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Those two were among the players hit hardest by a flu bug that started making its way through the Seahawks locker room midway through last week. They combined to lose at least 22 pounds by their counts, then made two of the biggest plays of the Seahawks’ 37-30 win over the Minnesota Vikings: an interception by Flowers and a 60-yard touchdown reception by Moore.
Six Seahawks were listed on the final injury report of the week with an illness. Several of them were sent home. Flowers stuck around and practiced with an antiviral facemask covering his mouth. At one point Wednesday, he vomited in a garbage can between plays.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever seen somebody do that — practice with a mask,” linebacker K.J. Wright said. “But he battled. He was sick, but he came back and got his IVs and made it happen.”
Moore didn’t practice Friday or Saturday. The Seahawks had Thursday off for Thanksgiving.
“It was on Thanksgiving Day. I was just like, screw this,” said Moore, who said he lost at least 10 pounds. “I couldn’t eat. That’s one of my favorite holidays too because of … the food. I just felt bad. I couldn’t eat my mom’s food. I felt sorry for her.”
Flowers said he lost about 12 pounds, and he was sniffling between responses while talking to reporters postgame. He didn’t eat much on Thanksgiving, either.
“Thanksgiving was only one plate for me,” Flowers said. “It was bad. My mom’s here now, though. She’s cooking, so I’m going to get it all back. I’m going to try to tonight.”
Moore’s touchdown came in the closing seconds of the third quarter, when he got wide-open behind cornerback Xavier Rhodes on an apparent coverage bust. That pushed Seattle’s lead to 27-17. Moore’s other catch went for 5 yards.
Tyler Lockett, who was among the sick Seahawks, was held without a catch on three targets.
“It was pretty bad,” quarterback Russell Wilson said. “I don’t know if we’ve ever had that many guys miss practice and go home. Not just miss practice but have to go home for it. So it’s that time of year, I guess. But I thought all the guys played great. … You saw David Moore step in and just make a huge play for us, tremendous play. Tyler didn’t get the ball tonight unfortunately, but we were trying to get it to him, and they were just trying to stop him, but it opened up a lot of other guys.”
Defensive tackle Poona Ford, linebacker Shaquem Griffin and backup guard Jordan Roos were the other three Seahawks listed with an illness. Ford started the game, and Griffin played special teams and on defense as a situational edge rusher.
“I know a lot of teams had this flu thing, and it was legit,” coach Pete Carroll said. “Our guys did it beautifully because they really managed the attitude part of it, and I’m really thrilled about that because when you’re feeling that cruddy and that bad, and you’re throwing up and everything else you’re doing, it’s hard to have a good attitude. But these guys found a way, and guys contributed to helping them, and it was not a factor for us at all tonight. We played right through it.”
Flowers’ fourth-quarter interception of Kirk Cousins was his second pick in as many games and third this season to lead the team. He was a safety at Oklahoma State before converting to cornerback after Seattle drafted him in the fifth round last year.
“He’s really doing well,” Carroll said. “He’s playing better. He’s playing more complete a game, and his mentality is really strong, and he’s really believing in himself. It’s such a difficult position to play out there, and particularly for a guy that doesn’t have it in his history. He’s really grown into his own. He’s such a beautiful athlete, and he’s such a good competitor, and he’s a tough guy. It’s great to see him coming through and making it.”