Quinton Jefferson breaks hand; Update on Malik McDowell

Dallas Cowboys v Seattle Seahawks

RENTON -- The Seahawks' plan to add depth to the roster at defensive end in the wake of Cliff Avril's absence has been derailed by yet another injury.

Quinton Jefferson, a fifth-round pick of the Seahawks last year that was re-signed off the Los Angeles Rams' practice squad on Monday, broke his hand in a pass rushing drill in the first 20 minutes of practice on Wednesday. It was his first practice back with the team when he sustained the injury.

"(He) has to get it fixed," head coach Pete Carroll said. "It's going to be a little bit. We're thinking it's about four weeks or something like that before he'll be able to play with it. So we'll see what happens with that."

While Frank Clark and Marcus Smith will be more directly responsible for replacing Avril's snaps, Jefferson added some needed depth to the group in the interim. Carroll didn't say what the team would do now with Jefferson injured, but it's likely they'll need to make another addition for this Sunday's game against the Rams. Branden Jackson has been on the team's practice squad the last two weeks and could be promoted to the active roster on Saturday to give Seattle the depth it needs on the defensive line. 

Jackson played in three games last year for the Oakland Raiders. 

Jefferson actually had a broken thumb last year with the Seahawks that he played through with a club on his hand before a knee injury ended his season.

Avril is out due to a neck injury sustained last week against the Indianapolis Colts. His status is uncertain moving forward but Carroll indicated his return is not imminent. 

"We're kind of in a holding pattern right now," Carroll said. "He'll travel with us this week and all that and he's with us and all but we're just holding him out for a while."

Cornerback Jeremy Lane and running back C.J. Prosise are both doubtful to play against the Rams. Lane is dealing with a groin injury sustained last week against the Indianapolis Colts while Prosise is recovering from an ankle sprain in the game against the Tennessee Titans.

Left tackle Rees Odhiambo fully participated in practice on Wednesday and Friday with a day off in between. He's expected to play against the Rams on Sunday. Odhiambo spent Sunday night in the hospital after experiencing shortness of breath after the game.

"He went through quite a bit game night and then he bounced back really well right after that," Carroll said. "He was upgraded on Wednesday because he felt that good and went ahead and practiced and all that. We weren't sure of that. From that point is when we started getting all the positive signals that he's OK and all that."


Malik McDowell approaching new assessment date:

Defensive tackle Malik McDowell has been out the entire season after being injured in an ATV accident in July prior to the start of training camp. His injuries were severe enough to keep him from reporting for the start of camp and he was ultimately placed on the non-football injury list when he did report to the team.

Now over two months since the injuries occurred, McDowell is approaching an assessment period that will determine whether he has any chance to play for the team this season.

"He's got some stuff coming up in the next couple weeks, I think it's within two weeks, that he'll get kind of reassessed and all that just to see where we are," Carroll said. "There's been some conversation from different camps, kind of, about where he is and how he's doing, so the check-ups are really important and we'll just see. We have not ruled that thought out that he could come back."

McDowell has been around the team at times in recent weeks. The Seahawks had been pretty tight-lipped about the full extent of the injuries McDowell sustained in the accident. A source confirmed to KJR in July that McDowell had a concussion and facial injuries from the incident.

Carroll finally provided a little clarity on Friday as to what is the continuing issue for McDowell.

"He had a really bad concussion is what he had," Carroll said.

Serious concussions have forced NFL players to miss significant periods of time in recent years. As an example, cornerback Sam Shields played in just one game for the Green Bay Packers last year as a concussion effectively ended his season.

The options available to the Seahawks regarding McDowell are limited. 

He is eligible to return to practice after the team's bye in Week 6 and would not count against the team's 53-man roster limit. The team would then have a five-week window in which they could allow McDowell to begin practicing. Once he begins practicing, he can practice for a period of 21 days before the team would need to make a decision on whether to add him to their active roster or place him on injured reserve. 

The period of time in which they could activate McDowell ends on Nov. 21. If not added to the active roster by then, he moves to inured reserve.

McDowell was Seattle top draft pick in May, being selected in the second round out of Michigan State.


DeShawn Shead, Dion Jordan making progress on PUP/NFI as well:

Like McDowell, cornerback DeShawn Shead and defensive end Dion Jordan are both closing in on the portion of the calendar when they will be allowed to return to practice.

Shead has been on the physically unable to perform list while recovering from an ACL tear sustained in Seattle's playoff loss to the Atlanta Falcons in January.

Jordan - signed by Seattle in April - needed to have knee surgery after signing and landed on the non-football injury list.

PUP and NFI work exactly the same from a roster management standpoint. The differences between the two lists come on the financial side of the business.

Shead and Jordan can return to practice after the team's bye week with both players potentially able to be activated prior to Nov. 21.

"He’s ahead of schedule," Carroll said of Shead. "There’s never anybody that would work harder to prepare themselves and get themselves this opportunity and position themselves for this opportunity, and he’s done that. We’ll see how that turns out. He absolutely has his mind set on getting back in a couple of weeks. Whether he can do that or not, or whether they let him, I don’t know that, but if you watched him run the hill today, he was killing it. We’ll see."

Jordan was formerly the No. 3 overall pick in the draft by the Miami Dolphins in 2013. However, he has not played in an NFL game since 2014 due to injuries and suspensions.

"Really just this week he has really turned the corner," Carroll said. "He had a fantastic workout today - was watching over the top of practice he was out here busting it. He’s with the strength and conditioning guys now and really pushing to not just get in shape but get ready to so. So is it one week, two weeks, three weeks? I don’t know that yet. But he’s going to get close to the opportunity to come back and we’ll see where it fits. That would be a tremendous boost if that could happen."

If Avril is still unable to return, Jordan could provide an interesting possible addition to the defensive line. However, given his lengthy stretch away from football, it's probably best not to expect a whole lot either.

Injury Report:

Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 25: Defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson #99 of the Seattle Seahawks in action against the Dallas Cowboys during the preseason game at CenturyLink Field on August 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

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