Some Solutions to the Seahawks’ Malik McDowell Issue


Malik McDowell was not in attendance for the Seahawks’ first day of training camp.

Here’s why.

The Seahawks’ first selection in the 2017 NFL Draft is suffering from a concussion and facial injuries that resulted from an apparent ATV accident two weeks ago.

The Seahawks PR team released this quote on Twitter Sunday afternoon, after McDowell was missing from the first day of camp. Pete Carroll admitted he wasn’t sure of when the rookie from Michigan State will return, or if he will return at all this season.

Later on in the afternoon, Malik McDowell released this statement on Twitter, stating his injuries were not life or career threatening.

What does this mean going forward?

The Seahawks expected McDowell to be a big part of the defensive line, thanks to his unique versatility. They drafted him with their first pick for a reason.

Last season, interior pass rushing was a serious issue for the Seahawks, and Malik McDowell was the answer to that issue. However, it’s an issue once again.

In his absence, however long that may be, young players must fill that void. The Seahawks elected not to re-sign their veteran starter Tony McDaniel this offseason. They most likely expected McDowell to fill in at that spot.

Hopefully, McDowell’s injuries are not that serious and he can return before the regular season. However, in the event he will not return this season, the Seahawks have a few options to explore.

Related Story: Another look at the McDowell situation

If Malik McDowell does not return this season…

The Seahawks have an abundance of outside pass rushers, but what if they were to take their biggest defensive end and push him inside?

I’m talking about Michael Bennett. Could he play interior defensive lineman while Frank Clark takes his spot as full-time outside pass rusher?

I would love to see it, but it’s not likely.

The most likely scenario is sticking a second-year guy like Jarran Reed or Quinton Jefferson or a rookie like Nazair Jones at the open defensive tackle position. Undrafted free agent Jeremy Liggins is even an option too. Having an open battle for the open position sounds very Seahawk-esque, and is the most likely scenario.

Signing a veteran defensive lineman is not out of the question either. Will Sutton, who recently was a Chicago Bear, is a legitimate option there. For now, the Seahawks have re-signed free agent defensive tackle Rodney Coe. The Seahawks released Coe in May of this year.

The bottom line

It would be a giant blow if McDowell cannot return this season, but the Seahawks keep the same mindset for any injury:

Next man up.

I’m sure John Schneider and Pete Carroll already have something in mind and history shows they usually make good decisions.

So for now, whatever happens, in John and Pete we trust.