duane Brown and George Fant were listed as questionable Friday, leaving questions about who will start at left tackle against the Packers.
Coach Pete Carroll wasn’t in the mood to share information about either one.
“We’ll find out on game day,” Carroll said.
Brown is less than three weeks removed from minor knee surgery, while Fant suffered a groin injury in last week’s opening round playoff win over Philadelphia. Brown and Fant were limited participants in practice Friday, increasing the chances one or both could play. For Brown, it was his first practice time since undergoing surgery on Dec. 23.
Jamarco Jones – who started one game at left tackle late in the season – is likely to be Seattle’s starting left guard with Mike Iupati listed as doubtful because of a stinger.
Seattle’s fallback option if Brown and Fant are unavailable may end up being Chad Wheeler, who was added to the active roster this week after spending half the season on Seattle’s practice squad.
Wheeler started 19 games earlier in his career with the New York Giants, including 14 of 16 last season. He also played for Seattle offensive line coach Mike Solari as a rookie and understands his blocking schemes. But most of those starts came as a right tackle, with only one of his starts with the Giants coming on the left side.
Throwing him into the pressure of a playoff game with the pass rush skills of Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith on the other side would present Wheeler with a challenging task.
“We would tell him to do what he’s capable of doing, don’t try and do stuff that is not in his wheelhouse,” Carroll said. “He’s a good, smart football player, he’s been in the system and he knows what we’re asking of him and he’s been really solid throughout. The main thing is just doing what he’s capable of doing and not overreach.”
One encouraging sign for Seattle is that defensive end Jadeveon Clowney seems to be feeling better than he did a week ago while dealing with a lingering core muscle injury. Clowney played one of his better games last week against the Eagles with five tackles and one of Seattle’s seven sacks.
“As the week progressed he felt much better than he did last week so he’s in good shape and ready to go,” Carroll said.
Seattle also listed defensive ends Quinton Jefferson (ankle) and Ziggy Ansah (neck) as questionable, along with safety Marquise Blair (ankle). The Seahawks will get some depth back at wide receiver with both Malik Turner and Jaron Brown expected to play after missing last week.
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