Jesse Williams placed on IR, Avril injured

This isn’t a big surprise and was one of my predictions yesterday when projecting the final 53-man roster. Williams has clearly been struggling and needs time to get healthy. The knee issue he’s dealing with is holding him back.

The big question is whether Williams will ever return to his best form. The Seahawks took a swing in round five, yet it’s clear many teams had swiped him off their board or at least considerably dropped their grade.

At his best, Williams anchored the Alabama defensive line. He struggled in playing time for Seattle during pre-season, clearly labouring in the process. The Seahawks are one of the teams who could afford to take a chance here.

The other players who were released today: Perez Ashford, Kyle Knox, Jameson Konz, Andrei Lintz, Kyle Nelson, Martin Parker, Craig Wilkins and Brett Swain. Again, no major shocks here. They need to make six more cuts before Tuesday’s deadline.

Meanwhile it was also revealed today that Cliff Avril has suffered an injury setback. He’s re-aggravated a hamstring issue. It’s a major setback for Seattle’s pass rush. With Chris Clemons still working his way back and Bruce Irvin suspended for the first four games, Avril was going to be crucial to start the year. No timetable has been set for his return.

O’Brien Schofield will need to hit the ground running and it’s almost certain that Benson Mayowa makes the 53-man roster. At this stage he’s a virtual lock. Pass rush was a big problem for Seattle last year with Clemons. Take him, Avril and Irvin away and that’s going to sting. This has to be a concern.


  1. austin

    Benson Mayowa has looked legit this preseason and has shown an ability to rush the passer. Not saying he’s Avril or Irvin but he has looked really solid. Rotoworld also said something similar about him when reporting the Avril situation. Any chance Clemons is playing week 2 against San Fran? I would think Avril would be back by then but tough to say without much information to go on.

    • Rob Staton

      Clemons has talked about being back for week three but it really is hit and hope there. Seattle needs Clemons. And I mean, absolutely needs him. He’s been the lynch pin of the defensive line for three years. We have to hope he’s ready sooner rather than later, whatever happens with Avril.

      • Belgaron

        Clemons and Harvin loom as serious jolts to the roster as soon as they are good to go. This team will again improve over the course of the year, especially if they can keep the new injuries minimal. Week 1 will be fun to finally see most of the offensive stars back on the field together.

    • Belgaron

      Agreed. If he can up his game against the 1st string LTs, he’ll be a star in this league. He could be a Clem in the making.

  2. James

    Not exactly an auspicious start that our two big acquisitions, Harvin and Avril, are injured and can’t contribute. The opener at Carolina is looking more than ever like a trap game. The Seahawks absolutely must play their best, get off to a great start, and find a way to pressure Newton into mistakes. If the team must keep both Schofield and Mayowa due to injuries to Avril and Clemons, then it seems that PCJS can only keep 5 WRs and Spencer Ware will have to be released also. Other potential keepers, like Lotulelei, won’t have a slot available. Unless Jesse Williams’ knee is bone-on-bone and is beyond repair, with another surgery and a year to recover, he could do next year for the Seahawks what he did for Alabama…complete shut-down of the inside running game.

    • Turp

      Fortunately Carolina has not drafted well the past few years. The key battle in this game will be our O-line being able to control their new D-line, which is where all of their draft capital was spent (Loutelei, Short). This time they get to face a fully operational Russell Wilson.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t see the Panthers game necessarily as a trap game. Seattle should, theoretically, have enough on offense to simply outscore the Panthers and quite comfortably too. Even if Newton has a relatively decent day, he should be playing catch up. And it’s from that position that even a weakened pass rush can succeed.

      If Seattle wants to be a big hitter, they just have to go and win that game. The Pats would march in there, win 30-14 and go home. Opening day is always a little tight, but the Seahawks have too much offensive talent to toil. And Cam has been a slow starter the last two years.

      The big concern I have with the injuries is San Fran. Even after the last meeting, that’s still a rock hard game. And there will be a paper’s width between the teams this time, no blow out IMO.

      • SunPathPaul

        The plus there is the 12th man going for a world record in sound! Look how they totally disrupted the 9ers last time, and I feel they will be the deciding factor… plus kaperdick is not as good as they think

        Go 12th man! Go Hawks!!!

        • Rob Staton

          Home field is always an advantage for the Seahawks, but I also believe the Niners will have learnt lessons from last season and will be better prepared.

          This may sound like sacrilege, but I think the 42-13 beat down was an anomaly. A handful of key plays seriously went Seattle’s way on the night, allowing them to build a lead good enough that the contest was virtually over by half time. A fantastic performance overall by the ‘Hawks, but also one of those nights where everything came together. The stars were aligned for Seattle that day. The team was on a serious late season charge and had momentum. Any opportunity in that game and they were going to snatch it. San Fran on the other hand looked a spent force and didn’t get their momentum back until it mattered — in the post season.

          Now that doesn’t mean those stars won’t align again (I hope they do) but I also believe the Niners are a fantastic football team who play tough, uncompromising football (like Seattle). And for me, Kaepernick is an elite player in the making. He has flaws, but what a talent. And as much as it pains me to admit, he has a brilliant coaching staff guiding him. I’d also argue that the game in San Fran was just as one sided especially in the second half — a domination really although the scoreline suggested differently. Seattle’s offense has since improved massively, but San Fran (even with A.Smith at QB) showed what they’re capable of doing to Seattle that night.

          I think this time it’ll be much tighter. it’ll be a war. I think it’ll come down to the final quarter, possibly the final drive or play. And it’ll be a coin toss type of thing. Which is why Seattle needs as many difference maker players on the field as possible.

          • Colin

            The big advantage we will have is the Niners have lost so many receivers to injury, I’m not sure how they’ll fare on the road against our secondary. If we can load the box and stop Gore, we can easily win that game despite our pass rush issues.

            • Belgaron

              If ‘Hawks can stop the run and make the 9ers have to throw to stay in the game, it’ll be checkmate. I love those odds. So it all comes down to shutting down the run.

            • Rob Staton

              I don’t think you can ever easily win a game against the Niners to be fair. And they’ll still have Boldin and Davis, plus Patton is emerging quickly.

              • Colin

                I’m not sold that defense is the lock stop unit it has been in years past. We have held our own against better Niner teams. Maybe “easily” was a poor word choice, I could still see the Hawks winning by more than 8 points, but it’s probably going to come down to the wire, like you mentioned.

          • A. Simmons

            If it weren’t for the coaching staff, I would not think of Kaepernick so highly. I have to agree that Jim Harbaugh can make QBs look much better than they actually are. If he can make Alex Smith look good enough to trade for a 2nd round pick, he can certainly turn Kaepernick into an elite QB as much as it pains to me admit it. I doubt Kaep will ever be Brady, Manning, or Brees. He can certainly be Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben certainly proved he can win Superbowls.

  3. Sam Jaffe

    After hauling in such an incredible group of free agents/trades, it might turn out that the most important off-season addition to this team will be Schofield. I think he’ll be the good-enough answer to the LEO shortage til Clemons and Irvin get back. Then he’ll revert to exactly the kind of WLB that Dan Quinn wants. Also, keep in mind how good this team is going to be in the latter half of the season and playoffs as Irvin, Clemons, Avril and Harvin start dropping in.

    • Aaron

      I agree that Schofield will prove to be a key addition given the absence of Clemons, Irvin, and now Avril to start the season. But don’t forget about Michael Bennett. I have a feeling he’s going to be an absolute rock for this defensive line, and he’s going to need to be if the Hawks are going to live up to expectations to start the season. I think he may prove to be the most important off-season acquisition for just that reason.

      I’d also single out Tony McDaniel as another key acquisition. I’m very excited about him. We haven’t seen a large sample size from yet because of his groin injury, but he looked very promising in the Packers game. I think there’s a very good chance we’ve actually found our three tech (at least for this season). He’s not going to rack up sacks, but he pushes the pocket, and I love the fact that he specializes in batting down passes. That will be a huge factor. Speaking of huge, I went to one of the training camp practices, and this guy is just a monster of a human being. He stands out.

      I’m very excited about what the combination of McDaniel, Winfield, and a revitalized Red Bryant are going to do for our run defense. I really foresee there being a marked improvement in that area. That could take this defense from being great to being truly elite. Then like you said, once we get Clemons, Avril, and Irvin back on the field right about the same time – watch out. I’m actually getting fired up just talking about this stuff. 🙂 Go Hawks!

      • Aaron

        To your point about Schofield though Sam, it’s truly amazing what PC/JS and the scouting staff have done with regard to under-the-radar free agents and UDFAs this year. (At least it is really looking that way in the pre-season.) When you consider the talent level on this roster – to have found multiple diamonds in the rough who may end up contributing to this team’s high-level success in very meaningful ways this season – it’s just really impressive to me.

        I’m thinking of Schofield, McDaniel, Mayowa, Stephen Williams, and even Lotulelei. I’m probably forgetting one or twoIt gives you a lot of hope for the future, because there’s no luck going on here. It’s clearly a proven system for evaluating potential players.

        • glor

          It is equally amazing how bad they have done at the top of the draft.. go figure…(yes I know the 1st year was good, if Okung stays healthy that is)

          • A. Simmons

            Why are you posting this horse crap? Bad at the top of the draft? You have any proof of that or you just taking the 2011 draft and making stupid comments based on that?

            2013: Traded for Percy, so that is a question mark. Christine Michael is looking good to me. Jordan Hill wasn’t looking too bad until he was hurt.

            2012: 1st round pick Bruce Irvin showed a lot of promise last year. 2nd round pick Bobby Wagner was a candidate for defensive MVP. Russell Wilson is our starting QB.

            2011: Carpenter hasn’t panned out. John Moffitt traded.

            2010: Okung and Earl 1st round. Tate second round.

            • A. Simmons

              I meant Defensive Rookie of the Year for Bobby Wagner.

            • Attyla the Hawk

              I can’t really complain about 2011. It was a draft that in hindsight, we should have traded up as the talent drop off really hit around pick #20. And in fairness, we did try to trade down from 25 and were left with no takers. So it wasn’t like we stuck with the pick by design. Additionally, teams really can’t account for the effect of injuries.

              One thing that is often forgotten too, is that we did manage to trade down from our 2nd round pick to add additional picks. So I’m not as keen as others in criticizing the 2011 draft.

              2012 for me was one I think we should scrutinize after this season. Irvin was a risky pick and there were a LOT of talented players that we missed out on both by targeting Irvin and by trading down to get him. Irvin’s value has yet to play out and truth be told, he did deliver on his first round promise last year. He was a situational player and by all metrics (sacks, hurries, hits) on 3rd down were in the top 5 of the entire NFL. If the 3rd down is the money down, then Irvin filled that niche exceedingly well.

              I am excited to see what he can do at the SAM in Quinn’s defense. Irvin to me looks like a guy who really should shine in space. The position and scheme change really seem to suit his talents sublimely. While I hated missing out on Fletcher Cox and Michael Brockers — both of whom would be right now filling our interior pass rush void admirably today — Irvin wasn’t a bust in my mind. I do wish that we had taken one of those other two prospects simply because I felt it was a stronger need for us. Irvin was taken with the idea of being a LEO and his performance in that role late last year, coupled with the intentional position switch away from that role indicate that hope is now dashed.

              But that doesn’t mean he won’t provide suitable first round value where he ends up.

              Ultimately, championships are earned on day 2 and day 3 of the draft. Killing the later rounds is what separates the quality franchises from the good to very good franchises. The simple fact is, lots of teams miss on first round guys. Even good teams. Especially good teams as they pick late most likely. Their staying power at the head of the trough is fueled by how they do later in the draft. And I simply love how we get awesome value up and down the draft. We sacrifice quality on day one intentionally in order to have the opportunity to kill it on day 2/3. I’m glad we do it.

  4. Colin

    The offense is simply going to have shoulder some of the work. I tend to agree with Rob, they should march into Carolina, get a victory, and go home. The Panthers don’t possess enough offensive talent to scare me even without our pass rush.

    But, it is concerning that the defensive line has just been ravaged thus far. They need to weather the storm.

  5. SES

    Brutal, but not surprising, news. We knew Avril was on the mend, Bennett would be week to week, and Irvin would miss the first four games. I’ve felt for awhile that a 2-2 start would be realistic with all of the injuries (plus Irvin’s suspension) to the D line. Yes, getting Clem will be critical!

    I do think they keep Ware… Far to valuable down the road. But something has to give trying to get down to 53. The next week will be very interesting. Aren’t you glad we have moved on from the Ruskell era?

    • SunPathPaul

      2-2? NO way! Even missing a few peeps we can go 4-0… we have talent and depth…

      Ware? I agree we prob should keep him… Our D w Dan Quinn will surprise despite the missing folks.

      • Colin

        4-0 is going to be tough. Not impossible, but I wouldn’t be freaking out at all if we were 2-2 after 4.

        • Rob Staton

          I’m thinking 2-2 or 3-1 going into the Colts game.

  6. adog

    Malcom Smith will be the key to the Seattle pass rush in the first four weeks until Irvin comes back from suspension. I think in Quinn’s scheme which is more of a hybrid 3-4, that weak side outside linebacker is slotted to pressure the qb just as much if not more than the leo. As for Carolina…they need to hold Newton to third and long, if the defense can accomplish that 70 percent of the time, they will win by two or more touchdowns. I don’t expect Bevell to have a game plan with this offense wide open. They will build from the ground up once again…so that it will peak at playoff time. Great depth at RB and one of the better running attacks in the nfl will allow this luxury.

  7. Austin

    Agree that we need Clemons this year. If he’s healthy all year that his huge. On they are reporting that Avril’s injury might not be that bad and just a day to day thing. I hope they’re right and he is fine for week 1.

    • Steeeve

      I felt the same way listening the the manner in which Carroll talked about the Avril thing instead of just the actual quote from the interview. The quote made it sound like they don’t have a timetable for him as in “we have no idea, he’s re-injured himself” but the conversation was more like “soon, but we don’t have a number, small setback.”

  8. CHawk Talker Eric

    The best way to minimize a weakness on your defense is to keep your offense on the field as much as possible.

    Therefore, the key to SEA getting through those first games without Clem, Irvin and Avril is to utilize the running game to generate long, time consuming drives, just like the first drive at GB, which ate up more than half of the 1st qtr.

  9. Turp

    Will Blackmon cut. Best of luck to him, solid CB.

  10. austin

    Somewhat off topic but since it was brought up earlier. Am I the only one who sees a drop for San Fran this year? If Kap is elite then they will be fine but if he isn’t I see them taking a step back. Boldin gets zero separation from defenders and feasted on smaller cb’s during his playoff run. He’s a year older and will have no chance against Seattle’s big cb’s. Just a bad matchup for him. That leaves Davis and the running game to game plan for. Also defensively they lost 3 starters and Smith is another year older coming back from a major injury. I may be alone on this but I think the Rams actually pass them up this year. Seattle got better on paper and San Fran regressed in my opinion. Just my opinion.

    • Colin

      The Rams won’t pass them. They are young and they still have questions on offense. I agree though, I think the SF defense could step back some. That secondary is hardly fearsome, and they are constantly changing D line parts and might be too reliant on Justin Smith.

      They are still a formidable opponent though, too.

      • Rugby Lock

        The difference in the Whiners D with and without J Smith just shows how off the hook that dude is… Having Carp back with his size and strength will help limit (and that’s the best one can hope for) J Smith in the game. That in turn will limit what A Smith will do since he is so reliant on the other Smith…

  11. Tomahawk

    Rob, check out this news today from What the chances PCJS aquire about him via trade?

    Dolphins two-time Pro Bowl DT Randy Starks is coming off the bench.
    Starks believes his offseason contract dispute is the reason he’s playing behind Paul Soliai and Jared Odrick.

    • Tomahawk


      • Miles

        That would be so cool if we could acquire him. But doesn’t he come with a large price tag (his franchise contract)?

    • Rob Staton

      I’d take him in a heartbeat.

  12. James

    Dream practice squad for PCJS (players on Seahawks roster only). Tried to be somewhat rational, with players that have some hope of not being picked up by another team. Some of these guys, however, are likely to be snapped up, but one can always hope.
    – Chris Harper
    – Spencer Ware
    – Rishaw Johnson
    – Phil Bates
    – Dewayne Cherrington
    – DeShawn Shead
    – Michael Brooks
    – Fat Rabbit Smith
    (pretty sure that others, such as Winston Guy and Mike Person, are not eligible)

    • Miles

      Chris Harper will likely be retained, I believe. And replace Spencer Ware with Derrick Coleman, for me. Also Michael Brooks is likely to be claimed if waived, I believe, but it might be a good idea to keep him on the roster especially if Mebane is going to miss any time.

      One cut that caught my eye today: Da’Rick Rogers. Would he be worth stashing on the practice squad? I don’t think he’ll get picked up on a main roster anytime soon.

  13. James

    Does anyone have a sense of how late-round WRs are playing in the preseason? PCJS famously took Chris Harper over Quinton Patton (a favorite of this site). With Harper on the bubble, if not about to be cut, would Patton have been the better choice? Any WRs taken in R5 or R6 who are outperforming Harper?

    • Rob Staton

      Again, what evidence is there that Harper is on the bubble? I’ve seen nothing to suggest that. And it’s way too early to determine who was the better choice. We’re not even out of pre-season yet! At what point did we become so demanding of our rookies in Seattle?

      • glor

        Like I have said before, Harper was a 5th rounder… Tate was 2nd round..look how long it took tate to get on the field. gotta give harper time

        • Cameron

          Chris Harper was drafted in the 4th round.

      • James

        EJ Wilson notwithstanding, PCJS will not readily give up on a R4 draft pick after a single preseason, especially at WR, which takes a notorious amount of time to learn….however I and others are basing our belief that Harper will not make the team on what appears to be a lack of receiver attributes. I was at four of the practices at the VMAC, and I could see no quicks, no straight line speed, no separation from DBs. Golden Tate had the physical tools but lacked the skills, which it took him a couple of years to learn. But I saw at least 8 WRs getting separation better than Harper. I hope I am wrong, but can’t project him onto the 53.

      • Attyla the Hawk

        I think the assumption is, that Kearse and Williams have ascended enough to take the roster spot availability away. We could still keep 6, and drop one once Harvin returns. It’s also unknown if allocating that 6th WR spot vamps a spot from the RB group. It’s crowded there too.

        I also see a legitimate reason for a new standard for our rookies. We added a lot of UFAs this offseason. And we also have seen several other spots that appear could/should be claimed by developmental prospects from 2012. Add to that, we have spots hotly contested by UDFAs as well. The roster is getting very stacked and Seattle looks to benefit from several sources of new talent on the roster from avenues outside of the draft.

        In a normal year, I wouldn’t see the issue. But there are a lot of new faces added outside of the draft that is putting greater pressure on rookies by reducing the available roster spots. Not just rookies either as the Moffitt trade is testament to. The number of players ready to contribute now is incredibly high. Lessening the opportunity to make a roster and develop.

  14. Cameron

    Rob, been reading the comments in this and other threads re: Chris Harper. It’s an interesting situation, to say the least. I’m wondering where draft position fits in with your belief that Harper will be given an opportunity to grow into this system. After all, he is a 4th round pick – not exactly a high end pick. I come back to the A.J. Jenkins situation in San Fran. They gave up on him after just 1 season, and he came with a much higher commitment. If Harper was a later pick, would you feel different about his roster making prospects? If he was a 5th round pick would he be given the benefit of a year on the roster? 6th? Later? Is the receiver position somewhat unique in this respect? If Harper were a RB or a 3-tech Defensive Lineman would you look at this situation differently? Thanks ahead of time for your thoughts.

    • Rob Staton

      The position makes little difference for me, because they essentially red shirted Jaye Howard last year (another 4th rounder). And I think we need to appreciate more as a fan base that not every draft pick will be made with the view of an instant return. The team will, occasionally, make a pick for the long haul. And that’s how I see the Harper pick. Or at least that’s how I see Seattle viewing the pick.

      • Nick

        Isn’t that essentially what some of these mid to late round rookies will have to do though, make an instant impact? This team is so loaded with talent and depth that if you don’t make an instant impression or show some big flashes, there is just too much talent to justify a dead weight roster spot. If this team was in a rebuild mode than absolutely don’t give up on these guys, but we have about 4 or 5 WRs ahead of him that are playing better and give us a great core. If he doesn’t have huge value on special teams, he will not be on this roster when it gets down to the final 53.

        • Colin

          Who is more talented that you would keep above him? I think you have to view these rookies as long term investments, not ‘make an impact or you’re cut’.

          • Nick

            Harvin, Rice, Tate, Baldwin, Kearse, Williams

            As of right now, there is no way Harper has done anything to beat any of those guys out. Maybe Harper sticks while Harvin is on the PUP, but he certainly is the odd man out when it comes time to add Harvin back into the mix.

            I understand that rookies are usually a long term investment and it is really hard to judge someone off of their limited time in the league. But, I just don`t see Harper warranting a spot on the roster taking away from the other WRs that are playing well just because he was a 4th round pick. We need all hands on deck while Harvin is out, so he will probably get his chance, but if Harper doesn`t do enough to hang around then he may be on his way out.

  15. JW

    Regarding the Carolina game: It will be interesting to watch Carolina’s two defensive tackles (Starr and Kawaan Short) go up against the interior of Seattle’s O line. With some uncertainty at the guard position, and the promising flashes in the preseason by the two rookie DT’s, it will provide insight into Seattle’s talent on the inside of the line right off the bat. Should be a good challenge for Sweezy and whomever is starting at LG.

    • Colin

      I tend to disagree. While Carolina’s DT’s may flash some potential, I think Seattle has a big advantage in continuity and experience. That goes a very long way on the offensive line. If Seattle struggles, I will take that as a severe blow. We should handle Carolina TBH. We have the experience and the talent. They might have the talent, but they don’t have our experience.

  16. austin

    I seem to be less worried about the Carolina game than most. Their secondary is below average and I think Wilson will have a field day exploiting it. They also don’t have a lot to offer on offense. Smith is the type of receiver who could give us some problems but I don’t see that as being enough. I think we win comfortably in the opener on the road.

    • JW

      I’m not particularly worried about it either, but there’s no gimme’s in the League. Hawks would have likely lost that game last year if Cam didn’t flub his TD pass. The interior of the D line will present a challenge.

      • Austin

        I agree there is no gimmie I just don’t see this team matching up very well and I think last year was a little flukey to be honest. The only thing that scares me is our D-Line health. If Avril is able to go I feel good about this game. Their offense might be in the bottom five in the NFL this year. Their D-Line is solid though. Just can’t wait to get the season started!

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