Two important players in the trenches have been ruled out by the Seattle Seahawks in defensive end Red Bryant and starting center Max Unger, who is a critical player on the Seahawks offensive line. Neither player will be available tomorrow against the Atlanta Falcons, but the Seahawks should do just fine against the Falcons despite the loss of two important players. Then again, the Seahawks were supposed to have easy victories in each of the past two weeks, and yet neither win came easy.
Unger suffered a concussion in last week’s come-from-behind win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and he has unsurprisingly been ruled out for this week’s game against the Falcons. His run blocking and leadership are especially important for the Seahawks, and there is a clear drop-off between Unger and backup Lemuel Jeanpierre in all facets of the game. It’s yet another tough blow for the Seahawks offensive line, as they have had to deal with innumerable, significant injuries there. That has made life much harder for Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense, and it makes Marshawn Lynch’s numbers look all the more impressive. Now that he has been ruled out, Unger is set to miss his third game of the season.
Red Bryant is also going to be out with a concussion he suffered last week, but at least the Seahawks have a lot of depth on the defensive line, whereas they have little depth on the offensive line. The Seahawks will definitely be able to “survive” Bryant’s absence this week, because they have plenty of talent at DE. Michael Bennett is an excellent run defender and pass rusher (he’s playing at an All-Pro level, without a doubt), but Bryant’s injury really hurts the Seahawks run defense, which has slumped in each of the past two narrow victories. That could be a factor if Steven Jackson gets going, but the Seahawks should be able to overcome the loss of a top run-stopper. Unger’s injury is more worrisome, because the offensive line woes have really hurt this team.