RENTON -- Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll updated two key injuries for his team on Tuesday ahead of this weekend's playoff matchup with the Los Angeles Rams.
Safety Jamal Adams (shoulder) and defensive tackle Jarran Reed (oblique) were both injured in Sunday's regular season finale against the San Francisco 49ers. The two players have been keys cogs for a defensive unit that has made an incredible turnaround the second half of the season. Being without either player against the Rams would be a significant loss.
On Adams, Carroll said that it will take until the end of the week to know if he'll be able to play on Saturday.
"He's going to work through the week and see what he can get done and see if he's OK. We'll have to wait all the way up until game day to figure that out," Carroll said.
Adams was named to the Pro Bowl for his play in 12 games this season for the Seahawks. He set a record for the most sacks ever in a season by a defensive back with 9.5, breaking the mark of 8.0 previously held by Adrian Wilson. Adams made several key plays in the team's win over the Rams just two weeks ago.
The injury for Adams is not to the same shoulder he injured in the first meeting with the Rams in November. Instead, this injury is to his left shoulder after absorbing a block from 49ers running back Jerick McKinnon in the fourth quarter of Sunday's victory. Adams came on a blitz on the play and lowered his left shoulder into the block from McKinnon. He didn't noticeably recoil in obvious pain at the time but did walk to the sidelines moving his arm a bit strangely.
Adams tossed his helmet on the sidelined after being evaluated in the injury tent and didn't appear to be his normal jovial self the rest of the game on the sidelines. He did return to the game for two snaps on the final significant defensive drive of the game, but Benson Mayowa's strip-sack of C.J. Beathard led to a short series and he didn't return for the remaining defensive plays in closing out the game.
With the game against the Rams coming on Saturday, it does mean a shortened week for Adams to try and get back healthy. But given how excited he has shown to be for being a part of a playoff team and division-winner after three years with the New York Jets, it would seemingly take a real serious injury to keep Adams out of the lineup this weekend.
"He is a violent football player, big-time impact guy. I think he's made a huge difference. We'll see, I mean we've got to plan for him being ready to go. I'd be very surprised if he doesn't [play] just from afar watching how tough he is and I think what probably this opportunity in this game means to him," Rams head coach Sean McVay said of Adams.
In regard to Reed, he seems pretty sore in coming out of Sunday's game. He was hunched over at the waist as he headed to the sidelines and, eventually, the locker room. Carroll said after the game that Reed was hurting quite a bit.
"He has an oblique strain is what he has," Carroll said. "We're going to be real careful with him during the week and see how he goes day-to-day. He's much better than he was one the weekend so there's cause for optimism there."
Reed had six of his seven sacks in an eight game stretch from the Buffalo loss through the Rams win in Week 16. His production has ticked up as the addition of Carlos Dunlap and the return to health of the defense as a whole has freed him up more inside.
On a positive note, the Seahawks activated tackle Brandon Shell from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday. He went on the list as he was deemed a high-risk close contact of a person outside the team that had contracted the virus. Safety Damarious Randall would go on the list for the same reason the following day.
Shell has not tested positive and is able to return to the team after remaining asymptomatic with negative tests in the five days since the close contact situation. Randall should be able to return tomorrow if the same conditions are met.
"He bounces right back and comes to us. We're really happy about that," Carroll said. "Just coming back to make sure his ankle is as good as it could be. This week would have helped him to get one more [week] so he looks great and should be full speed and ready and we love having him back out there."
Shell appeared set to return to the lineup last week after missing several weeks with a high-ankle sprain. Instead, the close contact situation forced him to miss another game and ultimately puts him in position to be healthier for this week's playoff matchup against the Rams.
With Mike Iupati set to return to the lineup as well from a stinger, the Seahawks could have their full starting offensive line intact for just the second time since Week 4 of the season. The group was all together for the start of their December game against the Jets but Shell's ankle injury didn't allow him to finish the game. They haven't had the full group play a game together since Week 4 against the Miami Dolphins.
Another positive note from Tuesday is second-round defensive end Darrell Taylor was designated to return to practice and took the field with the team for the first time all year. Taylor has struggled to get back after surgery last winter to address ongoing stress fractures in his leg. The surgery involved playing a rod in his leg to stabilize it and Taylor hasn't been able to get over the necessary humps in his rehabilitation process to get back until now.
It would seem highly unlikely that Taylor will appear in a game at this point any time soon. The playoffs don't present opportunities for experimentation. But it gives the team a chance to see Taylor on the field for the first time since drafting him this spring and to see where he's at in his recovery. Then if injuries pile up and the season continues for another several weeks, maybe then the chance to get him on the field presents itself. Taylor can practice with the team for the next three weeks before needing to be added to the active roster.
A couple other injury notes...
Running back DeeJay Dallas returned to limited participation after suffering a high-ankle sprain against Washington three weeks ago. With Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny and Carlos Hyde all available this week -- Hyde is also back after missing last week's game with an illness -- Dallas likely won't have a big role but having him getting closer to a return helps the depth just in case.
Also, tight end Greg Olsen was a full participant after being held out of last week's game as he works back from a torn plantar fascia in his foot.
Photo Credit: PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 30: Jamal Adams #33 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates a stop Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on November 30, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)