The Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams will play the rubber match of their 2020 series with championship hopes on the line when these division rivals square up on Super Wild-Card Weekend. Tuesday marked the first day of official practice for these NFC West clubs leading into their Saturday showdown, although L.A. did not hold a session or walkthrough and its injury report is just an estimation.
Had the Rams practiced, defensive lineman Aaron Donald (not injury-related) and offensive lineman David Edwards (ankle) would have been the lone players held out. Meanwhile, quarterback Jared Goff (right thumb), running back Cam Akers (ankle), offensive lineman Joseph Noteboom (back), linebacker Micah Kiser (knee), and linebacker Natrez Patrick (groin) would have been limited.
Of course, the status of Goff, who is rehabbing a fractured thumb that required surgery, is the injury on everyone's mind. Sean McVay noted that Goff is progressing well but there has been no decision as to who'll get the start at quarterback -- the head coach told reporters that he wasn't "going to answer that question this week."
McVay did say, however, that "Jared is our starting quarterback," seemingly cementing that, if healthy, he will get the nod.
While there was initial optimism that Goff would be ready for the playoffs after undergoing surgery to repair that fractured thumb following Week 16, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported on Monday that it is expected to be a challenge for him to play.
Meanwhile, wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week, is expected to be back with the team on Wednesday, per McVay. The head coach also said there is a "good chance" left tackle Andrew Whitworth, who has been about since Week 10 with a knee injury, will be available for Saturday.
As for the Seahawks, Pete Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle on Monday that his club will be "pretty much full strength this weekend." The club saw the return of offensive tackle Brandon Shell, who was a full participant on Tuesday after a stint on the reserve/COVID list, along with guard Mike Iupati, who has missed the past two games with a neck injury. He was limited during Tuesday's session along with running back Deejay Dallas (ankle).
Seattle also saw Carlos Hyde (illness) practice fully alongside tight end Greg Olsen (foot), defensive tackle Bryan Mone (ankle), linebacker K.J. Wright (ankle), and guard Damien Lewis (neck). As for who was sidelined on Tuesday, the Seahawks began the week without defensive tackle Jarran Reed (oblique), corner Jayson Stanley (hamstring), and safety Jamal Adams (shoulder, hand). Running back Chris Carson (foot) and tackle Duane Brown (knee) were also held out of practice but the team noted they were simply getting rest.
Adams is the key name to watch as it appears he'll truly be a game-time decision for this matchup with Carroll saying "we'll have to wait all the way up until game day to figure that out."
The Rams will take on the Seahawks at Lumen Field on Saturday at 4:40 p.m. ET on FOX.