In trying to contain the NFL’s number one offense over the first four weeks, the Seattle Seahawks defense will need to overcome the loss of one of their most reliable starters since the 2013 season. Defensive end Cliff Avril has been ruled out for the game with a neck injury that he suffered in Week 4’s win over the Indianapolis Colts. It’s impossible to say when he will return, but the Seahawks do have a Bye in Week 6.
Seattle may also be without starting cornerback Jeremy Lane, who is doubtful with an ankle injury. Also doubtful (again) is running back C.J. Prosise, who is dealing with a groin issue.
Linebacker Michael Wilhoite (hamstring) is Questionable.
Earl Thomas, Rees Odhiambo, Richard Sherman, Doug Baldwin, Luke Joeckel, Jimmy Graham, and Neiko Thorpe were all full participants in practice on Friday. Head coach Pete Carroll also noted this week that Malik McDowell (concussion) could still make his debut this year, while the recently-resigned Quinton Jefferson broke his hand on Monday and could miss a month.
Without Avril, it will mean more opportunities for Frank Clark, who is already among the NFL leaders in QB pressures this season despite being a rotational defensive lineman. Also needing to step up will be Shaquill Griffin, if Lane is ruled out, as well as Justin Coleman, who had a pick-six against the Colts.