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View Thread: Week 5 against Jacksonville, and not o
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Week 5 against Jacksonville, and not o
elaine95
RENTON Larry Johnson Jersey , Wash. (AP) — Outside of middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, no one on the Seattle Seahawks defense has proven more valuable this season than safety Bradley McDougald.And just in time for a visit from the leading passer in the NFL, the Seahawks aren’t sure if McDougald will be able to play Sunday against Kansas City.McDougald’s knee injury is one of several that could change Seattle’s lineup for a Week 16 matchup where a victory and some help from others could clinch an NFC wild-card berth for the Seahawks.McDougald has been dealing with a patellar tendon injury that flared up during the first half last week against San Francisco and forced him to become a spectator for the vast majority of the loss to the 49ers. Seattle coach Pete Carroll said McDougald is away from the team for a few days getting additional treatment on his knee and is expected back by the end of the week.But when asked if he thought McDougald would be able to play against Patrick Mahomes and the NFL’s top passing offense, Carroll could only say, “possibly.” If McDougald can’t play against the Chiefs it would be second-year safety Delano Hill stepping in. Hill played 52 snaps last week against San Francisco.Seattle is equally unsettled at right guard and potentially with its depth in the backfield.The Seahawks placed guard Jordan Simmons on injured reserve Tuesday due to a knee injury suffered in the loss to San Francisco and it’s uncertain whether D.J. Fluker’s injured hamstring will be healthy enough for him to return this week.The injuries have left Seattle possibly needing a major shuffle on an offensive line that has helped create the top rushing offense in the NFL.Ethan Pocic struggled last week when he stepped in for Simmons. Seattle has used George Fant as an extra offensive lineman for significant snaps throughout the season and his ability to play tackle could allow some shuffling among the starters in the short-term until Fluker can return.“Let’s wait and see on that one. We’ll wait and see how this goes,” Carroll said. “Jordan, he needs likely to get some work done on his knee to get him back so he’s out. There are some decisions that we’re making. Let’s see how the week goes.”Seattle signed running back Bo Scarbrough off the Jacksonville practice squad to take Simmons’ roster spot and that’s partly due to depth concerns at running back. Seattle played last week without rookie first-round pick Rashaad Penny due to a knee injury and Carroll said there was enough wear on starter Chris Carson and backup Mike Davis that they needed the extra depth in case Penny isn’t back this week.“It’s uncertain if he can get back. We don’t know that,” Carroll said. “He’s really determined to try and make it back and Friday is the day he can try to go for it and show that he can run and go for it.”Amid all the injury news, the Seahawks believe veteran linebacker K.J. Wright will be back after missing the past five games. Wright hasn’t played since Week 10 after aggravating a knee problem that first popped up in the preseason and required surgery.Wright said when he returned in Week 8 against Detroit that he took on too much and that eventually led to a setback. When he returns this time, he said he’s going to be smarter about his play count and ramp up toward being ready for a full load when the postseason arrives — assuming Seattle gets there.“We’re going to be smarter this time. We’ve got a good game plan going Joe Montana Jersey ,” Wright said. “Ease it in these last two games, make the playoffs and kick it off from there.” KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Twice in a span of three years the Kansas City Chiefs spent their top draft pick on defense, and the response from their fanbase was a collective shrug followed by some frantic Google searches.Who had heard of Dee Ford outside the SEC? Or Chris Jones, for that matter?Ford was a speedy, athletic but raw pass rusher out of Auburn whom many draft pundits considered a risky reach when the Chiefs chose him 23rd overall in 2014. Jones had a solid if unspectacular career at Mississippi State before the Chiefs took him with the No. 37 overall pick two years later.Yet those two have been the lone bright spots on a blighted Chiefs defense.Ford has piled up 12 sacks and forced six fumbles in a contract year, giving the Chiefs a tough but welcome financial decision to make this offseason. Jones has at least one sack in an NFL-record 11 consecutive games and his 15½ this season is second only to Rams star Aaron Donald.Together, they have more sacks than the Raiders, Giants and playoff-bound Patriots.“I don’t think too much about it,” said Jones Len Dawson Jersey , who was among the more noteworthy Pro Bowl snubs this season. “We’re just trying to win games. That’s what is most important right now.”Especially given the stakes this week: The Chiefs must beat Oakland on Sunday to win the AFC West and earn the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, or risk potentially dropping to the No. 5 seed.Yet the Chiefs probably wouldn’t be in such a position without Ford and Jones, and simply making that statement speaks volumes to what they’ve accomplished in their young careers.Ford dealt with a series of injuries that kept him on the sideline about as much as the field, and he struggled to adjust to the NFL game. He was almost exclusively a pass rusher at Auburn, but learning the nuances of pass coverage and stopping the run took a few years.100<button class="view-gallery">View Gallery</button> Gallery:View from the sidelines: NFL cheerleaders 2018Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports | Raj MehtaSure, there were bright spots along the way. But nothing resembling his breakthrough this season.“I think Dee, he’s healthy, feels good about the things he is doing,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “He’s doing a good job of setting the edge, which kind of gets overlooked just because of his pass rush. He is playing good football right now.”Ford had three sacks and forced two fumbles in a win over the Broncos earlier this season Mitch Morse Jersey , and his steady play has allowed him to remain on the field even in obvious running situations.In other words, he’s developed into a well-rounded linebacker.One that’s about to get paid handsomely.The Chiefs can’t afford to let him go in free agency, so Ford is an attractive candidate to get the franchise tag. And with a salary cap expected to be about $190 million next year, that means giving Ford more than $16 million — a substantial bump from the roughly $8.7 million he’s making this year.They could also sign him to a long-term deal, though Khalil Mack just shattered the market with his $141 million, six-year deal with the Bears. Eight figures for Ford is hardly out of the question.Then there is Jones, who lost about 25 pounds since last season and has become one of the top interior pass rushers in the NFL. He started his sack streak in Week 5 against Jacksonville, and not only has Jones had at least one in each game since, but he has five games with more than one.Throw in enough versatility to adequately defend the run, and enough personality to make him a fan favorite Chris Jones Jersey , and Jones becomes the kind of cornerstone upon which the Chiefs can build.“His body fat is way down. He works his fundamentals and techniques. That’s what he does,” Reid said. “He still has room to grow, which is great. He isn’t tapped out by any means. I will tell you it all started in the offseason. Now it is paying off for him as the season has gone on.”It’s going to pay off in another ways. Jones still has one year left on his rookie deal, and an extension now would be costly for the Chiefs. But the alternative is to wait until the 2020 season ends, at which point they’ll be up against everybody else in free agency in need of a pass rusher.All that lies in the future, though. Ford and Jones insist they are focused solely on the present, and that means preparing for a game against Oakland with major playoff implications.
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