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Gettin’ closer

Tue., Sept. 3, 2013, midnight

Defensive end Chris Clemons is ready to practice following major knee surgery, but he’s not yet ready to play. (Associated Press)
Defensive end Chris Clemons is ready to practice following major knee surgery, but he’s not yet ready to play. (Associated Press)

Hawks’ Clemons easing back into action

RENTON – Chris Clemons proved a quick healer. He’s fast approaching a return to game action after successful major reconstructive knee surgery in January.

It just won’t happen at Carolina this weekend.

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters on Monday that his team’s leading sack man the past three seasons will practice for the first time on Wednesday, but has been ruled out for the team’s season opener against the Panthers.

Clemons has made steady progress in his rehab working with trainers, which led to Carroll placing him on the active roster with the hope he can return to action in the next few weeks.

“We’re real excited about that,” Carroll said. “He’s had a great preparation to get back. It will be light on Wednesday. But he’s been really busting it, so we’ll just bring him along, and we’re going to take our time.”

The Seahawks can use the help up front defensively, with several defensive linemen nursing nagging injuries. Defensive tackles Brandon Mebane and Tony McDaniel are expected to return to practice after missing the last preseason game against Oakland with groin injuries.

Defensive tackle Michael Bennett returned to practice on Monday after having a procedure on his toe during the weekend. Rookie defensive tackle Jordan Hill likely will miss Sunday’s game because of a strained bicep, but is expected back on the field soon.

With all the injuries up front, recent addition defensive tackle D’Anthony Thomas, who Seattle received in a trade with Jacksonville, will get an opportunity to contribute. Thomas is familiar with Seattle’s defensive scheme from his time playing for former defensive coordinator and current Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley.

Hawks lose Harper to 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers have signed wide receiver Chris Harper off the Seahawks’ practice roster.

The Seahawks had released their fourth-round selection during the final round of roster cuts and added him to their practice squad after he cleared waivers on Sunday.

However, the 49ers, who have depth issues at receiver, signed Harper to a three-year deal to join the team’s active roster. He becomes the sixth receiver.

“We were fortunate enough to get him back on the practice squad,” Carroll said. “… They picked up a good football player.”

The Seahawks added eight players to the team’s practice squad – seventh-round draft choices Ryan Seymour and Jared Smith, both offensive linemen; DL Ty Powell; WR Bryan Walters; TE Cooper Helfet; DT Michael Brooks; DT Sealver Siliga; and DB DeShawn Shead.

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