Seahawks Safety Kam Chancellor Out for the Season: What Now?

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 09: Running back Adrian Peterson
GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 09: Running back Adrian Peterson /

The injury bug bit the Seahawks yet again with reports that strong safety Kam Chancellor is headed for Injured Reserve. Where do we go from here?

Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor suffered a neck stinger against the Cardinals on the last play of their Thursday Night disaster last week. While head coach Pete Carroll stayed coy with reporters getting the news Chancellor was headed for Injured Reserve, it still seems likely that Chancellor’s season is over.

Starting with tomorrow night’s game against the Falcons, the Seahawks will play the rest of the season presumably with only one member of the Legion of Boom healthy. (The number of healthy members of the LOB depend on who you consider ‘original’ members.) Free safety Earl Thomas will return from his hamstring injury that kept him out two games.

Everyone in the Seahawks secondary will have to play up in a big way. We’ve seen flashes of brilliance from rookie cornerback Shaquill Griffin, and the Seahawks brought back Byron Maxwell to help fill the massive void left by Richard Sherman and his devastating injury. There was hope former starter DeShawn Shead would return from his serious injury in last year’s Divisional game against the same Falcons who will visit CenturyLink Field tomorrow, but, he is only “really close” to returning this season.

That leaves Griffin, attempted trade bait Jeremy Lane, Maxwell, nickel corner Justin Coleman, and free agent signing Bradley McDougald to form their own legion.

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McDougald will be the key. If this defense holds up, it will be because of the former Tampa Bay starting safety. He’s already filled in well for Thomas in the last two games, and now he’ll be asked to fill in for Chancellor at the other safety position.

Replacing irreplaceable players is not the way to win games, but the Seahawks I believe, have the depth to at least hang around against good offenses like Atlanta’s. A healthy Thomas means Seahawks’ defensive coordinator Kris Richard can keep his usual tactical game plan. And McDougald has shown he can hold up in coverage. He may not get the big plays that Seattle expects from Chancellor, but if he can help Thomas protect the middle of the field and match up well against the occasional tight end or slot receiver, he’ll keep the Seahawks’ defense at an adequate level to give Russell Wilson and the offense a chance to win games. McDougald could be the most important addition to this team this year.

Next: Sifting Through the Chaos

This is what the Seahawks will look like from now on. They’ll have to rely on Wilson and company more than ever. So far, Wilson has passed the test, but he’ll face his toughest yet. If he manages to lead Seattle to a division title in spite of everything, he’s the MVP.