RENTON — Jadeveon Clowney’s performance against the 49ers on Nov. 11 — which included five quarterback hits, a sack, returning a fumble for a touchdown and generally just manhandling the San Francisco offensive line — was among the most impressive in Seahawks history.
And to hear Clowney tell it, by the end of the game he was basically working with just one healthy leg.
Clowney missed the victory last Sunday over the Eagles with what the team is calling a core muscle injury, that it also characterized last week as a hip injury. Clowney spent last Friday being examined in Philadelphia by noted sports hernia specialist Dr. William Meyers and received treatment that resulted in him not being able to play against the Eagles.
Clowney said the issue arose gradually during the victory over the 49ers.
“I don’t think it was one play that I could remember,” Clowney said before practice Friday. “Just think it was overall just going through the whole game and by the end of the game my leg was hard for me to lift it up. … I knew something was wrong after the game. I just told them I was going to finish this game and see what happens after I was done.”
So to the most urgent question of the moment — will Clowney play Monday night against the Vikings?
Clowney said he hoped to, but also said he was taking it one day at a time and offered no guarantees.
“You know I ain’t too worried about it,” he said. “I’m feeling better today, worry about tomorrow when it gets here. I live for the day.”
Clowney, though, grabbed a helmet as the interview ended and headed to practice saying he was hoping to do enough to show that he’ll he ready to go Monday He was officially listed as limited following the practice, but it was still his first on-field work since the 49ers game.
“I’m feeling better,” he said. “Getting ready to go today, see how it goes today, get to run around, move around.”
One obvious question is why Clowney didn’t have the injury treated immediately after the 49ers game instead of waiting until after the bye to have it examined and treated in Philadelphia.
Clowney says the answer is that he just didn’t think initially that it was overly serious.
“I didn’t think it was that bad until I didn’t heal over the bye,” he said. “Then came in Monday and they said I needed to get a second opinion.”
For now, Clowney doesn’t have to have surgery. But he didn’t rule out that he might need it eventually.
“Not at this moment I don’t,” he said of surgery. “Which is a good thing.”
That could mean Clowney will have to have surgery after the season, which could have implications on his future — he can be an unrestricted free agent following the season. But sports hernia surgery has proven to be pretty routine and reliable — Marshawn Lynch had it after Week 10 of the 2015 season and returned in time for a playoff game two months later.
Clowney, though, said despite the treatment he received in Philadelphia, the injury is one that he will have to manage the rest of the season.
“Yeah, they know that,” Clowney said of the Seahawks. “It’s something we know about. Got to finish this season strong.”
Clowney has a history of playing well when the lights are the brightest, as they were at San Francisco and as they will be again against the Vikings.
And asked if he hopes the big-game adrenaline can carry him through, he smiled.
“That’s what I’m counting on on Monday night, that adrenaline gets pumping,’’ he said. “Game time, come through in the clutch, put on a great performance. That’s what I’m hoping for, another big one. I’m looking forward to that.’’
NINE AGAIN SIT OUT PRACTICE, FOUR WITH ILLNESS
The Seahawks again had nine players sit out practice, as they did Wednesday (officially, Thursday’s practice report).
Another five were limited including Clowney, defensive tackle Jarran Reed (ankle) and left tackle Duane Brown (biceps/knee). For Reed, that’s an upgrade from being out earlier in the week and an indication he might be able to play against the Vikings. There also was one new name among the limited players — linebacker Mychal Kendricks (hamstring).
Among the nine out were five also out Wednesday: offensive lineman Mike Iupati (neck), tight end Luke Willson (hamstring). defensive lineman Al Woods (ankle), fullback Nick Bellore (quad) and cornerback Neiko Thorpe (groin).
Four others sat out with illness: wide receiver Tyler Lockett (also listed with a shin issue), wide receiver David Moore, offensive lineman Jordan Roos and defensive tackle Poona Ford. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll did not talk to the media Friday so there was no indication if the players are battling the same illness and if it is serious.
Also listed as limited was tight end Jacob Hollister (foot).
The rest of the Seahawks were listed as full participants.
Maybe most notable for the Vikings is that receiver Adam Thielen (hamstring) was again listed as limited. Thielen hasn’t played since Nov. 3 and told reporters that while he has been practicing there is still some doubt over whether he will play Monday.
“Really, I’m just taking it one game at a time,” said Thielen, named to the Pro Bowl the past two years. “Hamstrings are tricky, as I’ve found out. … hopefully I’ll have another good day tomorrow and see how it goes.”