RENTON, Wash. — Greg Olsen needs the weekend off to rest his foot for the playoffs.
Brandon Shell is in a contract-tracing situation and may not play Sunday. The Seahawks’ starting right tackle is passing his COVID-19 testing but the team is waiting to see what next steps to take with Shell after coming in close contact with a positive case of the coronavirus.
Those were the biggest news items from coach Pete Carroll’s New Year’s Day updates for Seattle’s regular-season finale against the San Francisco 49ers in Glendale, Ariz.
Olsen got a “tweak” in his return last week from a torn plantar fascia to play against the Los Angeles Rams. The 35-year-old tight end is listed as questionable officially, but Carroll said Friday Olsen is out for the 49ers game.
The team wants him to rest for the playoffs that are likely to begin for the Seahawks next weekend.
Olsen returned last week from what appeared might be a career-ending injury after only one month and eight days out. He caught one pass for 15 yards and a first down while playing 12 of 63 offensive snaps against the Rams.
The Seahawks (11-4) have already clinched the division title and the home playoff game that comes with it. They have an outside chance for the number-one seed in the NFC. They need to win Sunday while Green Bay (12-3) loses at Chicago (8-7) and New Orleans (11-4) loses at Carolina (5-10).
“We’re going to keep him out of this game, is what we’re going to do,” Carroll said, “just to make sure that he’s ready next week.
“Just a little flare-up from last week, but he handled it well. Practiced (Friday) and got through it and all that. But we think it’s the best thing to do, to give him another weekend.”
The team on Friday listed Olsen, Shell, left guard Mike Iupati, running back Carlos Hyde and reserve defensive back Damarious Randall as questionable.
Hyde has been sick all week.
Rookie running back DeeJay Dallas remains out for another game with his severely sprained ankle. Special-teamer Jayson Stanley is out because of a hamstring injury.
Shell was limited some in practices this week but was not on Friday’s injury report. He’s poised to return to his starting spot at right tackle. Shell has missed four of the last five games after a high-ankle sprain in Seattle’s win at the Eagles Nov. 30.
Shell was active last week but available only on an emergency basis. Cedric Ogbuehi started again for Shell.
Shell is in a “close-contact” situation “with someone he works with” who has tested positive for COVID-19, Carroll said. That is why Shell did not practice Friday.
Shell keeps testing negative but the Seahawks have to see what the next steps are with contract tracing for him.
“We’re just monitoring it to make sure he’s OK,” Carroll said. “It’s a developing situation. We’ve got to figure out. He’s tested clear, but somebody that he’s worked with hasn’t, outside of the (Seahawks’) program.
“So we’ve just got to make sure he’s OK. I don’t know what to tell you about that, other than that.”
Carroll said he didn’t know by the end of Friday’s indoor practice if Shell will become the first member of the team’s active roster to go on the league’s reserve/COVID-19 list this season. The team learned of Shell’s contract-tracing issue during Friday’s practice.
Iupati, the 33-year-old veteran, missed the Seahawks’ NFC West-clinching victory over the Rams last weekend. Jordan Simmons is in line to start again at left guard if Iupati can’t play.
Carroll reiterated cornerback Tre Flowers is coming off injured reserve to play Sunday. The team will have to clear a place on the 53-man active roster by Saturday at 1 p.m. for Flowers to play against San Francisco.
The Seahawks acquired Dunbar in a trade from Washington in March to replace Flowers full-time as their starting right corner. But Dunbar isn’t coming back off IR. He had season-ending knee surgery this week.
Flowers started seven games this season. Then he strained his hamstring while playing all 71 snaps in the Seahawks’ win at Philadelphia four weeks ago.
The 49ers waived Reed in August intending to put him on the season-ending injured -reserve list. The Niners expected him to miss the entire season with a torn pectoral muscle. The Seahawks claimed him, basically on layaway.
He debuted for Seattle Nov. 1 in the first game this season against San Francisco. He had his first career interception in the Seahawks’ 37-27 win.
Reed isn’t talking, playing or acting like a man who’s about to yield to Flowers. Or to anyone.
Asked how much what the Niners told Reed motivates him, Reed flexed his right arm and pantomimed putting a weight onto his back.
“Man, chip on my shoulder. Forever. For real,” he said.
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