Seahawks’ vaunted secondary possibly down 2 vs. Falcons


RENTON, Wash. (AP) Bobby Wagner knows he won’t have Richard Sherman chirping in his ear from the Seattle Seahawks secondary the rest of the season.

Wagner may not have Kam Chancellor to rely on as protection for at least this week either.

“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, ” Wagner said Thursday. “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. “

Seattle’s standout secondary could possibly be without another of its founding members Monday night when the Seahawks host the Atlanta Falcons. Sherman is done for the season following an Achilles tendon injury for which he underwent surgery this week. Seattle is being coy about the status of Chancellor, who suffered a stinger late in the victory over Arizona on Nov. 9. While Chancellor has not been ruled out of the Atlanta game, he was still undergoing tests Thursday.

“He’s still getting some work done, tests done, ” coach Pete Carroll said. “Don’t have anything updated yet. “

The one bright spot for Seattle is optimism that safety Earl Thomas will return this week after missing the past two games with a hamstring injury. Thomas’ return would be key for the continuity of the secondary. Much of what Seattle does in its coverages is predicated on Thomas being at free safety and his ability to cover so much ground.

If Chancellor can’t go, the drop off may not be as severe as in the past. Bradley McDougald, Tyler Lockett Jersey who started the past two games at free safety with Thomas out, would slide over to strong safety if Chancellor is unavailable. The Seahawks have raved about McDougald’s versatility since he was signed in the offseason as a free agent.

“He has been a fantastic addition and a little bit of an unsung hero at this time for this season, that he has been able to be so versatile and be so successful at what he is doing, ” Carroll said.

McDougald has split time between both safety positions in his career, but said Thursday he likes strong safety in Seattle’s system because of the ability to play closer to the line of scrimmage.

“I like being down in the box a little bit more at the strong safety position, ” McDougald said. “I think there’s a lot more action than sitting in the middle of the field and being a blanket over the defense. You get to be in the run fits, play more man-to-man, just be a lot more in the mix.

Seattle is also uncertain whether run-stuffing defensive tackle Jarran Reed will be able to play after he suffered a hamstring injury against the Cardinals.

The injuries aren’t limited to the defensive side. The Seahawks are unsure if left tackle Duane Brown will be able to play following an ankle injury against Arizona. Brown said Thursday that the ankle is getting better but offensive line coach Tom Cable said the team is preparing for Matt Tobin to start at left tackle should Brown be unable to go.

“It’s progressing every day so far. That’s the main thing, ” Brown said.

NOTES: Carroll did not provide an update on discussions with the NFL regarding its review of whether Seattle followed concussion protocols with QB Russell Wilson in the win over Arizona. “The medical staff and the training staff is working on that stuff and as we progress we will let you know when we can. We don’t have any other information for you, ” he said. RB Eddie Lacy (groin) returned to practice. G Luke Joeckel is close to returning after minor knee surgery last month, but it’s unlikely he’ll be back this week. Rashaad Penny Jersey

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Buccaneers RB Martin working to leave drug suspension behind


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) A grateful Doug Martin is working hard to prove he deserves another chance with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The sixth-year running back will miss the first three games of the NFL season while serving the remainder of a suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. When he returns, there’s no guarantee he’ll step right into the lineup.

Martin, however, is at training camp doing everything he can to put himself in a position to eventually reclaim his starting job.

“I have to approach this like any other season, ” said Martin, a two-time Pro Bowl selection limited to eight games a year ago because of injuries and the suspension that sidelined him the final week of 2018.

He can practice and participate in team activities through the end of the preseason, but will not be eligible to rejoin the team during the regular season until Sept. 25.

“I will be out those three games, that’s the reality of the situation. During those three weeks, I’m going to prepare myself to get my legs back under me and get ready to play, ” Martin said.

“Me and my people, ” the 27-year-old added, “are going to come up with a regimen on what needs to be done during those three weeks. “

While Martin is out, coach Dirk Koetter plans to spread the workload among a committee of running backs that could include Jacquizz Rodgers, Charles Sims, Peyton Barber and, possibly, rookie Jeremy McNichols.

Martin was the NFL’s second-leading rusher behind Adrian Peterson with 1, Vinny Curry Jersey 402 yards and six touchdowns in 2018. He also topped 1, 400 yards rushing and scored 11 of his 12 TDs on the ground as a rookie in 2012.

The Bucs got off to a slow start, in part because of an inconsistent running attack, before surging to a 9-7 finish last season.

Meanwhile, Martin statistically had his worst year as a pro.

In addition to beginning his suspension in late December, the 5-foot-9, 223-pound running back was benched one game and missed six others because of injury.

And with the two-time Pro Bowl selection averaging a career-worst 2. 9 yards per carry and finishing with just 421 yards and three touchdowns, Rodgers stepped in and led the Bucs with 560 yards rushing after not even being on the roster when the season began.

Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL Jersey who spoke publicly about the suspension for the first time in May, has not discussed specifics about the drug involved or his decision to enter a treatment facility.

He said he trained six days a week in Thousand Oaks, California, preparing to rejoin the Bucs for offseason workouts.

Koetter and general manager Jason Licht have been impressed with they’ve seen.

Martin is happy to be back around teammates and determined to make the most of an opportunity to redeem himself.

“It’s a real relief. Just thinking back on it is a little surreal to me. Like, `Wow, did that actually happen? ‘ But, it did and it happened for the better, ” Martin said. Jameis Winston Jersey “I’m glad to be back out here, and I’m ready to move forward from that and show everybody out here what I came to do. “

For more NFL coverage: /AP-NFL.

Buccaneers legend Ronde Barber among first-time nominees for HOF


Star linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher and game-breaking wide receiver Randy Moss are among 11 first-year eligible players for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Also part of the 108 early nominees who are eligible for the first time, having been retired for five years when the class is chosen next February, are cornerback Ronde Barber, wideouts Donald Driver and Steve Smith (former Giant, Eagle and Ram), offensive linemen Steve Hutchinson, Matt Birk, John Lynch Jersey and Jeff Saturday, and defensive linemen Richard Seymour and Kyle Vanden Bosch.

The roster of nominees consists of 53 offensive players, 38 defensive players, Brent Grimes Jersey five special teams players and 12 coaches. Modern era nominees will be reduced to 25 semifinalists in November and, from there, to 15 finalists in January.

During Super Bowl week, 48 voters will discuss the finalists, plus senior nominees Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer and contributors nominee Bobby Beathard. There is no set number for any class of enshrinees, though between four and eight new members will be selected.

Returning finalists from 2018 are receivers Isaac Bruce and Terrell Owens; center Kevin Mawae; tackles Tony Boselli and Joe Jacoby; guard Alan Faneca; safeties John Lynch and Brian Dawkins; cornerback Ty Law; and coach Don Coryell.

Enshrinement will be next August in Canton. 107

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