RENTON — Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Al Woods was suspended for four games by the NFL on Friday for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Woods is the second Seattle player to be suspended this week. Wide receiver Josh Gordon was suspended indefinitely Monday for violating policies on performance-enhancers and “substances of abuse.”
Woods will miss the final two regular season games — beginning with Sunday’s game against Arizona — and at least two potential playoff games. He could return for either the NFC championship or the Super Bowl should Seattle make it that far, depending on the Seahawks’ playoff seed.
“He’s been a great kid in the program. We’ve loved what he has done,” coach Pete Carroll said.
Woods was an important role player for Seattle’s defensive line. He started five of 14 games but saw significant playing time, playing more than 50% of defensive snaps in seven games. Woods was primarily a run stopper and had 32 tackles, one sack and two forced fumbles. His loss may not be felt much this week against the Cardinals but could be significant next week with the Seahawks facing the San Francisco 49ers in Week 17.
Woods is in his 10th season and first with the Seahawks.
Carroll said the Seahawks will add undrafted rookie Brian Mone off the practice squad to take Woods’ roster spot. Mone was on the active roster for the first three weeks before being released and added back to Seattle’s practice squad.
“He’s tough. He’s physical. He’s got a great motor for chasing the ball for such a big man. … Players are fired up he gets a chance to help us right now,” Carroll said.
Along with losing Woods, the Seahawks could be without defensive end Jadeveon Clowney against the Cardinals. Clowney missed last week’s game due to illness, but it’s his ongoing core injury that has kept him out of practice this week.
Carroll indicated there haven’t been any setbacks and that Clowney was not being rested.
“We’ve got to see if he can elevate that in the next couple of days and surprise us. We didn’t get much out of him practice wise,” Carroll said. “It’s just been over time it’s been a problem. He just can’t get going yet during the week. We’re looking to give him days off to see if the rest will help him by game day.”
Carroll said defensive end Ziggy Ansah will return after missing two games with a shoulder injury. Safety Quandre Diggs is not expected to play due to a high-ankle sprain, while linebacker Mychal Kendricks and cornerback Shaquill Griffin — both with hamstring injuries — will be game-time decisions.