BELLEVUE, Wash. – The big NFL headline on Saturday morning was the news that Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor is reportedly headed to the injured reserve with a neck injury and will miss the remainder of the season.
And that's big news for the Atlanta Falcons, too, who will face the Seahawks on Monday night in Seattle. On Saturday following a practice held at Newport High School, Falcons coach Dan Quinn was asked about Chancellor and what his likely absence would mean.
"That's the one that's hard because I know for me, personally, what Kam stands for as a ballplayer and a man so I texted him this morning, I said I was sorry for his setback," said Quinn, who was the Seahawks' defensive coordinator from 2013-14 and was also the assistant head coach/defensive line coach from 2009-11.
"He's an impactful guy on and off the field. He's an excellent player and as good a player as he is, he's that and more as a teammate. There's been a couple of guys who have stood out as leaders and his toughness is what totally sets him apart."
Chancellor suffered a neck injury during the final series on defense of the Seahawks' game against the Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 9. Despite the report, the Seahawks have yet to rule Chancellor out for the season and coach Pete Carroll said the team is still “looking at what our options are” moving forward.
Regardless, the eight-year veteran will miss Monday night's game against the Falcons at CenturyLink Field and, according to reports, his likely replacement will be Bradley McDougald. McDougald, who was an undrafted free agent coming out of Kansas in 2013, has started 31 games the last two years at safety for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He's also played briefly for the Kansas City Chiefs and has five career interceptions.
Another Seahawks injury situation worth keeping an eye on is the status tackle Duane Brown, who is trying to come back from a sprained ankle he suffered during the first half of the Cardinals game. If he can't play against the Falcons, Matt Tobin – who played 31 snaps against the Cardinals – would reportedly make his first start as a Seahawk. As of Friday, the Seahawks were preparing Tobin to start at left tackle.
Quinn said he is familiar with Tobin, who has never started a game at left tackle in five years in the NFL. His 21 previous career starts were at guard (and one as technically a tight end).
"During training camp was a time we were looking at offensive linemen as well – and so that's when we traded to get Ty Sambrailo and we had watched (Tobin) then," Quinn said. "The toughness, I thought, was there. Here was a guy who came out of Iowa, he played strong and tough. Looks like he had the flexibility to play guard and tackle. In their system, he's got the movement to run the zone-scheme and looks like he has the feet and the balance to play outside – it's harder playing left tackle than right. … This guy has played and looked like he had his stuff together."