Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor likely is out for the season because of a neck injury suffered Nov. 9 at Arizona, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafalo, citing sources informed of the situation.
ESPN is reporting that a source said Chancellor will likely be placed on injured reserve.
The news is another blow to and a quick reshaping of the team’s famed Legion of Boom secondary as the Seahawks will already be without cornerback Richard Sherman, who suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon injury in the same game.
Chancellor was among five Seahawks players who didn’t practice Friday, and all indications pointed to him not being able to play in their next game, Monday night against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field.
Chancellor Tweeted an apparent response to the news Saturday morning stating “The best is yet to come. Thank you for all the prayers and messages. Gods Grace is all you can ask for.”
ESPN reported ominously that the injury might compel Chancellor to evaluate whether he can play beyond this season.
“Kam is still looking to play (next season),” the source told (ESPN’s Josina) Anderson, as reported in the ESPN story. “Neck injuries are serious. (Chancellor) will continue to be evaluated in hopes of getting him ready next year.”
Bradley McDougald is expected to start at strong safety Monday.
Chancellor, a founding member of the Legion of Boom, was a fifth-round Seattle draft pick in 2010, and became a starter in 2011.
Chancellor has not been at practice all week, having tests done to determine the nature and cause of the neck injury and stingers suffered against Arizona.
Chancellor’s last tackle in the game came with just over two minutes left on Arizona’s Andre Ellington. He played one more play and then was removed from the game at the two-minute warning and replaced by rookie Delano Hill.
However, with free safety Earl Thomas back for the Atlanta game, McDougald will slide into the strong safety spot held by Chancellor.
In his first five seasons, Chancellor missed just three games, and two of those were when he was holding out in a contract dispute in 2015. But injuries have forced him to miss 11 games the past three seasons. Chancellor turns 30 on April 3.
Seattle has played just 21 games without one of the trio of Chancellor, Thomas and Sherman since the beginning of the 2011 season. They are 10-10-1 in those games as opposed to 67-29-1 when all three play.
Earlier this week, Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner talked about the possibility of playing without both Sherman and Chancellor against Atlanta.
“It’s definitely going to be weird,” Wagner said. “I’ve never played a game without Richard. He’s definitely going to be missed, but to have both of those guys missing in action is not something that we have ever had to deal with. I think it’s something that we’re prepared for if we can hold it down until at least one of them gets back. The other one might take a while.”
Chancellor signed a three-year, $36 million extension shortly before the season that included $13 million fully guaranteed and another $12 million guaranteed due to injury.
That contract came roughly two years after his contract holdout and Chancellor regarded it as potentially the last contract of his career.
“I love this team,” Chancellor said. “They gave me my first opportunity, the only opportunity. And I would love to retire here.”
Chancellor could become the third member of the Seattle defense who has made a Pro Bowl who could be out for the season, the others being Sherman and defensive end Cliff Avril, who went on injured reserve last month, also with a neck/stinger issue.
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