The Seattle Seahawks will be missing their top pass rusher next weekend when they take on the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Divisional Playoffs. According to multiple reports, defensive end Chris Clemons tore his ACL and meniscus in his left knee during Seattle's 24-14 playoff win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday and will miss the rest of the season.
ESPN.com's Ed Werder reported that Clemons will need to have surgery on the knee and will face a lengthy rehabilitation period of up to nine months.
The Seahawks had feared the worst on Clemons' knee Sunday night, and an MRI confirmed the team's worries.
Clemons' injury is a huge blow to a Seattle defense that is preparing to take on the NFC’s top-seeded Atlanta Falcons and quarterback Matt Ryan.
Ryan has been sacked a career-high 28 times this season, but the Seahawks’ defensive line instantly becomes less imposing without Clemons. Clemons led the Seahawks with 11.5 sacks this season to go with 40 tackles and three forced fumbles.
With Clemons out, the focus of the Seahawks' pass rush turns to rookie Bruce Irvin, who had eight sacks this season. He tweeted that the Seahawks will be "fine" without Clemons on Monday:
If Clem is out I think he has down enough these past 20 weeks of getting me ready for situationslike this. I will b finepeople! — Bruce Irvin (@BIrvin_WVU11) January 7, 2013