Defensive end J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans pressures quarterback Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens during the first half at M&T Bank Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
That's the question the Seattle Seahawks have to answer this week as they prepare to take on the Houston Texans on Sunday.
Watt is a terror along the defensive line. He can line up as a defensive end or a defensive tackle and throws offensive linemen around like ragdolls. Even when a team can block him, he is incredibly proficient at swatting passes out of the air for incompletions.
"He just causes so many problems, he plays with incredible effort in intensity and consistency and stuff. So we really have to pay attention," head coach Pete Carroll said.
Watt exploded last season for 20.5 sacks in earning NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors. He can be a factor as a pass rusher and is incredibly stout against the run as well.
"He’s definitely someone that we have to account for and make sure that he doesn’t wreck the whole day for us," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said.
It's a problem that Seattle will need to find a way to mitigate with several offensive linemen banged up this week.
T Russell Okung is on the short-term injured reserve list with a toe injury and C Max Unger and T Breno Giacomini both missed practice on Wednesday.
Unger injured his arm against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday but remained in the game. Giacomini had been dealing with a sore knee last week and it showed up again against Jacksonville.
It could leave Seattle down their two starting tackles against the Texans on Sunday.
T Michael Bowie replaced Giacomini at right tackle in the second quarter. Bowie moved to left tackle with T Alvin Bailey replacing Bowie at right tackle when the reserves fully entered the game in the second half.
Bowie was the team's final selection of the NFL Draft and Bailey an undrafted free agent signing. However, both have made an impression on Carroll and could be needed to step up this week.
"they have made great progress," Carroll said. "...I went back, matter a fact, and watch the game over again just to watch those guys and see how they’re doing. They did a very nice job and they’re coming along quickly."
Offensive line coach Tom Cable also spoke highly of how Bowie and Bailey played against the Jaguars.
(We saw) some really cool stuff," Cable said. "I'm really excited about their future, out future. I thought both those kids went in there and knocked people off the ball, protected really well. They got comfortable really quick."
Of course that was against a lowly Jaguars team. Dealing with J.J. Watt would be a serious wake-up call for both players if called upon on Sunday.
DE Red Bryant (back) and WR Jermaine Kearse (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday but are expected to be back on the field on Thursday.
Bryant suffered back spasms against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. Kearse sprained an ankle making a catch along the sideline.
Carroll said Bryant and Kearse were among a group of players that were getting a day to rest up on Wednesday before returning to practice later in the week.
"There will be a few of those guys like that that you’ll see," Carroll said.
S Jeron Johnson is expected to practice in the coming days but did not work on Wednesday. He strained his hamstring on the opening kickoff against the Carolina Panthers in Week 1 and hasn't been able to practice since.
T Breno Giacomini is dealing with a sore knee that is still bothering him after Sunday's game against the Jaguars. He was on the injury report last week because of the knee injury and was replaced by T Michael Bowie at right tackle during the second quarter.
Carroll seemed to indicate they are less certain about Giacomini's status at this point and will need to see how he improves.
"We’ll see how he is. he’s got some more information to get in and to see where he is. But he got nicked a little bit in this ball game," Carroll said.
DT Jordan Hill has been sidelined since suffering a strained biceps in a practice late in the preseason. Hill was injured on August 20 and hasn't been able to practice since. He was finally able to get some limited work in during practice on Wednesday.
Carroll seemed eager to get Hill back on the field but wouldn't go as far as saying Hill would be able to play this week.
FB Spencer Ware will not be able to play as he recovers from a high ankle sprain suffered against the San Francisco 49ers.
The Seahawks released DT D'Anthony Smith on Tuesday and replaced him on the 53-man roster with G/C Jason Spitz.
Smith appeared in the first two games of the season for Seattle and recorded five tackles. He was claimed off waivers by the Detroit Lions on Wednesday.
Spitz is in his eighth season in the league. He played the first five seasons for the Green Bay Packers and made 45 starts over four seasons. He signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011 and played in 10 games that season. Spitz missed all of 2012 while on injured reserve and was released by the Jaguars in August.
The Seahawks also released DE Adewale Ojomo from the practice squad and re-signed WR Bryan Walters and DT Sealver Siliga.
Did Not Participate
LB Tim Dobbins (hamstring)
CB Kareem Jackson (illness)
WR Andre Johnson (shin)
CB Jonathan Joseph (toe)
LB Darryl Sharpton (hip/foot)
G Wade Smith (knee)
T Duane Brown (toe)
TE Owen Daniels (non-injury)
TE Garrett Graham (hip/groin)
S Ed Reed (hip)
LB Brian Cushing (knee/ankle)
RB Arian Foster (thumb)
CB Brice McCain (knee/ankle)
CB Chris Myers (back)
T Derek Newton (knee/calf)
WR DeVier Posey (Achilles)
QB Matt Schaub (ankle)
RB Ben Tate (shoulder)
Did Not Participate
RB Spencer Ware (ankle)
WR Jermaine Kearse (ankle)
C Max Unger (arm)
T Breno Giacomini (knee)
S Jeron Johnson (hamstring)
DE Red Bryant (back)
DE Michael Bennett (groin)
RB Marshawn Lynch (non-injury)
G J.R. Sweezy (back)
DT Jordan Hill (biceps)
CB Brandon Browner (hamstring)
LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring)