RENTON -- Strong safety Kam Chancellor will miss Monday's game against the Atlanta Falcons and his status for the rest of the season is in serious doubt.
Chancellor suffered a stinger late in the fourth quarter and left the playing field on the back of a cart as the game came to a close. Like defensive end Cliff Avril earlier this season, Chancellor spent much of the last week seeking medical opinions from doctors away from the team.
"We're still looking at what our options are and we'll continue to do that and evaluate what's going on," head coach Pete Carroll said. "We're working very closely with him on that. That's it."
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 sidelines.
Carroll wouldn't get into whether the injury to Chancellor is potentially season, or career, ending. He also said the team is not yet making any roster moves with Chancellor at this time. Carroll said that Chancellor and Avril have different injuries but noted "it's a similar kind of circumstance right now."
When asked about the report by Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network that Chancellor is "expected" to miss the rest of the season, Carroll said "I don't even know where that's coming from."
Regardless, it appears that they will not have Chancellor any time in the immediate future.
The loss of Chancellor leaves Seattle without two of their three remaining "Legion of Boom" stalwarts in the secondary. Richard Sherman was also lost for the season after rupturing his right Achilles tendon in the win over the Cardinals. It's been since 2011 that the Seahawks didn't have Chancellor and Sherman in their starting lineup.
Avril was placed on injured reserve in October after being injured in Seattle's Week 4 game against the Indianapolis Colts. While the Seahawks haven't explicitly ruled out Avril's return this season, his status hasn't changed. Avril would be eligible to come off injured reserve in two weeks. Chancellor would be out for at least eight weeks if placed on injured reserve as well.
Free safety Earl Thomas will be back in the lineup this week after missing the last two games with a strained hamstring. Bradley McDougald, who started the last two weeks in place of Thomas, will assume the starting role at strong safety moving forward.
The absence of Chancellor also bumps up rookies Delano Hill and Tedric Thompson in the depth chart. Hill has played some already defensively the last two weeks in Thomas' absence, but both players have been mostly special teams options so far. Now they will be primary backups to Thomas and McDougald.
"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."
McDougald was one of Seattle's most prescient signings of the offseason. The Seahawks felt they seized an undervalued asset in McDougald in free agency. They also wanted a veteran backup safety option after the loss of Thomas to a broken leg last December helped submarine Seattle's season.
"It'd be tough if it was that short of a notice for me but I feel like I've been going back and forth since OTAs," McDougald said.
"That was definitely the first thing we spoke of (in March) about coming in and learning both positions in case either guy did go down I'd be able to play both positions."
Left tackle Duane Brown and defensive tackle Jarran Reed are expected to be game-time decisions for the Seahawks.
Reed injured his hamstring last week against the Cardinals while Brown sustained an ankle sprain. Reed was able to do more than Brown in practice on Friday.
"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 is he is unable to play on Monday night. Both players will go through pregame warmups before a final determination is made.
Chancellor, left guard Luke Joeckel (knee) and linebacker Michael Wilhoite (linebacker) were ruled out for Monday's game against the Falcons.
Joeckel could return to practice next week for the first time since having knee surgery during the team's bye week in October. Wilhoite has been nursing a calf injury at times throughout the season. He's expected to be back next week as well. Terence Garvin will get Wilhoite's snaps at strong-side linebacker Monday night against Atlanta.
Photo Credit: GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 09: Running back Adrian Peterson #23 of the Arizona Cardinals is tackled by strong safety Kam Chancellor #31 of the Seattle Seahawks at University of Phoenix Stadium on November 9, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)