Chris Clemons proved to be a quick healer. He’s fast approaching a return to action after reconstructive knee surgery in January.
It just won’t happen at Carolina this Sunday.
Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters Monday that his team’s leading sack man the past three seasons will practice for the first time Wednesday, but he has been ruled out for the team’s season opener against the Panthers.
Clemons has made steady progress in his rehab work with trainers, which led to Carroll placing him on the active roster with the hope he can return to action in a few weeks.
“We’re real excited about that,” Carroll said. “He’s had a great preparation to get back. It will be light on Wednesday. But he’s been really busting it, so we’ll just bring him along, and we’re going to take our time.”
The Seahawks can use the help up front defensively, with several defensive linemen nursing nagging injuries. Defensive tackles Brandon Mebane and Tony McDaniel are expected to return to practice after missing the last exhibition game against Oakland with groin injuries.
Defensive tackle Michael Bennett returned to practice on Monday after having a procedure on his toe over the weekend. Rookie defensive tackle Jordan Hill likely will miss Sunday’s game because of a strained biceps, but is expected back on the field soon. Top free-agent signee Cliff Avril’s availability remains uncertain because of lingering hamstring issues.
With all the injuries up front, recently acquired of defensive tackle D’Anthony Thomas, who came in a trade with Jacksonville, will get an opportunity to contribute. Thomas is familiar with Seattle’s defensive scheme from his time playing for former Seahawks defensive coordinator and current Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley.
“We were looking for a little depth here, and a guy who could battle for us,” Carroll said about Thomas. “We liked his movement. And he could understand our system. He got indoctrinated a little bit from his other camp. He looked active enough that he could help us, and he’s active and fit. So we’re a little bit (full) at the defensive line spot, and we’ve got to make sure we’ve got a guy who can play.”