Clemons and Browner are back; Okung to short-term IR.

Pete Carroll confirmed that left tackle Russell Okung has a torn ligament in his big toe and will go on injured reserve/designated for return. That means Okung can come back after missing eight games.

“It gives him a chance to come back,” Carroll said. “It’s a six-to-eight week injury, and we’ll hope that will all work out right for us. He’s determined, he’s excited about the fact that he has a chance to get back this season, and we are as well. So we’ll just ride it out and see what happens and take good care of him, and hopefully we’ll be able to make it.”

That will mean a start at left tackle for Paul McQuistan, who took over there last week after Okung’s injury.

“We’re very fortunate that Paul has so much experience and can jump in there,” Carroll said. “The first thing you worry about is the communication and the continuity that goes on, so he’ll do a great job with that… We just didn’t have any time to prepare him last week, but now that he has a week under his belt and knows the game plan and all that, that will help us.

The news is better for two defensive starters who missed the first two games. Asked if he thought Brandon Browner would be back from his hamstring injury, Carroll said, “I do. He practiced all week and did a good job.”

And on defensive end Chris Clemons, who tore his ACL in the playoffs last year, Carroll said, “I’m really excited to tell you that Chris is going to play this week. We’re really thrilled for him. It means the world to Chris of course to get back. He had great preparation, he had a fantastic recovery process, the rehab, everything, so he has a chance to play for us this week, and I’m really fired up that he gets to join us.”

Carroll said Clemons is in great shape, but that for this week at least, he may be somewhat limited in his role compared to the every-down player he has been in the past: “We’ll make sure we get him in and out of there, we’ll monitor his reps and all, but we’re thrilled that he’s back to play for us.”

On linebacker Malcolm Smith, who showed up on this week’s injury report with a hamstring, “He practiced the last couple of days, so he’s got a chance to go.”

Fullback/running back Spencer Ware has a high-ankle sprain and is doubtful, Carroll said.

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