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RB Chris Carson of Seattle Seahawks not expected to miss time with injured finger

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RENTON, Wash. — The Seattle Seahawks don’t expect running back Chris Carson to miss any time because of the finger that he dislocated Sunday.

They won’t be as fortunate with right guard D.J. Fluker. Coach Pete Carroll said Monday that “it’s going to be a little bit” before Fluker can return from his hamstring injury.

“It’s basically a first-degree strain, and so we’ll see how that works,” Carroll said of Fluker. “That’s a couple weeks usually. We’ll see what happens. I don’t know if he can do better than that or not. We’ll see.”

Carson and Fluker were injured in the fourth quarter of Seattle’s blowout win over the San Francisco 49ers at home on Sunday. Carroll said postgame that the injury was to Carson’s index finger, and Carson said it required stitches, though neither seemed overly concerned that it could sideline him beyond Sunday. Carroll confirmed Monday that it shouldn’t.

“He came out fine in the game other than his finger, and it should be OK,” Carroll said. “He should be able to play.”

Carson leads the Seahawks with 704 rushing yards and four touchdowns. He has a chance to be the team’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Marshawn Lynch topped that mark for the fourth consecutive season in 2014.

Fluker’s absence deals a blow to the NFL’s top-ranked rushing offense. However, the Seahawks had neither Carson nor Fluker in the lineup when they ran for a season-high 273 yards in a loss at the Los Angeles Rams last month.

Jordan Simmons started in that game and will take over again for Fluker, according to Carroll. Simmons went undrafted in 2017 after an injury-plagued college career at USC.

Carroll didn’t mention 2017 second-round pick Ethan Pocic as an option at right guard until he was asked about him.

“Jordan jumped in the game and did a nice job this week again and seems to be moving in the right direction to be a really viable option for us,” Carroll said. “He didn’t get that much practice time, so when he does get the practice like he did in the Rams week, he did a very good job with it. So we’re going to count on him playing and see how that goes.”

The Seahawks (7-5) will have linebacker Mychal Kendricks available Monday night when they host the Minnesota Vikings (6-5-1), their fellow NFC wild-card hopeful. Kendricks’ NFL suspension for his role in insider trading officially ended Monday.

Kendricks recorded 15 tackles and two sacks in three games before the league indefinitely suspended him. His ban ended up covering eight games plus Seattle’s bye week, though he was allowed to practice with the team over the past two weeks.

“He was very effective in a short amount of time when he played for us before and we’re anxious to get him back out there,” Carroll said of Kendricks. “He’s really been hungry to get out and do something, help us.”

The Seahawks waived linebacker Emmanuel Ellerbee on Monday, presumably to clear a roster spot for Kendricks.

The Seahawks had signed Kendricks while K.J. Wright, their longtime starter at weakside linebacker, was recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. Wright missed the first six games and the past three. He was out of town last week receiving an unspecified treatment on his injured knee.

“He had a very successful week of rehab [with] the procedures he went through, and we’re hoping that he’ll be able to get going,” Carroll said of Wright. “He has not done a lot of running yet. That’s not been a part of the process, so this week [he] starts the conditioning stuff [again]. I don’t know how much he’ll get to do this week. We’ll just have to see how he feels, and I don’t know that yet.”

Austin Calitro made a career-high 10 tackles while starting at the weakside spot on Sunday.

Carroll said he expects defensive tackle Shamar Stephen (foot) and fullback Tre Madden (chest) to be back this week from the injuries that kept them out of the 49ers game.

Oft-injured running back C.J. Prosise will have abdominal surgery, Carroll said. He was placed on injured reserve last week.

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NFL

Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys OL, missing first game ever

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For the first time in his career, Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin is inactive as he deals with a sprained MCL in his left knee.

Martin, an Indianapolis native, will be out for the Cowboys’ road game against the Indianapolis Colts in what will be his first missed game at any level — high school, at Notre Dame or in the NFL.

He will be replaced in the starting lineup by Connor Williams.

Martin suffered the knee injury last Sunday against the Eagles and doctors determined that he did not need surgery, but he does need rest to return later this season. Martin wanted to try to play, especially in Indianapolis, where he is from. But the Cowboys are taking the smart approach and now Martin will do something he never has before.

Martin played every game at Bishop Chatard High School in Indianapolis, then every game at Notre Dame, then every game with the Cowboys. But when Martin hobbled off the field last Sunday, it meant that he would not get to play in his hometown.

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Fantasy football – NFL Week 15 inactive players for Sunday

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Chad Williams WR ARZ Hammy Q Trent Sherfield gets boost if he can’t go. Ito Smith RB ATL Knee Q Limited practice Friday. Still may play. Joe Flacco QB BAL Hip Q Should be able to backup Lamar Jackson. LeSean McCoy RB BUF Hammy Q Unlikely to play. Ivory is game-time call. Chris Ivory RB BUF Shldr Q Marcus Murphy/Keith Ford tandem? Stephen Hauschka K BUF Hip Q Should be active and kicking on Sunday. Allen Robinson WR CHI Hip Q Practiced fully Friday. Expected to play. Tavon Austin WR DAL Groin Q Hasn’t played since Week 6. Geoff Swaim TE DAL Wrist O Still not practicing after almost a month. Matthew Stafford QB DET Back Q Limited practice. Expected to fight it out. Kerryon Johnson RB DET Knee O Another LeGarrette Blount start. Bruce Ellington WR DET Hammy O Andy Jones/Brandon Powell get bumps. T.Y. Hilton WR IND Ankle Q Game-time call, but not promising. DJ Chark WR JAX Quad O Dede Westbrook might shine again. Josh Lambo K JAX Groin Q Kai Forbath insurance signing this week. Odell Beckham Jr. WR NYG Quad O Once again, both Shepards see more value. DeSean Jackson WR TB Thumb O Chris Godwin/Adam Humphries merit looks. Chris Thompson RB WAS Illness Q Expected to be fine in time to suit up. Josh Doctson WR WAS Cncssn Q Finally out of protocol, has been practicing. Jordan Reed TE WAS Foot O Vernon Davis to start in his place.

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Denver Broncos coach Vance Joseph defends kicking field goal on fourth-and-1 vs. Cleveland Browns — ‘I wanted points there’

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DENVER — The Denver Broncos went with math over a gut feel Saturday night, and many of their faithful left the 17-16 loss to the Cleveland Browns talking about a fourth-and-1 on which the team didn’t go for it in the closing minutes as the Broncos dropped to 6-8 and the brink of postseason elimination.

With 4 minutes, 39 seconds remaining, trailing 17-13 and with a fourth-and-1 on the Cleveland 6-yard line, Broncos coach Vance Joseph sent kicker Brandon McManus out for a field goal as boos cascaded down from the stands.

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