RENTON, Wash. (AP) There's no question about the talent among the starters in the Seattle Seahawks secondary.
Behind those four - Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Byron Maxwell - there is some concern about depth in the coming weeks because of two key injuries.
Cornerback Jeremy Lane, the Seahawks' nickel back who plays against slot receivers, was placed on injured reserve with a groin injury Monday with the designation to return. He will miss at least the next eight weeks before he can rejoin the active roster. Cornerback Tharold Simon underwent minor knee surgery last week but is still expected to be out at least four weeks.
The injury to Lane is more significant. Seattle played the majority of last Thursday's season-opening win over Green Bay with five defensive backs and is likely to take a similar tack with San Diego and Denver next on the schedule. Lane got all of those snaps before getting hurt in the third quarter and replaced by Marcus Burley, who was acquired by Seattle via trade just days before the opener.
The Seahawks have withstood injuries and suspensions in the secondary in the past and this is the latest test.
''(I) have no concerns at all because our mentality is we're only as strong as our weakest link. We always say no weak links,'' Chancellor said. ''The way we work in our room we share all information. Anything we know, anything we see on the field, we share with our backups, we share with each other. So everyone is on the same beat (and) if anyone goes down a guy can step right in, step in with confidence and finish the game.''
Seattle addressed some of the depth concerns by signing former Carolina cornerback Josh Thomas on Monday. Thomas spent the last three seasons with Carolina, appearing in 38 games. Last season he started six games and had 28 tackles and an interception.
Thomas was cut by the Panthers when Carolina trimmed its roster to 53 on Aug. 30. His agent immediately reached out to the Seahawks and that initial contact paid off with Thomas' signing.
In previous seasons the Seahawks had enough depth to overcome issues. It was usually Maxwell or Lane stepping in when there was a vacancy for whatever reason. Now those two have been elevated into starting roles and there are questions about who falls in behind.
Burley ended up getting 25 plays against Green Bay. The Seahawks played 57 of 62 defensive snaps with five defensive backs against the Packers. Facing the Chargers and Broncos in consecutive weeks likely means even more snaps using an extra defensive back.
''It's all about confidence in this league and if you don't have confidence you're beat before you start playing,'' Earl Thomas said. ''But we come out there with a lot of confidence because we've prepared well during the week and we understand how you want to attack us and we understand how to play football.''
Seattle also signed OT Andrew McDonald on Monday off Carolina's practice squad.
McDonald was ''Player A'' in a report on the Miami Dolphins' bullying scandal this year that indicated he was among those bullied. He also had surgery for testicular cancer in May.
McDonald said his health is fine and he was grateful to be signed on his 26th birthday.
''To have the opportunity to be on the 53, especially here with Seattle, it's a huge blessing in my eyes and obviously I'm pretty ecstatic about it,'' McDonald said.
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