Eight months ago, the Seattle Seahawks lost their top pass rusher in Chris Clemons. Prior to going down in the playoffs, Clemons had racked up 33.5 sacks in three seasons with Seattle. On Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Clemons will make his triumphant return.
At least, the fans hope that it will be triumphant.
This will be an intriguing debut for the Seahawks. When someone is 31 (almost 32) and coming off knee surgery in the NFL, that is typically a poor combination. That said, it is a different world with modern medicine, and players can now come back quickly from injuries that in the past might have ended their careers.
It will be interesting to see how much Clemons plays and where he falls on the depth chart. He and Cliff Avril could theoretically be a deadly combination if both are healthy and able to get off the line, but that is not guaranteed. In addition, the ‘Hawks will not necessarily be putting both players on the field throughout the game.
On paper, the Jags should not represent a major challenge for the Seahawks. This may be an excellent opportunity to ease back into the NFL routine. Then again, Seattle may be a bit cautious with Clemons and avoid the risk of re-injuring that knee.
At this point in his career, no one expects Clemons to post 11.5 sacks like he did in 2012. However, a handful of sacks would certainly help the squad and aid the overall effectiveness of the defense.
It is time to see what the veteran defensive end has left. Welcome back to CenturyLink Field, Mr. Clemons.