The Seattle Seahawks will land in Chicago without three of their best players when they face off against the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football in the last game of Week 2:
Seahawks declare KJ Wright, Bobby Wagner and Doug Baldwin all out for Monday night at Chicago. Flowers, Hill and Fluker are doubtful. Shaquill Griffin questionable.
— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) September 15, 2018
Wow! This is a BIG deal.
Bobby Wagner is a four-time Pro Bowler and three-time first-team All-Pro linebacker who hasn’t missed a game since 2015. Wagner is a turnover machine who has eight career interceptions, seven fumble recoveries, and three defensive touchdowns to his name. Think Brian Urlacher as far as importance as a linebacker in the middle of a defense.
Doug Baldwin is a two-time Pro Bowl receiver who has averaged 82 catches, 1,062 receiving yards, and nine touchdowns over the last three seasons. Monday’s game against the Bears will be the first game Baldwin has missed since 2012.
Wright is a 29-year-old linebacker who was a Pro Bowler two years ago and missed just one game between 2014 and 2017. He had a knee scope during the preseason, but it’s evident that Wright isn’t ready to give it a go in a game situation.
A team as talented as Seattle being without three Pro Bowl caliber players in a prime-time contest against a team hungry for its first win is a huge deal. The Bears offense should be better positioned to thrive without having to deal with Wagner causing havoc in the middle of the field or Wright running down ball carriers at the second level. And while the Seahawks’ offense still has skilled players at other positions, not having Baldwin eases the pressure off a secondary that will be one week removed from allowing three passing touchdowns in the fourth quarter in the season-opener.
Few teams were bitten by the injury bug more than the Bears over the last two years. And yet, seeing the names on the updated injury report for the Seahawks is absolutely jarring.
Not only are the Bears healthy entering Monday night, they are in a position to take advantage of a short-handed road team coming to town. In short, this is the kind of game a team like the Bears has to win.