The Seahawks have been fortunate to remain relatively healthy so far in 2015 but Pete Carroll expects the club to without starting strongside linebacker Bruce Irvin Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, due to a knee injury suffered last week against the Arizona Cardinals.
"He's got a sore knee," Carroll said when asked Wednesday about Irvin. "He's going to miss this week unless something miraculous happens. Hopefully we can contain it to a two-week thing if that's the case."
When Bobby Wagner missed time earlier in the year, K.J. Wright slid over from weakside linebacker to the middle, earning Kevin Pierre-Louis the start - the first of his career - against the Carolina Panthers in Week Six.
The Seahawks considered KPL again but will instead start Mike Morgan, who recorded three tackles when pressed into action after Irvin went down with a sprained MCL last week against Arizona.
"Mike Morgan will jump up," Carroll said. "And Kevin Pierre-Louis will be involved with the rotations as well."
The Seahawks will miss Irvin's versatility and athleticism but his injury provides an opportunity to evaluate Morgan, who will be making just the second start of his five-year career - and the first since 2012. It also gives the team a chance to evaluate how the team fares without Irvin, who is expected to earn significant interest in free agency following this season.
Like Irvin, the 6-3, 226 pound Morgan is a remarkable athlete. According to NFLDraftScout.com, Morgan was clocked at an eye-popping 4.46 seconds in the 40-yard dash during his March 30 Pro Day.