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Seahawks’ optimistic with Michael Bennett, unsure with Luke Willson after knee injuries

Michael Bennett is inactive for Sunday's game in New Orleans and expected to be out another two to three weeks after knee surgery. (AP)

Preliminary indications are that Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett avoided a serious injury when he hurt his knee in the third quarter of Seattle’s win over Atlanta on Sunday.

Bennett went down on the play that resulted in Atlanta’s game-tying touchdown when Falcons tackle Jake Matthews dove at his right knee while attempting a cut block, causing it to hyperextend. Bennett went down in a heap and had to be helped off the field minutes later. He didn’t return to the game.

Afterward, he said tests showed the injury is “nothing major.” Coach Pete Carroll said the team thinks Bennett will be OK.

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Bennett was nonetheless upset, calling it a “bitch-ass move” by Matthews.

“It’s like, why cut somebody when you can just line up and win?” Bennett said, referring to a legal blocking technique that Seattle’s offensive line also employs. “I don’t come off the ball jumping at offensive linemen’s legs.”

Said Carroll of Bennett: “A little sore, but we think he’s OK. He’s got a sore knee. We’ll see what happens here in the next couple days.”

The situation is less clear with tight end Luke Willson, who sustained a knee injury of his own in the fourth quarter when it appeared that Christine Michael fell into him while scoring his second touchdown. Willson had to be helped off the field, walking with his head down and a trainer underneath each of his arms. He didn’t return.

“I don’t know anything specific about it, but we’ll get that all checked out,” Carroll said. “He’s going to get all the MRIs and all that kind of stuff.”

The Seahawks played Sunday without strong safety Kam Chancellor and defensive end Frank Clark, who were both hurt in practice last week. Carroll called it a slight groin pull for Chancellor and said he should be fine for next week.

“He almost could go this week,” Carroll said. “We’ll keep our fingers crossed. He’ll have to show. It will take him all the way through the week, though, so that we can rest it and make sure it’s not an issue.”