The Seattle Seahawks, after a 39-32 defeat to the Arizona Cardinals in week 10, find themselves well back in the hunt for a 2015 playoff place.
The 2013 Super Bowl champions' 4-5 record has them level with no less than six other teams vying for an NFC Wild Card spot. In fact, they're currently ranked as the 10th seed and know a near-perfect end to the season is the only way to make certain of postseason football.
News today, then, that one of their key defensive stars will miss week 11 (and potentially longer) is far from ideal.
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Speaking to the media yesterday, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll confirmed the news that linebacker Bruce Irvin is virtually certain to miss Seattle's divisional game against the San Francisco 49ers this weekend.
Irvin sprained his MCL during the team's week 10 outing against Arizona and, according to Carroll, "he’s going to miss this week unless something miraculous happens."
The head coach wasn't particularly optimistic about Irvin's future beyond Sunday, either. He told reporters that the team 'hoped' to contain the MCL issue to a "two-week thing" but couldn't be certain.
Although the Seahawks should see-off the 49ers with or without Irvin, the team face a tough game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 12.
Being unable to send Irvin, second on the team this year in terms of sacks with 4.5, after Ben Roethlisberger would be a huge blow.
In terms of the team's plans for their NFC West rivals, Mike Morgan will likely fill in for Irvin at strong linebacker.
Seahawks fans: Will your team make the playoffs, yes or no? Have your say in the comments below...