Cliff Avril puts on pads for the first time
Avril puts on pads for the first time, though he doesn’t take part in drills, an indication he could be ready for the regular season.
Seattle Times staff reporter
But an indication that he may be ready for what’s a little bigger deal — the beginning of the regular season — arrived Wednesday when Avril put on pads for the first time. Avril didn’t take part in team drills during Seattle’s practice, but did participate in some early individual work, the first time he’s been on the field while battling a hamstring injury.
“It feels great to be back out there and just trying to build that camaraderie,” Avril said.
The Seahawks are likewise excited to begin seeing one of their key off-season additions get some action.
Avril signed a two-year deal worth $13 million (and including a $4.5 million signing bonus) in March as the Seahawks sought some immediate, experienced help to aid their pass-rush issues. Avril had 39.5 sacks in five previous seasons with Detroit.
But he hasn’t been able to do much with the Seahawks, limited during mini-camp and OTAs with a foot injury, and then dealing with a hamstring injury that held him out of training camp before Wednesday.
“Definitely not how I wanted to start,” he said. “You know, it’s part of football, things happen. For me, it’s just getting better every day and progressing with the injuries and getting ready for the season.”
Carroll said it was “great to get him back on the field’’ but that it’s “not very likely” he will play against Denver.
“It was just a start,” Carroll said. “We couldn’t get him past the individual periods yet, but we’re going to do a little bit more tomorrow (Thursday). And then we are just going to start bringing him back. … Let’s wait until after tomorrow (to assess when he will be ready to play) and then we’ll see what happens.”
One of Seattle’s other offseason defensive free agent additions — tackle Tony McDaniel — remains sidelined with a groin injury.
Carroll said McDaniel, who has played seven seasons with Jacksonville and Miami, worked out early Wednesday with the hope of making it back but was unable to do so, and Carroll said that means McDaniel won’t be able to play against the Broncos.
“It’s really important (that McDaniel get healthy),” Carroll said. “We have not seen enough to know where he fits in and he has a chance to be one of the lead candidates for the three-technique spot but we don’t know anything about it right now.”
“They are getting a great shot to show whether they can be frontline players for us on first and second down (when stopping the run is the priority) as well as third downs (when pass rushing typically is emphasized),’’ Carroll said.
Hill had already impressed with his pass-rush abilities. But Carroll said Hill “played a little better than we expected’’ in early-down run defense in the exhibition opener Thursday against San Diego and is becoming a bigger factor in the battles for those roles.