RENTON -- The Seahawks find themselves in a bit of a sticky situation at running back after their top three running backs came out of Sunday night's loss to the Arizona Cardinals with varying injury concerns.
Chris Carson is week-to-week due to a mid-foot sprain that forced him to miss the entire second half. Backup Carlos Hyde had his hamstring tighten up late in the game and his availability is uncertain for this week. Travis Homer also sustained a bruised knee that kept him from being in on pass protection on key drives in overtime.
"We have some things that we can do if we need to," head coach Pete Carroll said on Monday. "We're going to take it one day at a time and see if our guys can get back and who can get back with a couple creative thoughts going forward that we'll keep in house for now."
Carson's injury appears to be the most significant for this week. He left the game in the second quarter after playing just 15 total snaps against Arizona and did not return.
"He has a mid-foot sprain, there's something there that we can see so we just have to go with just a week-to-week and see what happens. We don't know. He was real determined to say I can go with it but we won't know until the end of the week for sure," Carroll said.
Homer and Hyde both have issues that will require monitoring through the week but aren't as significant. DeeJay Dallas is the only other running back on the roster at the moment should all three ultimately be unable to play on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. And with COVID-19 rules making it very hard to bring in players in from free agency in a pinch.
"It's really difficult. This is really difficult to do that. To get guys in here in time where they can actually practice and have a chance to even be familiar with taking a handoff," Carroll said,
Rashaad Penny remains on the physically unable to perform list and is getting closer to being able to return to practice and the field following his torn ACL last December. But even in a best-case scenario to expect him to be able to return to practice this week and play on Sunday is likely a bit too cavalier.
"I saw him working out today and he looked pretty good," Carroll said. "That's on the (doctors). We've got to wait and see what they say. I don't have the timeline on that but he was working out on the grass and he was running hard today so he's getting close."
So what could some of those creative solutions be?
Wide receiver Penny Hart was a high school running back that had 390 yards and seven touchdowns in high school at King's Ridge Christian in Atlanta. David Moore also has some background at running back as well. Fullback Nick Bellore would be able to handle some of the duties as well though his running prowess isn't anything that would scare an opponent.
-- Cornerback Shaquill Griffin is dealing with a hamstring injury in addition to the concussion he sustained against the Cardinals on Sunday. He will have to clear concussion protocol to be able to return and get beyond the hamstring issue to be available to play this week.
-- Defensive end Rasheem Green is expected to return to practice this week with a chance of playing the following week against the Buffalo Bills. He's been out since the season opener against the Atlanta Falcons due to a stinger. Green is currently on injured reserve.
-- Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett is still working back from a foot injury that has kept him from playing in a game yet this season. He's been on injured reserve since Week 3. "He's at a 90 percent clip right now running and doing well and so this week will be a really important one for him too," Carroll said.
Photo Credit: GLENDALE, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 25: Running back Chris Carson #32 of the Seattle Seahawks runs with the ball against linebacker Jordan Hicks #58 and linebacker Devon Kennard #42 of the Arizona Cardinals in the first quarter of the game at State Farm Stadium on October 25, 2020 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)