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Frank Clark’s absence in Seahawks practice has been a ‘coach’s decision,’ Pete Carroll says

Frank Clark hasn't practiced since punching teammate Germain Ifedi in the face last Thursday. (AP)

RENTON – Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said defensive end Frank Clark has been dealing with a “very slight” knee injury but that it’s not the primary reason why he’s sat out the last four practices.

“He missed a couple days here, coach’s discretion,” Carroll said of Clark on Monday. “Other than that, he has a little knee thing he’s working on to make sure that he’s OK, but he should be back Wednesday (or) Thursday.”

Clark and right tackle Germain Ifedi were among several players who didn’t participate in the Seahawks’ mock game on Monday, though Ifedi took part in warmups while in full pads beforehand. Carroll said he should be back on Wednesday, when the Seahawks return from an off day Tuesday.

While he didn’t use the word discipline with regards to Clark’s absence, Carroll’s comments strongly suggested that Clark was being punished for punching a helmetless Ifedi in the face during a practice fight last Thursday.

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That punch got Clark ejected from practice. It also injured Ifedi, who hasn’t practiced since then while sporting a fat lip. Carroll answered in the affirmative when asked if Ifedi’s absence has been injury-related (as opposed to a punitive measure for his involvement in the fight).

“Yeah, he was banged a little bit, but he’s OK,” Carroll said.

Asked for clarification on whether Clark was being disciplined, Carroll said only: “This is a coach’s decision.”

Clark had either a brace or ice over his left knee for the first three days after the fight but nothing on Monday. Carroll said the injury didn’t occur in the fight with Ifedi.

“Something that’s been bothering him a little bit,” Carroll said of Clark’s injury. “It’s very slight. We know what’s going on. That was not really the issue that’s going on.”

Update: Clark tweeted this Monday evening: