By John Boyle Herald Writer
Considering that the Seattle Seahawks lost their best pass rusher, Chris Clemons, to a knee injury, it’s hardly a surprise that they looked for help at defensive end this week.
There is, however, plenty of surprise in the direction Seattle went to address that need. While no move was officially announced Tuesday, the Seahawks are expected to sign 33-year-old Patrick Chukwurah, a pass-rusher who has been out of the NFL since 2008, to fill Clemons’ spot on the roster.
To say Chukwurah will replace Clemons is a bit of a stretch, however. Clemons was on the field nearly every down as Seattle’s “Leo” defensive end, and rookie Bruce Irvin is expected to take over that role. Chukwurah is instead expected to fill in as a situational pass rusher and help on special teams.
Chukwurah last played an NFL regular season game in 2007 with Tampa Bay, though he was with the Buccaneers during training camp the following year before being cut, then re-signed late in the season. Chukwurah then spent two years in the UFL, leading the league in sacks both seasons, but that league folded last fall, leaving him out of football.
According to Chukwurah’s agent, he has been working as a personal trainer, so coming in out of shape isn’t a concern, and it’s not as if Chukwurah was the only player Seattle looked at. According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, the Seahawks also worked out free agents Aaron Maybin, Ray Edwards, and C.J. LaBoy, so Chukwurah did something right to impress Seahawks coaches.
Chukwurah, who is from Nigeria and played at the University of Wyoming, was drafted by Minnesota in the fifth round of the 2001 draft. His best season came in 2006 with Denver when he had 25 tackles and 4.5 sacks. As for how the Seahawks even thought to look at Chukwurah, it probably had something to do with the fact that current Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and defensive line coach Todd Wash were both assistants in Tampa Bay during Chukwurah’s time there.
Seahawks add kicker
In addition to losing Clemons Sunday, the Seahawks also came out of the game with an injured kicker, and with Steven Hauschka’s calf strain a concern, the Seahawks will sign veteran kicker Ryan Longwell according to ESPN’s Ed Werder. Longwell, 38, is a 15-year NFL veteran, but did not play this season. He played for Green Bay from 1997 to 2005, then for Minnesota from 2006 to 2011.
Herald Writer John Boyle: firstname.lastname@example.org.