RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Since he was first injured in last January's NFC playoff game at Washington, Seattle defensive end Chris Clemons has not had a firm timeline for his recovery.
There's still no determination on when he'll return to play in a game. But the Seahawks are about to see him on the field for the first time in almost eight months.
Clemons is expected to be on the field practicing for the Seahawks on Wednesday as they begin preparations for the season opener at Carolina, Seattle coach Pete Carroll said on Monday.
Clemons won't play against the Panthers, but the return to practice validates the Seahawks decision to keep him on the 53-man roster and that his return to game action could be coming sooner than later.
"He's had a great preparation to get back. It will be light on Wednesday but he has really been busting it," Carroll said. "We'll bring him along and we're going to take our time. What we've been telling you hasn't changed.
"We're going to take our time and make sure he is ready to go. He will not be in consideration for this weekend and we're really excited that he's back out. We'll see how it goes."
Clemons suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the same game — on the same field — that Washington's Robert Griffin III went down with his knee injury.
He's been Seattle's sack leader each of the past three seasons and the one constant in a pass rush that has struggled at times.
Seattle tried to address the defensive line and pass rush during the offseason via free agency and the draft, but that unit is the biggest question entering the opener.
Defensive tackles Brandon Mebane (groin) and Tony McDaniel (groin) — the prospective starters — are expected back at practice Wednesday after each were slowed at the end of training camp. The return of rookie defensive tackle Jordan Hill is still uncertain as he recovers from a biceps strain.
Then there is defensive end Cliff Avril, the headliner in Seattle's free agent signings. Avril has been bothered by a hamstring injury throughout training camp, but ran on Monday.
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