Preparing to face off against a talented Browns defensive line led by former first-round pick Myles Garrett, the Seahawks have revealed some unpleasant veteran news that left Duane Brown following practice Friday . Against the Saints, Brown has not practiced in recent weeks in an effort to speed up his healing process. He managed it somehow and played each of the Seahawks over the course of two games, including starting and playing all four quarters in a 30-29 win over the Rams on Thursday.
"He just put it on." Coach Pete Carroll said about Brown's hero. "It was difficult and really uncomfortable about it. He had nothing to say about it and ended the game. You did. He was hurt and he knew it and played it. He did it through it. We should take care of him."
Unfortunately, according to Carroll, Brown's injury did not respond to the rest as expected and he hesitated to adapt Sunday to Cleveland, likely leaving the Seahawks without their best offensive lineman.
The 34-year-old Brown has been solid throughout most of his career and since being acquired by the Seahawks in the mid-2017 season in a trade with the Texans, he started all 30 of his regular team games. He tallied 163 in a possible 181 games in his 12-year career, with six missed games resulting from a contract deal.
Simply put, the Seahawks would not have been able to play without their unsung All Pro leader protecting quarterback Russell Wilson's blind.
"If Duane is not ready to play, you lose the many experiences and visions he has, and he is engaged." Carroll said. "Her understanding is very unique, and you will miss some."
As noted by Carroll, Seattle cannot replace Brown's knowledge and leadership skills if he is unable to play. But unlike a few years ago, the presence of George Fant as well as second-year lineman Jamarco Jones provided the team's quality insurance options for such events. starting 10 games as a rookie.
But he suffered a devastating knee injury in the team's second preseason game and missed the entire season, eventually forcing the Seahawks to send multiple draft picks to Houston for Brown.
Although his opportunity to become a full-time starter melted away at Brown's arrival, Fant has been an integral part of Seattle's offense by playing wide-ranging snaps as a tight end over the past two years. Given his improved understanding of the game and increased strength, he was ignored for the moment.
Leap into action when starting right guard D.J. Fluker injured his hamstring on Thursday, Jones impressed with his first regular-season action as a Seahawk. Naturally a tackle, he surprised coaches and teammates on how well he had adjusted to a position he had never played in a game at any level and certainly got his first start in career.
While Carroll declined to reveal who would start for Brown, all signs point to Jones staying on guard in exchange for Fluker. Regardless of who is left tackle, the Seahawks will be counting on their other veteran leaders, including center Justin Britt and Wilson, who will jointly assist in the loss of two Cleveland starters.
"It falls to everyone to be here." Carroll said. "Britt has to have a good game for us. He needs to do a good job in the middle of it all. They should talk well."
Brown's absence certainly hurts the smart Seattle-wise and coming out for more than a game or two would be a huge loss for Carroll's squad. But with three experienced starters and two quality backups ready to step up to the plate, the team must remain confident about the chances of storms this weekend.