The Seattle Seahawks will enter Sunday's game at the Atlanta Falcons down three-fifths of their starting offensive line with center Max Unger ruled out due to a concussion suffered against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week.
With left tackle Russell Okung (toe) and right tackle Breno Giacomini (knee) already having missed several games, quarterback Russell Wilson has been under constant pressure behind the patchwork offensive line.
Lemuel Jean-Pierre has filled in adequately for Unger previously this season, but there is still a distinct drop-off - including Wilson typically making the line calls.
"He's done really well," coach Pete Carroll said of Jean-Pierre. "Really, dating back from whenever he's played for us in the games, he's come through. So we really feel that he's played already for us and we feel like he's another one of the starters going in there. So we're pleased to get him his chance again and we'll expect him to play really well."
Defensive lineman Red Bryant, a big presence in the run game, will also miss the Falcons game due to a concussion.
"We're going to take care of them this week and have them ready for next week, hopefully," Carroll said of Bryant and Unger.
Okung and Giacomini returned to limited practice this week, increasing their workload each day. Carroll said both will attempt to go full-speed next week before the team determines potential return dates. Giacomini could return to the lineup or wind up on season-ending injured reserve depending on how his knee responds.
"They feel like their able to handle the work, they have had no issues with it at all. So next week, they'll come back going full speed and that'll be really exciting to get those guys back in. They're dying to play, as you can imagine they've had to sit there and watch for so long, that there really worked up about it."
Wide receiver Percy Harvin also continues to rehab his hip, but isn't ready to make his season debut yet.
"Percy is the best he's been," Carroll said. "He had another excellent day; he's not ready to play this week. He'll return to practice hopefully next week and we'll just go one day at a time then. But all of the signs are really encouraging, he feels good, he's not having issues after he works out or next days.
"So I think that we've built up enough days here to take a real good positive step. I don't know what that means, in terms of playing next week, but we're hoping that he'll be able to get some extra work and really jump back into it."