Clowney is expected to return on Monday night when Seattle hosts Minnesota in a key matchup in the NFC playoff race. Clowney is listed as questionable with the core injury that caused him to miss last week's game at Philadelphia, but both Clowney and Seattle coach Pete Carroll expect the former No. 1 overall pick to play against the Vikings.
Clowney visited a specialist in Philadelphia last week and opted to try and avoid surgery for now in the hope he can manage the injury for the rest of the season. Clowney said it's similar to a core injury he had during his rookie season that ended up needing surgery. He played just four games as a rookie.
''Now I'm just different. I'm older. I've learned how to take care of my body a lot more than I did back then,'' Clowney said. ''The training staff here is taking good care of me. The coaches are taking care of me taking me off the field on certain plays and managing my reps throughout the week. But during the games, when you get out there and start moving around I hope and expect not to feel it much.''
Clowney said he first felt the injury during the Week 10 game against San Francisco and that it doesn't seem as bad as the core injury he suffered as a rookie.
Seattle could have its full allotment of defensive linemen against the Vikings as defensive tackles Jarran Reed and Poona Ford are both expected to play. Reed suffered a sprained ankle last week against the Eagles but was able to practice the past two days. Ford is among a group of Seattle players that have come down with an illness this week and have been kept away from the rest of their teammates.
Defensive tackle Al Woods (ankle) and linebacker Mychal Kendricks (hamstring) were both listed as questionable as well. Carroll said both should play but Kendricks will need to be checked out before the game.
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