The Seattle Seahawks’ options at Leo defensive end are drying up pretty fast.
The team’s leading sack guy the past three seasons, Chris Clemons, was not in attendance at Seattle’s first OTA because he’s back in Georgia rehabbing from ACL knee surgery.
Clemons’ replacement, Bruce Irvin, will not be available because he has to sit out the first four games for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs.
And Cliff Avril, one of the team’s splashes in free agency, did not practice today because of a plantar fascia issue with his foot, which according to Seattle head coach Pete Carroll he injured four weeks ago.
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So is Avril’s injury serious?
“Well, it hurts,” joked Carroll. “You could ask him about it. The plantar fascia thing is a real uncomfortable thing. You just have to wait it out.
“It’s something that you can come back from. It’s not a problem. But you just have to wait it out. He’s real anxious to go, and he’s doing very well in his rehab. And he runs some this week for the first time. So it will take another couple weeks at least.”
Defensive end Red Bryant and tight end Zach Miller had to deal with a torn plantar fascia in their foot during the second half of last season.
Along with Avril, running back Christine Michael (hamstring), cornerback Tharold Simon (foot), offensive lineman James Carpenter (knee) and tight end Cooper Helfelt (unknown) did not practice today.
Tight end Anthony McCoy suffered an ankle injury coming out of a cut during 7-on-7 and had to be carted off the field.
We had a chance to see the experimentation with Irvin moving to outside linebacker today. Irvin worked at SAM outside linebacker with the second unit.
Irvin appeared comfortable dropping in coverage defensively during passing drills.
Seattle’s front seven with the starters included Bryant at base end, Brandon Mebane at one-tech, Tony McDaniel at 3-tech, Michael Bennett at Leo, Malcolm Smith at SAM, Bobby Wagner at middle linebacker and K.J. Wright at Will.
On third-down situations, Mebane and Bryant played defensive tackle, Irvin and Bennett played defensive end, and Antoine Winfield came in for Smith at nickel.
Offensively, Russell Okung, Paul McQuistan, Max Unger, J.R. Sweezy and Breno Giacomini (left to right) were Seattle’s starting offensive line.
Percy Harvin saw plenty of time at flanker today, with Sidney Rice mostly watching from the sidelines.
Harvin made a couple explosive plays, including getting behind safety Jeron Johnson for a big play.
“The word around here is just competitiveness,” Harvin said. “Anytime I go against (Richard) Sherman and those guys, we’re just looking to make each other better. And anytime I step on the field, I’m looking to make myself better. Just going against those guys – they’re one of the best defenses in the league – I take it upon myself that if I can beat those guys, I’ll be pretty good on Sundays against other guys.”
*Along with Clemons, running back Marshawn Lynch did not attend today’s voluntary workout. However, Carroll said that Lynch was at the team’s facility 10 days ago and appeared to be in good shape.
“He working on a really intense program in his area,” Carroll said. “And he’s benefitting from it. But we’d love to see everybody here.”
* Backup quarterback Josh Portis looked motivated to make folks forget about his recent DUI arrest. He showed good anticipation in completing several throws down the field during 2-minue and in 7-on-7 today.
* Sixth round selection Spencer Ware continued to get plenty of reps at fullback and running back today.
* Receiver Doug Baldwin looked quick and explosive out on the field. He appears to be healthy and back to playing the way he did as a rookie.
* Cornerback Walter Thurmond also was healthy and practicing today. Thurmond worked at nickel cornerback with the second unit defense.
* Mike Morgan looks like he’s added a few pounds, and worked as a Leo defensive end with the second unit defense.
* Seventh round draft choice Ty Powell also is working at the Leo position.