Coach Pete Carroll thought Taylor would make it back for Monday night’s game against the New Orleans Saints, but his neck was still sore pregame, leading to his de-activation. He was a full participant in all three of Seattle’s practices this week and wasn’t listed on the practice report after Wednesday.
“He’s really excited to play and had really an upbeat week,” Carroll said Friday. “He knows that he missed out last time and he wants to make up for it. So I just want him to play good and get a lot of plays, but it’s great to have him back.”
Taylor, who leads the Seahawks with four sacks despite missing one game, was stretchered off the field in Week 6 at Pittsburgh, with his facemask removed and his neck immobilized. Carroll later said Taylor was pleading with medical staff to let him walk off the field and that he came away from the incident with nothing more than a stiff neck.
General manager John Schneider said on his 710 ESPN Seattle pregame radio hit Monday night that Taylor suffered no structural damage.
The Seahawks (2-5) list running back Alex Collins (groin), left tackle Duane Brown (illness) and left guard Damien Lewis (shoulder) as questionable, but Carroll sounded optimistic on all three starters playing against Jacksonville.
Collins, who has started the last three games in place of the injured Chris Carson, was listed as limited Wednesday and Friday and was a non-participant Thursday.
“Alex worked today,” Carroll said. “He looked pretty good. I think we’ve got him as questionable, but he looks like he’s going to make it through. He actually said that he felt as good yesterday as he did last week when he played, so he should be OK.”
Lewis practiced all three days this week after not playing against the Saints.
“He’s going to still be questionable just because we’ve got to make sure on game day, but other than that, he looks like he’s playing,” Carroll said. “He’s saying he’s going, so it’s a good sign.”
Brown didn’t practice all week, getting a veteran rest day Wednesday before being listed as a non-participant the next two days with a non-COVID illness. Carroll said he “should be fine but he’s just feeling lousy.”
Quarterback Russell Wilson has yet to have the pin removed from his surgically-repaired right middle finger, and Carroll said he doesn’t know when that will happen. Sunday’s game will be the third that Wilson has missed, meaning he’ll be eligible to come off injured reserve when the Seahawks play at Green Bay on Nov. 14 following next week’s bye.
“He’s pretty positive,” Carroll said. “He’s feeling really good. His finger looks great. He got all the stitches out and all that kind of stuff. He looks great, so he’s making all of the strides that he should be making way ahead of schedule at this point. So we’ll see what that means.”
Carroll had an ominous-sounding answer when asked if he’s at all concerned that Carson won’t return this season from the neck injury that has kept him out of the last three games. Carson is on IR and is still dealing with too much discomfort to return to practice.
“He’s got to make a turn here to show us that he’s feeling better and good enough to really go for it,” Carroll said. “He hasn’t been able to come out to practice yet … I’m really keeping my fingers crossed for him that he gets a chance to get back and play. He’s working out hard but he’s not ready to practice football yet.”
Carroll expects rookie receiver Dee Eskridge to be ready to play after the bye, barring any setbacks. Seattle’s second-round pick hasn’t played since suffering a concussion in the opener. He recently made a second trip to a specialist in Florida, where he worked on the visual issues he’s experienced since his concussion.
The Seahawks have lost three straight games for the first time since 2011, which was also the last time they were three games under .500.