RENTON — Seattle strong safety Kam Chancellor will miss the Seahawks’ game Monday night against the Atlanta Falcons and his status for the rest of the season is in doubt because of a neck injury sustained last week.
Coach Pete Carroll said Chancellor and the team are still exploring their options regarding the injury and no decisions have been made about his status for the rest of the season.
Chancellor spent much of the last week away from the team meeting with doctors to determine the severity of the injury and possible courses of action.
“We’re still looking at what our options are and we’ll continue to do that and evaluate what’s going on,” Carroll said. “We’re working very closely with him on that. That’s it.”
Chancellor is the second member of Seattle’s talented secondary to lose time due to injuries sustained against the Arizona Cardinals. Cornerback Richard Sherman was lost for the season to a torn Achilles tendon and had surgery this week. Chancellor was apparently injured late in the win over the Cardinals on a tackle of Andre Ellington with just over two minutes remaining. He stayed in for one more play before leaving to be attended to on the sideline.
Seattle will get free safety Earl Thomas back for Monday’s game against Atlanta and Bradley McDougald will slide over to replace Chancellor. McDougald started the last two games at free safety as Thomas was sidelined with a hamstring strain.
“We are going to miss Sherm and Kam,” Thomas said. “You can’t replace those guys. But the good thing about those two guys, they’ve taught the younger guys that are going to be in their spots. I think we are going to be very prepared and I like our chances.”
Guard Luke Joeckel (knee) and linebacker Michael Wilhoite (calf) were also ruled out for Monday’s game. Both players are expected to return to practice next week. Joeckel will have missed five games after having knee surgery in October over the team’s bye week.
Left tackle Duane Brown and defensive tackle Jarran Reed are both questionable for the game. Brown did not practice all week due to a sprained ankle while Reed was able to return to limited duty on Saturday despite a hamstring strain.
“Jarran got pretty good work today, a little bit more than Duane did at this time,” Carroll said. “We’re just kind of waiting all the way through the entire expanse of this break here to see if we can max it for Duane.”
Matt Tobin would start at left tackle in place of Brown if he is unable to play. Terence Garvin will take Wilhoite’s snaps at strong-side linebacker.
Chancellor was third on the team with 48 tackles this season. The injuries to Chancellor and defensive end Cliff Avril, who has been on injured reserve with stinger issues of his own since mid-October, aren’t exactly the same but Carroll noted “it’s a similar kind of circumstance right now.”
Chancellor has been the intimidating enforcer of Seattle’s secondary since taking over as a starter in 2011. He has the size and strength to play like a linebacker against the run, but the speed to cover wide receivers and tight ends down the field. He’s also been a key locker room leader for the Seahawks.
Chancellor, 29, agreed to a three-year extension before the start of the season worth up to $36 million with $25 million guaranteed. Two years ago, Chancellor was a training camp holdout because he was unhappy with his contract.
Any acrimony over the holdout dissipated and the new deal took away the chance that Chancellor would leave Seattle in free agency after this season. Chancellor’s first contract extension, signed in 2013, is set to expire after the 2017 season.