Defensive end Chris Clemons' season ended Sunday on the shoddy turf at Washington, Seattle's top pass rusher suffering a knee injury that will require surgery.
And while coach Pete Carroll on Monday didn't attribute the injury -- a torn anterior-cruciate ligament and damaged meniscus -- to the loose, natural-grass surface at FedEx Field, there was no denying the fact the footing was bad in Sunday's game. The impact of Clemons' injury will be even worse for Seattle.
"A big loss for us in a lot of ways," Carroll said. "Chris has been a great football player, just a symbol of consistency for the years we've had him. But he's been a great leader for us and a tough dude, and a guy we just have become very comfortable with."
The Seahawks acquired Clemons from Philadelphia via a trade in 2010, and he has excelled as a pass-rush specialist. He led Seattle with 11-1331/2 sacks this season, his third consecutive year with double-digit sacks. Dallas' DeMarcus Ware and Minnesota's Jared Allen are the only other NFL players with 10 or more sacks each of the past three seasons.
"I want to thank everyone for their prayers," Clemons posted on his Twitter account. "I will be ready for next season. We still got a Super Bowl to win!"
Rookie Bruce Irvin will start at defensive end, a spot he is suited for. The real question is depth behind him. Irvin had eight sacks in the regular season, most among all NFL rookies. No other Seahawk had more than three.
Rookie Greg Scruggs could also see time as a reserve, and Carroll did not rule out the possibility Seattle would sign another pass rusher.
As for the field at Washington, Carroll was critical.
"The field was not a great turf to play on," he said. "There was a lot of loose footing out there."
He stopped short of saying the surface had any correlation with Clemons' injury, though.
"I don't know that," he said. "As he planted, there was a push on him by the offensive lineman that kind of hit simultaneous when his foot planted, and he got caught."
Just for kicks
Kicker Steven Hauschka suffered a strained calf in the first half of Sunday's game, which forced him to miss one kickoff. Hauschka returned and kicked two field goals after suffering the injury.
Carroll said that Hauschka's calf was improved Monday, but the team will continue to monitor his condition. Seattle expects to work out kickers on Tuesday, looking at a potential replacement for Hauschka should he not be able to play.
Williams reaches out to Seahawks' Sherman
Washington offensive tackle Trent Williams reached out to Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman after a confrontation following Sunday's game.
Well, actually Williams reached out twice -- the first time taking an openhanded swipe at Sherman's face on the field after the game. After that, he sent a text message to Sherman, which Seattle's cornerback acknowledged via his Twitter account.
"Received a very classy text from @TrentW71," Sherman stated, referencing Williams' Twitter account. "Great player! This is an emotional game no ill will either way. Have a great Pro Bowl! Well deserved."
Williams was apologetic after the game, saying it was his fault for letting his emotions get the best of him.
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