By Clare Farnsworth
RENTON -- The Seahawks will be without right guard J.R. Sweezy for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field. He was ruled out by coach Pete Carroll after not practicing all week because of the concussion he got in last week’s win over the New York Giants.
“J.R. is going through the process, the protocol, and did not make it," Carroll said Friday. "So we’ll keep him out this week. It happened in the game and we did not realize it was an issue until afterwards.”
Carroll stopped short of saying who will replace Sweezy, but the options include rookie Michael Bowie, who worked at right guard in practice this week; Paul McQuistan, who has been rotating at left guard with James Carpenter; and rookie Alvin Bailey.
Bowie started seven games at right tackle when Breno Giacomini was out with a knee injury, including the Seahawks’ Week 7 victory over the Cardinals in Arizona. But he was inactive the past four games.
“I’ll be ready. I had a good week of preparation,” Bowie said. “Even though I haven’t been active the last couple weeks, my mind has still been in it every week that I’m going to be active. So I’ve been preparing like I’m going to play every week.”
The Seahawks are 12-2 and can clinch the NFC West championship, a first-round bye in the playoffs and home-field advantage throughout the postseason with a win over a Cardinals team that was won six of its past seven games. And the Seahawks have reached this point even with 11 starters missing a combined 42 games.
The Seahawks will start their seventh combination on the offensive line against the Cardinals, regardless of who starts at right guard.
WR Percy Harvin (hip)
OG J.R. Sweezy (concussion)
LB K.J. Wright (foot)
SS Kam Chancellor (quadriceps)
DE Chris Clemons (not injury related)
CB Jeremy Lane (ankle)
RB Marshawn Lynch (not injury related)
TE Zach Miller (ribs)
CB Richard Sherman (hip)
RB Robert Turbin (groin)
Sherman did not practice Friday, but Carroll said it was to rest him and that Sherman will play Sunday. Miller was limited in practice, but the other five players listed as probably participated in all phases of practice – including Lane, who sat out Thursday’s practice.
For the Cardinals:
S Rashad Johnson (ankle)
WR Larry Fitzgerald (concussion)
TE Rob Housler (groin)
QB Carson Palmer (ankle/right elbow)
LB Matt Shaughnessy (groin)
CB Justin Bethel (wrist)
LB Karlos Dansby (foot)
RB Andre Ellington (quadriceps)
WR Michael Floyd (ankle)
RB Rashad Mendenhall (finger)
LB Dontay Moch (hamstring)
Fitzgerald was limited in practice, but he remains a game-day decision as he completes the concussion protocol. Cardinal coach Bruce Arians told reporters in Phoenix that Palmer was “good enough to play” with the sprained ankle he got in last week’s overtime victory against the Titans in Tennessee. “He can move around the pocket as well as he did last week,” Arians said.
After going coast-to-coast the past two weeks to play back-to-back road games against the 49ers in San Francisco and Giants at the Meadowlands, the Seahawks return to CenturyLink Field to close the regular season with games against NFC West rivals – the Cardinals on Sunday and St. Louis Rams next week.
“There’s no place like home,” said QB Russell Wilson, who is 14-0 at CenturyLink. “Obviously playing at CenturyLink, it’s a place that we’re really fired up to play in. The energy in the stadium is unbelievable and so it makes it tough for the other team too.
“I’m excited to play back at home again these last two games, and the goal is to finish the season strong obviously. That’s always our goal is to finish strong. So we’ve got to take one play at a time and just be in the moment and allow our fans to pick up the energy for us and use that. So we need our 12th Man fans to bring it strong here.”
Saturday, the players will hold their walkthrough at VMAC.
By Clare Farnsworth