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Injuries hit Seattle secondary
For the time in 100 games, the Seattle Seahawks will have to play a game without Richard Sherman as their starting left cornerback.
And with strong safety Kam Chancellor also potentially sidelined and free safety Earl Thomas nursing a hamstring strain, Seattle's "Legion of Boom" secondary comes into Monday night's game against the Atlanta Falcons as banged up as they've ever been as a unit.
Sherman is on injured reserve and had surgery to repair his Achilles on Wednesday. Chancellor's status is uncertain as he's still undergoing tests to determine the severity of a stinger sustained last Thursday against Arizona.
"It's definitely going to be weird," linebacker Bobby Wagner said of potentially missing Sherman and Chancellor. "I've never played a game without Richard. He's definitely going to be missed. But to have both of those guys missing in action is not something that we've ever had to deal with, but I think it's something that we're prepared for. I think we can hold it down until at least one of them gets back. The other one (Sherman) might take a while."
Bradley McDougald would start at strong safety in place of Chancellor after playing the last two weeks in Thomas' free safety spot. Jeremy Lane will assume Sherman's starting job at cornerback.
Thomas is expected to return to the lineup after missing the last two games with a hamstring strain, but it will be alongside a depleted group.
"We're very fortunate to have Bradley. He's played great," head coach Pete Carroll said of McDougald. "It's no big deal for him to play strong safety versus free safety so he'll jump right in there."
Additionally, Seattle brought back cornerback Byron Maxwell this week, who played four seasons for Seattle before spending the last two years in Philadelphia and Miami, respectively. Maxwell feels he has something to prove in his return with Seattle after two relatively disappointing seasons elsewhere.
"Definitely. Always, man," Maxwell said. "It's another opportunity to get out here and show what I can do so I'm looking forward to it. You've always got to prove yourself in this league no matter what. No matter if you're Dwight Freeney, he's out here trying to prove himself that he can still do it so no matter who you are, you're still trying to prove that you can do it."
Super Bowl XLIX is the closest Seattle's come to being as banged up in their back end. Sherman placed the game with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, Chancellor sprained a medical collateral ligament in his knee the Friday before the game and nearly missed the game. Meanwhile, Thomas played with a labrum tear in his shoulder that required offseason surgery.
But they all played. That won't be the case on Monday night.
SERIES HISTORY: 16th regular-season meeting. Seahawks lead series, 10-5. The Seahawks have won the last two regular-season meetings with Atlanta swiping both playoff victories over the previous five seasons. Both playoff losses came in Atlanta.