Hill put on IR; Unger, Kearse, Dobbs return

The news is bad on Hill, who injured his calf while running in rehabbing a knee injury suffered late against St. Louis. Pete Carroll had better news Tuesday, however, including the healthy return of Max Unger, Jermaine Kearse and Demarcus Dobbs, who Carroll said could replace Hill in the defensive line rotation this week against Carolina.

The biggest news of the day out of the VMAC came shortly after Carroll's press conference, when the Seahawks announced that Hill was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve. The loss of Hill, who had recorded all 5.5 of his sacks this season over Seattle's last six games, is a significant one. Carroll admitted during his press conference that Hill would not play against Carolina and that the injury that ultimately ended his season actually was one to his calf and not the knee injury the second-year pro suffered against St. Louis.

When asked who would take Hill's spot in the lineup, Carroll identified Dobbs, who has been fighting an ankle injury. "Demarcus Dobbs looks like he's coming back," Carroll said. "He's going to practice this week. It's been an effective rehab getting him right so he looked really good in the workout so we think he has a chance to fill that spot for us."

Carroll also noted that the roles of David King and recently signed Landon Cohen could increase in the new defensive line rotation. To fill Hill's spot on the roster, the Seahawks promoted safety Steven Terrell from the practice squad to the active roster.

A couple of other important notes from Carroll's press conference:

The bye week gave Unger, Kearse, Simon time to heal

"Max [Unger] is practicing," Carroll said. "Looks like he is going to be in good shape." Carroll echoed this sentiment with Kearse and acknowledged the receiver's "really successful rehab." The return of both starters couldn't come at a better time for the Seahawks. For as dominant as Seattle's defense has been the past two months, Carolina's has been nearly as fearsome. The Panthers' front seven, including linebackers Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis, is a formidable unit that dominated Arizona last week, holding the Cardinals to just 78 Total Yards on offense, the lowest total in NFL playoff history.

While casual fans will probably notice Kearse's return most, getting their Pro Bowl center back with Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short on the horizon is a potential coup for the Seahawks. Carroll acknowledged Unger's great awareness and instincts.

"Well, we won't do things any different, but when Max [Unger] plays, our numbers are a little bit better." Carroll said. "It actually statistically shows up, we're running the ball a little bit better, we protect a little bit better, and everything -that's his guidance and his experience for the other guys up there. He's an expert at recognizing looks and calls and directing what's going on there."

Cornerback Tharold Simon's return is also timely. Carolina will start one of the biggest receivers in the NFL in the 6-5, 240 pound rookie Kelvin Benjamin and a savvy veteran on the other side in Jerricho Cotchery.

Carroll touts his assistant coaches

When asked about assistant coaches Dan Quinn, Darrell Bevell and Tom Cable, Carroll gushed about their traits and why each could be effective head coaches. Carroll, in fact, seemed almost resigned to the possibility of losing Quinn.

"Well, he's been very successful." Carroll said. "He's got tremendous relationships wherever he's been around the league. He's been a guy that wherever he goes people rave about. We feel the same way. We were with him when we first got here - he took off to be a coordinator at Florida and we missed him and hoped we would get him back someday. We were very fortunate to do all that."

Carroll continued, "[Quinn has] had a great history. He's a great communicator. He's a fantastic teacher. He's got a real toughness about him - innovative. He has all of the attributes of being a successful guy moving forward so when that time comes we will expect to see him land one of those jobs and we will look forward to playing against him."

Later, Carroll touted Bevell and Cable's connection.

"I think Darrell [Bevell] does a great job," Carroll said. "I'm so compatible with him and his play calling and his game planning, the utilization of our players, and the flexibility that's necessary when you're there. Particularly the example, as the players and the dynamics of the players has changed his ability to try and figure out how to best use guys. I think he does a terrific job. He and Tom [Cable] are the guys that lead the charge there in the offense and are a really good team. They match up really well."

SeahawkFootball.com Top Stories