Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett has a right knee injury that will keep him out Sunday in New Orleans and could require surgery, head coach Pete Carroll told reporters – including the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta – on Friday. Bennett’s Week 8 absence will end a streak of 74 consecutive regular-season games played that dates back to 2011, when he was with the Buccaneers.
Tests on Bennett revealed “a little cartilage deal” that “might be related” to a chop block he took from Falcons left tackle Jake Matthews in Week 6, according to Carroll. Bennett took the field for 81 snaps last Sunday in the Seahawks’ 6-6 tie with the Cardinals, but he felt discomfort that hasn’t subsided this week.
“We’re going to check him on Monday and see if there’s something we can do for him,” Carroll said. “His knee bothered him after the game coming out so we’re going to take care of him. We’ll look into seeing what’s necessary next week.”
Losing a contributor as important as the well-rounded Bennett for an extended period would be a notable blow to a Seahawks defense which is once again among the NFL’s best. During NFC West-leading Seattle’s first six games this year, in which it went 4-1-1, Bennett amassed 24 tackles, three sacks and led the club’s defensive linemen in snap percentage (84.9).
For however long the 30-year-old Bennett is out, the Seahawks will fill his void with Frank Clark and Cassius Marsh, Carroll said. Clark, a second-round pick in the 2015 draft, already has 4.5 sacks this season despite having played less than 50 percent of Seattle’s defensive snaps. Marsh has racked up two sacks in an even more limited role (29.9 percent of snaps).
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