A smaller crew of Seahawks assembled for practice Monday with word that DE Chris Clemons will not play Sunday in the regular season opener at Carolina, even though the Seahawks on cutdown day Saturday chose to keep him on the 53-man active roster. Clemons will practice Wednesday for the first time since he tore his ACL in the playoff game in January at Washington.
“We’re really excited about that,” Carroll said after practice. “He’s had a great preparation to get back and it will be light on Wednesday but he’s been really busting it.”
Also absent from the same position is Bruce Irvin, as he begins his four-game suspension for violations of the NFL’s drug policy. That leaves three newcomers to occupy the LEO spot: Veteran O’Brien Schofield, rookie free agent Benson Mayowa and veteran Michael Bennett, with returnee linebacker Mike Morgan in the mix.
The rest of the health news was generally good: WR Stephen Williams (concussion), WR Sidney Rice (knee), DT Brandon Mebane (groin), DT Tony McDaniel (groin) and DT Micheal Bowie (shoulder) are expected to practice Wednesday.
Carroll feared after the preseason finale against Oakland Thursday night that Bowie’s injury could be serious.
“The news was really good,” Carroll said. “He had an old injury that showed up and was a little confusing.”
The one question mark is DE Cliff Avril, progressing from a hamstring strain. Carroll said he worked out prior to practice Monday and looked better than expected: “He ran pretty well today. I’m anxious to see what happens later in the week.”
Bennett returned after a minor procedure on a bothersome toe over the weekend. Carroll didn’t have a timeline on rookie DT Jordan Hill, who strained a bicep during preseason
The Seahawks earlier in the day took to a hit to the practice squad when rookie WR Chris Harper was lost to San Francisco when the 49ers signed the fourth-round choice to their 53-man roster. The Seahawks cut him Saturday and invited him on to the practice squad before the receiver-short 49ers offered him a roster spot.
“That’s the gamble that you take,” Carroll said, “and they picked up a good football player.”
The Seahawks were relatively quiet on the waiver-wire hunt, making only a deal Friday with Jacksonville to add DT D’Anthony Smith for a conditional 2014 draft choice.
“We’re looking for a little depth here in a guy that could battle for us,” Carroll said. “We liked his movement, he could understand our system, he’s active enough that he could help us, and he’s healthy and fit. We’re a little bit knocked around at the defensive line spot so we have to make sure we have a guy that can play.”
“Well we burned a candle up here now. (GM) John Schneider and his guys worked late and looked at every single guy that came across the wire that might have a chance. We’re really happy with the guys that we’ve kept that’s why we weren’t as active. To be so competitive, it was verified by all the guys that wound up in other people’s camps.”