We’re quickly approaching kickoff as the Dallas Cowboys host the Seattle Seahawks in the opening round of the 2018 playoffs. While both teams are relatively healthy for this time of year, they face some roster concerns based on their final injury reports for this Wild Card weekend.
Coincidentally, the biggest concern for both Dallas and Seattle is at the same position. Let’s see what they have in common, and what other positions may be in question for tonight’s game.
- DL David Irving (ankle) – OUT
- G Xavier Su’a-Filo (ankle) – Doubtful
- WR Tavon Austin (groin) – Questionable
- S Darian Thompson (groin) – Questionable
Some good news first; starting defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford returned to practice and appears no worse for wear after a scary injury two weeks ago. The veteran had to be carted off the field against Tampa Bay and was taken to the hospital for evaluation, but there was no significant injury to his neck as was originally feared. He will play today.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for David Irving. Whether it’s for physical or personal reasons at this point is debatable, but Irving has been ruled out today and his chances of returning at all this season are increasingly slim. Dallas has not placed him on injured reserve, though, so there may be some hope he could still show up if the Cowboys move on in the playoffs.
The Cowboys do not expect left guard Xavier Su’a-Filo to play, having missed the entire week of practice with an ankle injury. That would bring rookie Connor Williams back into the starting lineup and some analysts would argue that this is a net gain for the offense. Williams has looked good in recent action after he was benched.
While Tavon Austin returned last week, he reaggravated his groin injury and is listed as “questionable” for this game. Austin’s role as both the primary return man and an offensive gadget player can’t be ignored, especially in a game where any small winkle could make a big difference.
- FB Tre Madden (hamstring) – Doubtful
- G J.R. Sweezy (foot) – Questionable
The only two players on Seattle’s report are both on offense, and one is the starting left guard. Sweezy missed the entire week of practice but has not been ruled out, with the Seahawks still hoping the veteran could play. Second-year backup Ethan Pocic would get the start if Sweezy can’t go.
Fullback Tre Madden does not play big role in the Seattle offense as they mostly use single-back sets. However, he is their key blocker for short yardage and goal line runs. That could be an issue against the Dallas defense, who has been proficient in making stops in those situations.
It’s worth remembering that the Seahawks are missing their start safety Earl Thomas, who played a big role in their victory over the Cowboys earlier this year. Thomas went on injured reserve after the very next game.