RENTON Kam Chancellor is expected to be out for the rest of the Seahawks’ season?
“I don’t even know where that’s coming from,” coach Pete Carroll said following practice Saturday.
Chancellor, the relentless soul of Seattle’s star-packed defense, is out for Monday night’s home game against Atlanta. He hasn’t practiced since he got a neck “stinger” nerve injury making a hard tackle late in last weeks win at Arizona.
Asked if there is indeed concern this injury is season-ending for Chancellor, Carroll said: “Let's wait and see. Let's just wait and see. We're working through it, like I said. We've met on it and we're hanging together and just trying to talk our way through it and not have to do anything any faster than we have to. And we're just wait and see."
Pro Bowl defensive end Cliff Avril has been on injured reserve since the first days of October after he got a neck stinger injury that has him contemplating neck surgery. Asked if Chancellor’s injury was the same, Carroll said: “It’s not the same injury. But it’s a similar kind of circumstance right now (with waiting and gathering medical opinions).”
The Seahawks’ secondary is already without Richard Sherman for the remainder of the season because of his ruptured Achilles. Being without Sherman and Chancellor in the back of the defense Monday--against reigning NFL MVP Matt Ryan, All-Pro receiver Julio Jones and the defending NFC-champion Falcons--is a challenge Seattle hasn’t faced since October 2011. Those were the last games before Sherman took over at left cornerback as a rookie.
Starting left tackle Duane Brown is questionable with an ankle injury, and Carroll said Brown’s and defensive tackle Jarran Reed’s availability will be game-time decisions. Backup Matt Tobin, acquired in August in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, has been preparing all week to make what would be his 22nd career start on Sunday against Adrian Clayborn, the Falcons’ defensive end who had six sacks last weekend against Dallas’ backup left tackles.
Mike Garafolo of the league-owned NFL Network reported Saturday morning Chancellor “is expected” to go on injured reserve to end his season.
Carroll said nothing’s been decided.
“We're still looking at what our options are," the coach said. "And we'll continue to do that and keep evaluating what's going on. We're working very closely with him on that."
While Bradley McDougald was practicing Thursday to be the starting strong safety for Chancellor Monday night against Atlanta, Chancellor and his wife entered team headquarters. Instead of going to the indoor field to see his teammates or the locker room, they went directly upstairs. That’s where general manager John Schneider and other team executives have their offices.
This would be the fourth consecutive season that the hard-hitting, relentless Chancellor, 29, has missed multiple games because of injuries. An original memeber along with Thomas and Sherman of Seattle’s famed “Legion of Boom” defensive secondary, Chancellor signed a contract extension in August that got him $25 million guaranteed. He held out through training camp and the first two games of the 2015 season while seeking more guaranteed cash.
Friday, Chancellor’s third day missing practice this week, Thomas talked about how his “Legion” is changing.
Sherman had surgery Wednesday for a ruptured Achilles tendon. He was wheeling around the locker room and practice field Friday on a knee scooter while Jeremy Lane and Byron Maxwell competed to replace his at left cornerback. It’s been likely all week Chancellor is going to miss at least Monday night’s game against Atlanta if not more. Thomas admitted he was fighting himself mentally the last two weeks while missing two games with a pulled hamstring.
It all leaves Thomas, like Sherman a three-time All-Pro, contemplating the career mortality of their "Legion of Boom."
The first 11 games Thomas has missed of his eight-year career have come within the last 12 months.
The Seahawks prepared for this in May, when they drafted defensive backs with four of their first eight draft picks. But this changing of the older guard has come perhaps sooner than the team expected.
Not only are their defensive stars not 25 anymore. Some of them aren’t even able to be on the field.
"Yeah, slowly but surely," Thomas said. "We are getting thin as far as that group. You can’t control that. It’s the nature of the game. It’s a violent game and guys play 100 percent every play, so it happens.
"But the younger guys, you know it is going to be a culture, because we have set the standard. They see it, the way we practice, they see it.
"Even when we are gone, they are still going to be good."
But not as good as what Seattle’s had for the last six years.