By Danny O’Neil
RENTON – Defensive end Cliff Avril is expected to make his Seahawks debut in prime time on Sunday.
Coach Pete Carroll said Avril is expected to be ready to play San Francisco after missing all four preseason games and the regular-season opener in Carolina because of a hamstring injury.
“He was very close to being able to play on Sunday,” Carroll said, “so we’re planning on him being part of it this week unless he has some kind of setback we can’t foresee. That would be a nice little boost to get him back in the game.”
As for Chris Clemons, who’s coming back from knee surgery and took the practice field for the first time last week? It sounds like that is a little more up in the air. While Carroll didn’t rule out the possibility Clemons would be ready, the coach made it clear the first step is to begin a full diet of practice repetitions.
“He’s going to take reps for us this week,” Carroll said of Clemons. “He will take reps Wednesday and we’ll just see how he does. We need to get him through the practice routine and see if he can handle it, which we think he can. But he hasn’t done that yet so that means he’ll be working against the guys, pushing and shoving and all that in a limited fashion and then we’ll take it just one day at a time and see how he progresses.”
Cornerback Brandon Browner missed Sunday’s opener with a hamstring injury after testing the leg on the field before the game.
“He ran hard in pregame, but not full speed,” Carroll said. “We want to make sure that we can get him back to full speed. He’s in a track meet out there so he’s got to have all that going for him. He’s going to run again. He ran today, he’s going to run tomorrow and Wednesday we’ll see how he does. We’ll try to get him for Thursday’s practice.”
Carroll said it remains a possibility Browner will be available this week.
Safety Jeron Johnson is the only Seattle player who left Sunday’s game with an injury after he strained his hamstring on the opening kickoff. Carroll said he won’t know Johnson’s status until later this week.
“He’s got a minor strain,” Carroll said of Johnson. “We’ll have to figure out later in the week. We’ll see where it comes back Wednesday and Thursday and see what that means to us.”