The Seahawks have placed run-stuffing, blocker-devouring defensive tackle Brandon Mebane on injured reserve because of a torn hamstring, ending what had been a standout season inside for the eight-year veteran.
The team brought back tight end RaShaun Allen by signing him off the Minnesota Vikings' practice squad to fill Mebane's place on the 53-man active roster.
The loss of Mebane comes five days before Seattle (6-3) plays at Kansas City (6-3), which has the NFL's fifth-ranked rushing offense with All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles.
Mebane was having the finest season of his career before he limped off early in last weekend's win over the New York Giants.
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"I mean, there is nobody like Mebane," coach Pete Carroll said after the breaker of offense's double-team blocks got hurt.
"Kevin [Williams] will play a lot more in that spot. Tony [McDaniel] plays there and Jordan Hill will also play there so we will see how that goes and what kind of play we’re getting from the fellas and how it fits. All those guys are good football players. They’re all doing good stuff.
"Their makeup is a little different and their style. I mean there is nobody like Mebane. He’s a very unique player. He’s had, I think, the best season he’s had since he’s we’ve been here to this point – most consistent, best factor so that’s a big hit to take. But our guys that go in play good football too so we will expect them to play up and maintain the level."
This is the time for the Seahawks to see what Williams still has in his 34-year-old tank.
With Mebane out for year, the 12-year veteran is about to increase his average of 26 snaps per game. His Seahawks high: 40 plays, vs DAL, like Kansas City a run-first team with a dominant, big back.
The Seahawks have been pacing Williams' snap counts this season:
Opponent Williams' snaps on defense
Green Bay 24San Diego 27Denver 38Washington 20St. Louis 26Dallas 40Carolina 24Oakland 23New York Giants 16
So he should be fresh for the increased task.
Carroll says for now the Seahawks are happy with in-house options to fill-in for Mebane.
"We were really pleased with Demarcus Dobbs," Carroll said of the newly signed free agent defensive lineman from San Francisco who made his Seahawks debut last weekend. "He did a very nice job in the snaps that he had, played really good in special teams too. That was a tremendous pick up. And (newly signed fullback) Will (Tukuafu) can play in there also, so we don’t have any problem.
"We’re always looking though. We’re always competing to find somebody."
The return of Allen, who had been on and off the Seahawks' practice squad this season, is an indication starting Zach Miller isn't likely to be coming back soon in his seven-weeks-and-counting recovery from ankle surgery. It also suggest Luke Willson's sprained ankle from the Giants game may not be healing quickly, and that former Chiefs starter Tony Moeaki, signed last week, is not only going to make his Seahawks debut this weekend but likely to have a prominent role.
Moeaki has had 47 and 33 receptions in his only two full seasons in the league. He missed all of 2012 to a knee injury and recently got an injury settlement with Buffalo to become a free agent. Quarterback Russell Wilson marveled last week how well Moeaki was catching passes in his first Seattle practices.