Packers and Seahawks Take Hits to Defensive Line
I can’t remember when the Green Bay Packers had a more challenging early-season schedule than this year: Seattle at home on September 10, followed by the Falcons in Atlanta seven days later.
In the first significant news of training camp, promising rookie defensive lineman Montravius Adams has suffered a stress fracture in his foot. Surgery is likely, in which case Adams will miss several weeks of action, including — possibly — that important home opener against the Hawks.
While Adams, a third-round draft pick, was being counted on to get some significant playing time this year, the Packers have others to fill in as backups, especially veteran Ricky Jean Francois. With Letroy Guion again starting out the season under suspension, the ourlads.com depth chart actually has Christian Ringo as the team’s top nose tackle. However, Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels are the likely D-line starters. The Packers have been going more and more with a 2-5-4 scheme rather than a three down linemen scheme.
Cheer up, though, as things are worse for the Pack’s first opponent.
While the Packers used the 93rd overall pick to solidify their defensive line, the Seahawks spent their first draft pick, number 35 overall, on Malik McDowell. McDowell, at 6’6” and 295 pounds, played for Michigan State for three years. He attended private workouts with nine NFL teams prior to the draft, and he was projected to quickly move ahead of veteran Ahtyba Rubin, who was originally drafted by Cleveland in the sixth round back in 2008.
It doesn’t appear that’s going to happen, for reasons that at the moment are shrouded in mystery.
On Sunday, McDowell did not report for the start of Seattle’s training camp. The reason given: he was “involved in a vehicular accident earlier in July.” Both the details surrounding the accident and the extent of McDowell’s injury are causing rumor mills to go wild.
Following the practice, McDowell tweeted, from Michigan: My injury is not life or career threatening as some have speculated… you will see me back on the field in the near future.” Thanks for all the details, Malik.
The Seahawks issued a statement that read in part: “As a precautionary measure, Malik has remained back in Michigan under the care of physicians there. Our medical people have been in constant communication with his physicians and have been monitoring the situation. At this point it is important for Malik to stay at home and rest.”
Yahoo Sports reported on Sunday that McDowell was injured in an accident “two weeks ago” and may miss the season.
When asked by the media whether McDowell will play this season, Seattle coach Pete Carroll’s response was “I don’t know.”
The local paper described the opening of camp as quickly shifting from “party to pall.”
The leaks of course have already started. It’s been revealed that it was an all-terrain vehicle accident. There have also been indications McDowell suffered a concussion and facial lacerations.
Given that Seattle’s defensive line was considered an area of great need after last season, the news could be a damaging blow not only to Seattle’s season opener at Lambeau, but to the Seahawks’ Super Bowl aspirations as well. As matters stand on Monday, the Seahawks are indicating they are limited by the desires of McDowell’s family in the amount of details they could disclose.
The mystery continues. As you probably know, the Seahawks and coach Carroll have never been known for their credibility.
Getting back to Montravius Adams, let’s hope that the Packers have learned something after prematurely returning some other players to the field following foot injuries. The Wisconsin Badgers arguably did the same thing last year with the Packers’ fourth round pick, Vince Biegel – which is why the new Packers’ linebacker is presently recovering from foot surgery rather than participating in training camp activities.