Seahawks Insider: Seattle moving forward without Cliff Avril

Oct 19, 2017, 9:33 AM | Updated: 9:52 am
Cliff Avril...
Seahawks' veteran DE Cliff Avril saw his 2017 season end in Week 4. (AP)

The Seahawks are hoping Cliff Avril comes back from the spinal injury that was diagnosed this month.

They’re just not hoping that Avril comes back and plays football again this season, as coach Pete Carroll said Avril is headed for injured reserve during a Wednesday interview with Sirius XM Radio.

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While it’s possible for a player on injured reserve to return later in the year, there’s no indication the Seahawks are hoping for such a comeback this year from their Pro Bowl defensive end, and defensive coordinator Kris Richard talked about moving on without him after Wednesday’s practice.

“You hear the cliché time and time again, ‘Next man up’ and it is just very difficult,” Richard said. “It is very difficult, but we have to keep moving on and we have to rely on the guys (who are) active. Yes, next man in line.”

Avril is 31 and in his fifth season with Seattle. He had eight or more sacks in three of his first four years with the team. The question isn’t about who replaces Avril in the starting lineup. Frank Clark will do that just as he did in Los Angeles in Week 5.

The question is who steps in to back up Clark, and this week it looks like the Seahawks will have an option they didn’t have in their last game: Quinton Jefferson.

He’s a second-year player who was re-signed to the team after Avril’s injury, however Jefferson suffered a broken bone in his hand 20 minutes into his first practice since rejoining the team. While he was out for the Week 5 game at the Rams, he practiced without limitation on Wednesday and could be ready to go this weekend. Branden Jackson, who was promoted to Seattle’s active roster the day before the Seahawks played the Rams, is also a candidate for increased playing time.

“I think it is going to show who has been preparing,” Richard said, “Because now that the next man is going to get his opportunity, what are you going to be able to do is really what it is going to come down to. Then again, it is going to be our responsibility as coaches to do make sure we consistently put the guys who are going to replace him in spots that they can be successful.”

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