Seahawks Rookie Defensive End Bruce Irvin Gets Start vs Falcons
Seattle Seahawks rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin will start in the second round of the playoffs against the Atlanta Falcons, replacing Chris Clemons, who tore the ACL and meniscus in his left knee against the Washington Redskins.
"Bruce Irvin will step up and take a bunch of those snaps," said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, adding that rookie Greg Scruggs also will be involved in the rotation and possibly strongside linebackers K.J. Wright and Mike Morgan.
"This is Bruce's opportunity. It's what we drafted him to play. We'll see how he does. We expect him to really play well as he steps up," Carroll added.
A 15th overall pick in the Draft, Irvin led all NFL rookies with eight sacks during the regular season and added another after taking over for Clemons against the Redskins.
"Bruce understands the scheme," Carroll said. "He's consistent at staying on the edge. He closes well. The things that that position calls for, he needs to maintain contain on the outside runs your way and you have to chase like crazy on the ball going away. He's done all of that well.
Pete Carroll also announced that Clemons, the team's sack leader in each of the past three seasons, will undergo surgery to repair the injury that he sustained in the third quarter of Sunday's 24-14 wild-card victory over the Redskins.
Clemons had an MRI Monday which confirmed the extent of the damage to his knee.
"He will have to have surgery," Carroll said. "So we'll miss him, which is a big loss for us in a lot of ways. Chris has been a great football player. He's been just a symbol of consistency for the years we've had him."
Clemons, obtained in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2010, led the team with 11 sacks that season and again last year. This season, he produced a career-high 11.5 sacks.
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