Seahawks Insider

Chris Clemons has ACL tear; done for the season

Post by Eric Williams on Jan. 7, 2013 at 2:27 pm with 48 Comments »
January 7, 2013 2:27 pm

First reported by Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports, I can confirm that Chris Clemons had a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) today, which revealed that the Seattle Seahawks defensive end indeed does have a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, which means he’s done for the year.

The news is a big blow to Seattle’s defense, as Clemons led the team in sacks with 11.5.

Clemons suffered the injury in the second half of Seattle’s 24-14 win in an NFC Wild Card game at Washington.

With Clemons out, rookie Bruce Irvin would be next in line to take over as Seattle’s weak-side, defensive end. The Seahawks are thin in terms of depth behind Clemons and Irvin.

Seattle’s other rookie defensive end, Greg Scruggs, could be a possible option in passing situations. The Seahawks also worked out Ray Edwards a few weeks ago.

Irvin is second on the team in sacks with nine.

Leave a comment Comments → 48
  1. SnoHawk says:

    all the best wishes to Clemons and his recovery. Guy has been a stud warrior for this team since he arrived 3 seasons ago. Bruce- now your time to shine kid!
    Losing Jason Jones and Clemons is significant. Who will step up? I’m sure PC and JS have their ideas. I look forward to seeing who.

  2. patmcfar8 says:

    Ouch. Well, next man up then. Who’s on the field in passing situations now?

  3. Southendzone says:

    That stinks. If Shanahan was our coach, Clem would be starting this weekend.

  4. HeatherHawk says:


    ::world crashes down all around::

  5. seatowntp says:

    Play through the pain Big Clem! lol

  6. pabuwal says:

    I’m still waiting for Irvin to make his first career tackle that isn’t a sack.

  7. HeatherHawk says:

    You don’t really need TWO legs to play defensive end. Just drag that appendage behind you.

  8. TomlPDX says:

    Tough crowd! :-)

    Good luck to you, Clem – great season and I hope you are on the sidelines cheering on the Seahawks at the Super Bowl!

    How long will this take to heal and get him back on the field? Will he have to sit out part of next year also. We definitely need more depth and Chris has some big shoes to fill.

  9. Bad deal. The question now is how long is the rehab expected to take?! If its anything like Carpenters ACL tear, Clemons season is over next year before it even began, and his career is in jeopardy. What are we gonna do if he cant go next year either?!

    That Goddamned field!

    And the news for RG3 just might be even worse. F Daniel Snyder and his idiot greed–waste all that money of crappy free agents, but wont fix his crappy field…until it eats the knee of the best player that franchise has ever seen..

    I really hope both Clemons and RG3 come back 100% from their injuries. RG3 especially, he and Wilson are redefining the qb position, and I love watching them play.

  10. Jack Youngblood played in the Super Bowl against the Steelers on a broken leg!

    In all seriousness, it sucks losing Clem and Jones. That’s a big blow to the DL/pass rush. Still, we are relatively healthy in comparison to every other year for a long time and I have confidence that we can still get this done!

    pabs – didn’t Irvin get a regular tackle a few weeks ago (that wasn’t a sack)? I could be wrong (wouldn’t be the first time and won’t be the last).

  11. SandpointHawk says:

    Good luck Chris, appreciate all that you have given the Seahawks.

    That said…Next man up…Bruce it’s your time to shine.

  12. Re: ACL

    On one hand, if you tear an ACL this late, you’re next season is screwed (Carp, D. Branch in the GB play-off game, etc.). On the other hand, AP tore everything last year in the last game and came back like a crazy man this past season. Still, tearing it now isn’t exactly the best recipe for a successful following season. Personally, I hope they PUP him and let him work back at his own pace (even though I know that means he can’t participate in training camp, but if you’re hurt, you shouldn’t be anyway). Getting a guy like Clem back around mid-season next year would be great though (all things considered). You actually add a potentially healthy stud when some of your other big guns have gotten hurt (which usually happens to most teams).

  13. Ewalters7354 says:

    Bobby, you’re right I think it was in the Niners game.

    Pabs, I could give a damn if he makes actual tackles.I’ll take sacks anytime.

  14. Antideluvian says:

    So commissioner….you talk about being concerned about player health and safety.

    Where is your fine of the Redskins for that atrocious field? That was the most pathetic excuse of a football field I’ve seen in decades. Dan Snyder needs to spend a few $$ and fix that field before next season.

    That field was an embarrassment to the league and a HUGE safety issue that cost the Hawks a premier rusher.

  15. Ewalters7354 says:

    Yea that field was terrible.I can’t even count how many times I seen hawks defenders slip in that game.

  16. pabuwal says:

    The bad field cost the Redskins a lot more than it did the Seahawks yesterday.

  17. SnoHawk says:

    It was pointed out that Baltimore is less than 40 miles from Fedex field, yet that team has field turf. I wonder why Fedex field doesn’t have it? Seems to me like they should have a better plan to have a decent playing conditions for their athletes.

    Let’s hope that GB defeats SF so that we can just focus on pass rush. Irvin brought problems to the GB game, so did Clemons…tough loss.

  18. thursday says:

    My thoughts exactly, Anti. The NFL keeps trying to find ways to ruin the game in the name of player safety, but what about some field standards? Why are players worth millions playing on crap like that DC field? Why is that field allowed to pass NFL standards? I think these questions need to be answered vs whether kickoffs are dangerous.

  19. IdahoHawk says:

    pabuwa: Accourding to foxsports Irvin has 17 Takles. Are these from special teams?

  20. Audible says:

    “I think these questions need to be answered vs whether kickoffs are dangerous.”

    No S*$@!

    I think something will happen now that RGIII is the poster boy for bad turf injuries.

  21. IdahoHawk says:


  22. ljarllrajl says:

    I’m rewatching the game right now, and after the first play of the game there’s a scuffle and Trent Williams pushes Richard Sherman in the face TWICE!

    Can’t wait to here Sherman’s Sound FX on wednesday. lol

  23. Audible says:

    And, I don’t buy into blaming Shanahan either.

    RGIII said, “I’m fine”. Shanahan isn’t a mind reader and he’s not a doctor.

    I think ownership is to blame. I wonder how many millions they’ll lose now because Snyder tried to cut corners on the playing field.

  24. bbnate420 says:

    Some guy on the NFL Network said that the NFL said that it’s the Redskins responsibility to maintain their field. If the NFL Office isn’t going to do anything about it then the NFLPA should sue the Redskins in the name of player safety. No reason for a field like that in this day and age.

    As far as the torn ACL and meniscus goes for Clem, we aren’t going to know how he will be affected next year for sure until next year. The are a number of factors that play into it. First off, it depends how the surgery goes. Clem is like 70 pounds lighter than Carp and in better physical shape generally. All other things being equal, I would think that Clem would come back more quickly. You would assume that it will have to affect him at the beginning of next season at least, but AP this year redefined what many think about that. Jamal Charles came back and had a great year too, although he was injured at the beginning of 2011. I think you need to add another pass rushing DE to the offseason wish list regardless.

    pabuwal, I had the statement about Irvin was somewhat in jest. Irvin had 17 total tackles and 8 sacks in the regular season. 10 solo and 7 assists.

  25. SandpointHawk says:

    Don’t forget Trent Williams is a known trash talker just like Sherman. For Sherman to get into the head of Trent is a major win.

  26. LeePHilI says:

    I’m betting that Williams got fined and Sherm didn’t

  27. Audible–Shanahan is neither a mind reader nor a doctor; thats why, knowing RG3’s knee was sprained, and that the best knee doc in the world was nervous about RG3 playing on that knee, he shouldnt have played him. Especially not after he put up 14 points, then began looking noticeably gimpier and after his knee bent funny the first time…

    Instead, Shanahan allowed him to play until the knee broke in several places (from todays reports is both the ACL and LCL). Thats severe enough where his career is in jeopardy. Seriously, tearing both ligaments has ruined more players than have come back like AP. Petersen is a lucky freak of nature who worked his ass off to get back.

    The Doc made it plain he didnt like RG3 playing, and he thought it a risk not worth taking. Dude was right. Shahahan should have listened to the professional. Instead, he let his own self-interest outweigh RG3’s longterm health, and there is no excuse for that.

    Im sorry, but Shanahan is an idiot for not looking out for his players long-term interests, and risking RG3–the most dynamic rookie qb of all time–and his career, for a chance to win one playoff game; especially considering Cousins has played very well in relief this year.

    Preventable tragedy. Tough guys dont play dudes with messed up knees, they step up and make the hard decision to bench him until the knee is totally healed, according to their stud Doc, not according to Shanahan the coaches and a young RG3’s worthless opinion. WHat do you expect RG3 to say?! Oh, man, Im so worried about my aching knee, I better just not play…

    Im not ragging on you, Im pissed at Shanahan. What a fool! I really, really hope the knee isnt as bad as it sounds. RG3 is a good guy and the best thing to happen to that franchise maybe ever…I want to see him perform at a high level, 100% healthy, for 15 years…reminds me of Randall Cunningham’s knee injury…I almost cried over that one.

  28. We can all hope like hell RG3 and Clemons come back strong much earlier than we fear. What a shame Snyders crappy field ate two fine players knees…

  29. thursday says:

    Just saw on NFL Network that AP got his knee injury at that field as well. That’s not an aberration, place is obviously unsafe.

  30. That’s bad news, but as noted, we’ve been way more lucky than usual this year w/the injury bug. Too bad for Clemons though, he had another very solid year for us. Hope he can make it back at 100%.

    Re RG3, I’m of the mind that sometimes competitive athletes need to be protected from themselves. Shanahan absolutely should have taken Griffin out of this game. RG3 is a gamer, and I respect him for it, but no way he should have been out there after the 1st half.

  31. Dukeshire says:

    pabuwal hits on my biggest concern with Clem going down. Can Irvin defend the run? It would not surprise me at all to see Red play more RDE (yes more. He’s played quite a few snaps there this season). I am also very interested in seeing how they rotate Scruggs now. Moreover, if Branch plays as he did yesterday, that interior pass rush mitigates any perimeter pass rush Clem provided.

  32. tealskin says:

    As far as not blaming Shanahan, think you’re being a little too kind. RGIII had a history of injury to the same knee in college. When you’ve just invested so much in your franchise QB, caution would be indicated. If Cousins had been the starter, or come in much earlier in this game I would have more respect for the coach. It’s not the player’s call to make. Something fishy about the whole story regarding Griffen being allowed to play previously as well. Whether or not the team physician even cleared him. Sad story.

  33. bbnate420 says:

    Red did seem to be playing more RDE after Clem went out to me. Irvin was still rushing from the left side a number of times.

    I agree that he should’ve taken RGIII out, but let’s slow our roll with the torn ACL and LCL/career threatening injury stuff. The MRI showed PARTIAL tears of the ACL and LCL. Andrews is supposed to examine him tomorrow. We don’t know that the LCL was hurt anymore than it already was. A sprain means some degree of tearing of a ligament or tendon. There are different degrees of severity. A partial tear is very different from a full tear. If they’re just partial tears, he likely will not need surgery. Big difference. That said, I still think Shanahan was stupid to leave him in, and I would be pissed if I was a Redskins fan. The head coach has the responsibility to sit a player if they can’t defend themselves, are hurting the team, and/or are the future of the franchise and risking them further is stupid. Keeping him in the second half was about as stupid as him and that moron Snyder not addressing the field last offseason. Shanahan reportedly likes to play on grass, but that was just green dirt.

  34. bbnate420 says:

    BTW, Trent Williams is a punk. He outweighs Ringworm by 100+ pounds and he had to keep his helmet on to slap him. Now he’s gonna get slapped with a fine. Ringworm should’ve started doing the Gravedigger after Williams slapped him.

    P.S. I don’t doubt he baited Williams into it.

  35. Duke, Agreed. Red getting more snaps at more positions has to be part of the solution to fill in for Clemons. I think along with Irvin stepping up to play Leo, and Scruggs playing more, we will see more snaps by Red, potentially some on third down.

    For this next game, Atlanta is not much of a rushing team, so I think we can get away with Irvin simply subbing for Clemons, including first and second downs. But if we beat Atlanta, then taking on a great rushing team like SanFrancisco would necessitate our shifting some people on rushing downs.

    One thing I’ll be interested in seeing is the potential of Red and Branch at DEs on rushing downs. Ever since Alan Branch got here, I’ve expected him to rotate out to LDE more often and backup Red, but he’s really only played insde. He has that DE ability, though, long arms, good in space, and I’m wondering if this post-season will be the time for him to play some snaps at RDE.

  36. “That said, I still think Shanahan was stupid to leave him in, and I would be pissed if I was a Redskins fan. ”

    Right, that’s a good way to look at it – if the same scenario played out with our young QB (bites tongue) – – I’d be pissed at the coaching staff too.

  37. Vegas56 says:

    Stevos, Atlanta may be pass first, but we have to be prepared to stop Turner (and to a much lesser degree, Rogers). They will test our rushing defense with Turner. They will want to throw a balanced attack on us to keep us from doing what we did to Cousins at the end of the game (or what we did to Green Bay in the first half).

  38. Groz said on KIRO that CC is expected to be out 9 months.

  39. freedom_X says:

    I also tend to think that Red Bryant will see more time on passing downs. Seattle is a coverage oriented team anyway, so I’m not sure that the effects will be felt as badly as it might appear on the surface.

    Against Atlanta, if Irvin has weaknesses against the run compared to Clemons – we’ll see if they change up and break away from what they do well to try to run more, right at Irvin.

    On the subject of whether Robert Griffin III should have been pulled – I note that sportswriters and bloggers are huge hypocrites. Had Griffin been pulled or opted out of the game, and people saw him walking on the sidelines, he could have gotten some of the same criticism Jay Cutler got a couple years ago.

    A lot of people circled that story like jackals and took their shots at Cutler. In other words, either way, controversy would have stemmed. Some people would have written whether Griffin was warrior enough to be a true leader, whether such comments had any merit or not. That’s kind of the sad drawback to the Internet age, where anyone with an orifice can trumpet their opinion to a broad audience.

  40. CDHawkFan says:

    Freedom, I saw that same position in the New York Post, but i disagree. I don’t think Cutler was showing the same signs of ‘hurting’ as RG 3. RG 3 was also showing those signs and playing through it for weeks, were Cutler was injured in the game and came out. I believe Cutler already had the wuss tag and he pulled himself out.

  41. ryanryan says:

    i look at it like this:

    the doctor should have told the coach and player that he could or could not have played.

    assuming that happened:

    the coach is supposed to take a player out if he isn’t the best option for success OR a change in scheme for the play/drive etc.

    assuming that happened:

    the player is supposed to take himself out if he is hurt or too tired to play at a competitive level.

    is it just me or is sherman making courtland finnegan look like a gentleman?

  42. DanielleMND says:

    On ESPN, it said the best case scenario for recovery from an ACL tear and surgical reconstruction is 8-10 months.

  43. bbnate420 says:

    It’s going to be at most 8 months from the time he has surgery until the 2013 opener. That mean’s no one should count on him being his old self by then. You never know though, no one thought AP could do what he did. It will take a lot of hard work and some luck. Good chance he starts the season on the PUP.

  44. SkeleTony says:

    The doctor (Andrews?) for the Redskins apparently did not say anything about being worried about RG III and these rants about Shanahan are premature. The doftor did not say anything before the Philadelphia or Dallas games and the only time he did say anything was during his book promotion interview just days ago. RG III appeared to be healthier before the Hawks game than he had the previous two weeks (when he played, gimpy and won both games and no one said “I am worried about Shanahan playing that guy…”). Should the coach have pulled RG III earlier than he did? Maybe…hindsight being 20/20 and all that. But if he had then we would have been hit with a deluge of “Why did Shanahan do that?! RG III was gimpy as he was against Dallas but, like he did against Dallas he was still able to run for big chunks! Putting Cousins in early cost the Redskins the game!” type comments.

    Redskins should be fined for that field though.

  45. Although RGIII’s injury is described right now as only a partial tear of his ACL and LCL, I read that he already has a screw and rubber band around his ACL from a previous injury at Baylor, which is making the diagnosis more tricky.
    So, I guess he could have a full tear on the ACL, they just don’t know yet. He is going to see Dr Andrews soon, so we will all find out exactly how severe his injury is.
    About Clem’s injury, I feel really bad for him that he can’t go farther on this epic journey with this team. I had a thought though, that maybe we blitz more out of necessity to get enough pressure, and it may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Don’t get me wrong, I think Clem’s an excellent player, but I know many of us were frustrated that we didn’t blitz more esp on third downs. If we end up coming with some exotic looks and blitz packages, I think that may make this defense even more dangerous with pick sixes and forced fumbles, and it may just carry us to the super bowl.

  46. freedom_X says:

    Since a ferocious pass rush isn’t Seattle’s core competency on defense, I don’t want the team to sacrifice what works for them to try and get something that they really haven’t had most of the year anyway.

    A “creative” blitz doesn’t create something from nothing. It only helps if it confuses the QB so he can’t spot what you just gave up. In Seattle’s case, it can only be a change of pace that they do 2 or 3 times a game (with their current personnel.)

    For example, bringing Earl Thomas would be a surprise, and they’ve done it several times this year. But if they keep consistently doing it, they’re taking away Thomas’ real strength and value (securing the wide open spaces in Seattle’s coverage schemes) for something that works occasionally due to shock value. I don’t think Seattle can do things like this constantly against a veteran offense. Ryan would read it and go deep. Not even Browner and Sherman are going to shut down receivers of White and Jones’ talent 1-1 with no help, all game long.

    They’ll instead do what they have been doing, just try to keep Ryan from having unlimited time to throw, and play disguised coverages instead to confuse the offense. It’s what has worked all year, leading to the lowest points allowed in the NFL this season. Why get away from your working formula?

    Once Seattle manages to get the consistent pass rush from their front four (which is the goal of a Tampa-style defense) then everything will be there. But I don’t believe Seattle will weaken their defense in other areas just to pep up something that hasn’t been critical to their defensive success thus far.

  47. Well, I don’t want them to totally get away from what got them here, obviously, but that was with Chris Clemons and his 11 1/2 sacks. I guess we’ll find out on Sunday if Irvin can step up and fill Clem’s shoes. Even if Irvin does a commendable job filling in for Clemons, we still need someone to step up in the LDE, BI’s spot. We’re going to have to find production elsewhere, and if we blitz some combination of KJ Wright, Jeron Johnson, Malcolm Smith and Mike Morgan using the bandit package, I feel it could be effective and even dynamic and disruptive to ATL’s offense. Since they are not as much of a threat to run the ball anyway, wouldn’t it make more sense to have nickel and dime sets out there? I want to see more blitzes, because if Washington can do it with lesser talent, there’s no reason we couldn’t do it when we have better personnel.

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