DANNY ONEIL

Seahawks Insider: Cliff Avril headed to injured reserve, but next step unclear

Oct 20, 2017, 8:10 AM

Cliff Avril...

Seahawks' veteran DE Cliff Avril saw his 2017 season end in Week 4. (AP)

(AP)

The Seahawks know they’ll be placing Cliff Avril on injured reserve.

That is about the only decision that has been made so far regarding the defensive lineman, who suffered some type of nerve or spinal injury while attempting to make a tackle in Seattle’s Week 4 game against the Indianapolis Colts.

“We’ve already talked to Cliff about putting him on the IR list,” coach Pete Carroll said after Thursday’s practice. “That’ll happen whenever we get to the business part of it.”

Most likely, Seattle will make that move on Saturday after the team travels to the East Coast for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants. Frank Clark assumes Avril’s role in the starting lineup with Marcus Smith becoming more a part of Seattle’s third-down pass rush.

Putting Avril on injured reserve does not end his season per se though the Seahawks have not discussed the likelihood of a potential return. Carroll was asked Thursday about the medical specifics of Avril’s situation.

“He’s got concerns,” Carroll said. “I don’t know the medical part of it.”

Carroll said it was too soon to know whether Avril will undergo surgery.

“We’re not there yet,” Carroll said. “Cliff’s still working and taking information in to figure out what’s best. We don’t know that yet.”

Avril is 31 and in his fifth season with the Seahawks. He has had eight or more sacks in three of his first four seasons in Seattle after joining the team as a free agent in 2013.

And there remains the possibility that Avril could return to play this year. Each NFL team is allowed to bring two different players who have been placed on injured reserve back onto the active roster in the course of a single season.

The player must miss six games, however, before he is eligible to return to practice as one of those players who is designated for return. The designation does not have to be made in advance, meaning that after six weeks, Seattle would have the option of designating Avril to return.

“The IR thing gives him six weeks at least to figure whatever else we can figure out,” Carroll said. “But he’s not sure what is best for him right now, and he’s trying to find that out, and we’re giving him hopefully a good sense and a comfort that we’re going to support it all the way throughout and figure out what’s best and do that.”

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Seahawks Insider: Cliff Avril headed to injured reserve, but next step unclear