According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, when the Seattle Seahawks host the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday with first place in the NFC West at stake, Bobby Wagner believes he can play, but will test his injured hamstring in the pre-game.
#Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner (hamstring), who didn’t practice this week and is listed a questionable, believes he can play today. He’ll test it pre-game.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 17, 2017
Wagner has been bothered by a hamstring issue for weeks, and in the week 14 matchup between the Seahawks and the Jacksonville Jaguars, Wagner reaggravated the injury. Wagner played roughly half of the game against the Jaguars, during which time the Seahawks defense allowed 3 points. In the half of the game in which Wagner did not play, the defense allowed 27 points.
That was largely reminiscent of the team’s performance in 2014 when Wagner missed several games due to injury. During Wagner’s five game absence in 2014 the Seahawks allowed three of five opponents to rush for more than 100 yards, something only six teams did when facing the Seahawks all season.
It remains to be seen how effective he can be with the bad hamstring, but in a game that is as close to a must win as Seattle has played in the last several years, having Wagner on the field could prove huge.
With Wagner expected to play, the seven inactives for the Seahawks are likely to be Mike Tyson, Nazair Jones, K.J. Wright, Eddie Lacy, David Moore, Kache Palacio and one additional defensive lineman. With defensive tackle Nazair Jones not likely to play due to injury, the defensive ends with the size and ability to slide inside and play tackle, such as Quinton Jefferson and Dion Jordan, would seem more likely candidates to be active, compared to a purely edge player such as Marcus Smith.
In any case, with Wagner hobbled and Wright out, do not be surprised if the Seahawks play a lot of nickel, and potentially even dime, defense against the Rams.