By Brady Henderson
RENTON – After the Seahawks’ revamped pass rush took a hit this offseason with Bruce Irvin’s suspension and Cliff Avril’s foot injury, coach Pete Carroll finally had some good news to share Wednesday.
Chris Clemons, the team’s sack leader in each of the past three seasons, is still progressing nicely from knee surgery and could be available when Seattle opens the season at Carolina on Sept. 8.
Coach Pete Carroll says defensive end Chris Clemons has a chance to play in Seattle’s opener Sept. 8, eight months after he tore the ACL and meniscus in his left knee. (AP)
“He’s got a chance. We’ll just wait and see how it goes,” Carroll said following an organized team activity. “Like I’ve said from the beginning, we’re not going to rush him. We’re gonna make sure that he’s really well and ready to go and all that. But he is well ahead of schedule and he’s in great shape, so we’re really pleased.”
Clemons tore the ACL and meniscus in his left knee during Seattle’s playoff win over Washington in January, making his availability for the beginning of the regular season a question mark. Carroll said Clemons will be in attendance at next week’s mandatory veteran minicamp, but he won’t practice.
Avril, meanwhile, is expected to practice on a limited basis as he continues to recover from plantar fasciitis, which has sidelined him during OTAs.
“I don’t think we’ll put him in any kind of competitive situations but he’ll get some early work in practice and stuff like that,” Carroll said.
Some more notes from Carroll’s post-practice press conference:
Roll call. Running back Marshawn Lynch, one of the few healthy Seahawks who have skipped some of the voluntary workouts, was in attendance Wednesday. He missed Monday’s session and another of the four that were open to the media.
“We know what Marshawn can do as long as he’s in good shape and he’s in fantastic shape. He’s hard as a rock and he’s worked really hard to this point,” Carroll said.
Right tackle Breno Giacomini, also absent from the open practices this week, has been in New York undergoing tests on an injured knee. Carroll said no surgery was required and that Giacomini could have practiced this week if necessary.
The only absences from Wednesday’s practice were injury-related.
Chancellor, Harvin rest. Strong safety Kam Chancellor and wide receiver Percy Harvin were among the Seahawks not participating in drills Wednesday. Chancellor was resting his surgically-repaired ankle while Harvin has a hip-flexor injury that Carroll described as minor.
Rookie cornerback Tharold Simon continued to sit out due to a foot injury that dates back to his days at LSU. Carroll said the injury is similar to a stress fracture and that the team is giving Simon as much time as necessary to heal.
Rookie defensive tackle Jesse Williams was also held out of practice.