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Defensive end Michael Bennett #72 of the Seattle Seahawks on the bench during the first half of the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on November 9, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona.

Michael Bennett would have preferred to keep it in the family. After everything the Seattle Seahawks Pro Bowl defensive end and a cadre of other NFL players had risked to protest during the national anthem, he thought they had an impenetrable bond. But their bond has been broken.

Earlier this week, four key players split with the Players Coalition, the main group negotiating with the NFL about the demonstrations to shine a light on racial injustice, revealing longstanding disagreements. The fracture occurred on the eve of owners making an unprecedented offer to players of nearly $100 million to help them effect social change. The former cohorts have engaged in a public war of words. Bennett hasn’t determined where he stands.

“It does disappoint me a little bit,” Bennett said this week at Seahawks headquarters. “When something is really important, you want to be seen as a whole, you want to be seen as being together. You don’t want to show anything being broken apart.”

On Wednesday, San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid, Miami Dolphins safety Michael Thomas and wide receiver Kenny Stills, and Los Angeles Chargers offensive tackle Russell Okung said they would no longer participate with the coalition, a group of roughly 40 players, in negotiations with the NFL commissioner’s office.

Citing a lack of transparency and other concerns about the process, Reid, Thomas, Stills and Okung said they weren’t comfortable with the coalition continuing to speak on their behalf. Reid has been especially critical of the performance of Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, who along with recently retired wide receiver Anquan Boldin leads the coalition.

Reid even accused Jenkins of lying to the coalition and secretly negotiating with commissioner Roger Goodell. Jenkins denied the allegations.

Bennett saw problems coming.

“Sometimes when you’re in a situation with a group, you’re going to bump heads,” he said. “We all are passionate. We’ve all got a certain level of commitment to what we’re trying to accomplish. Things happen. But those things should be kept behind closed doors.”

The league has moved forward with its plans to partner with the coalition. The sides have an agreement in principle, and owners are expected to vote to finalize the deal at the annual league meetings in March. The NFL’s multifaceted offer earmarks at least $89 million over a seven-year period for both national and local projects.

On the national level, owners this year will allocate $5 million, with their commitment growing annually and maxing out at $12 million from 2021 through 2023. At the local level, owners will put up $250,000 annually and expect players to match that amount, totaling $500,000 for each team. Players and owners can exceed that amount if they choose, with no matching requirement. There would be other fundraising opportunities through auctions of jerseys worn in games, telethons, etc.

Although there’s no implicit quid pro quo that demonstrations will stop, owners and high-ranking league officials are hopeful that things will return to how they were before then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first sat and then kneeled during the anthem last season. Meanwhile, the players at odds with the coalition’s leadership plan to continue striving to uplift the African-American community as they see fit. They haven’t ruled out future protests.

Bennett, who’s close with all the players involved in the dispute, “understands both sides. I really understand. But as a leader, you have to be able to pull yourself out of it, just pull back a little, and take a complete view of what’s happening.”

That’s why Bennett plans to work the phones. Perhaps it’s not too late to repair the damage. He definitely intends to find out.

“It’s about the conversations I have with the rest of the guys,” Bennett said. “We have to be able to move on as a collective group. And to be able to talk to each individual leader is important. We’ll see.”

Earlier this season, Bennett said he would continue to protest until a team signed Kaepernick. In October, Kaepernick filed a grievance under the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement alleging that owners have conspired to keep him out of the league. At this point, it would be shocking if Kaepernick returned to the NFL.

On Sunday night, the Seahawks host the Eagles. Will Bennett stay the course on protesting?

“I’m going to talk to Kaep,” Bennett said. “I want to see what he thinks.”

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Russell Wilson threw for two touchdowns to give him 150 career TDs passing and also ran for a short score, and the Seattle Seahawks overcame a sloppy start to beat the San Francisco 49ers 24-13 on Sunday.

Wilson connected on a 17-yard touchdown pass to Nick Vannett in the third quarter, and a 1-yarder early in the fourth to Jimmy Graham, whose 16 TD receptions passed Jerramy Stevens for most by a Seattle tight end.

Jimmy Garoppolo made his 49ers debut with 1:07 remaining after starting quarterback C.J. Beathard went down on a hit by Michael Bennett as he threw a pass. Garoppolo — acquired from New England at the trade deadline last month and hoped by the team to stay on the shelf a little longer — immediately scrambled to gain 4 yards and found Louis Murphy for a 10-yard touchdown as time expired.

Wilson completed 20 of 34 passes for 228 yards and moved past Joe Flacco to become the winningest quarterback in his first six seasons with 63 victories. He got going in the second half on a gray — even Seattle-like — Bay Area day that featured a light rain in the early going and more when the clock wound down.

The Seahawks (7-4) won their ninth straight in the series in a streak that began with the NFC title game in January 2014 at Seattle. These are hardly the anticipated matchups they used to be in what had been one of the NFL’s best rivalries.

Seattle was 2 of 8 on third-down chances before Wilson found Doug Baldwin for a 23-yard gain midway through the third period. That was followed by Tanner McEvoy’s 24-yard reception.

Things didn’t start well for Seattle.

Wilson threw an interception on the Seahawks’ first play from scrimmage, then struggling kicker Blair Walsh hooked a 48-yard field-goal try wide left. Ahkello Witherspoon broke up a pass intended for Tyler Lockett in the end zone late as Seattle failed to score in the opening quarter, yet San Francisco (1-10) couldn’t capitalize until getting on the board with Robbie Gould’s 38-yard field goal moments before halftime. Trent Taylor’s 29-yard reception put the Niners in good position.

Gould converted a 42-yarder in the third quarter to make it a one-point game. The Seahawks then took control.

About a minute into the second quarter, replay confirmed an interception by Bobby Wagner. Wilson scurried into the end zone two plays later for the first points of the game.

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan stuck with Beathard following the team’s bye week, allowing Garoppolo time to get comfortable in a new system. San Francisco managed just 16 yards of total offense in the opening quarter.

Carlos Hyde was held to 9 yards on eight rushes in the first half, then ended up with 47 yards rushing on 16 carries, including a 14-yard run early in the third.

In San Francisco’s lone win, Beathard completed 19 of 25 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-21 victory over the Giants on Nov. 12. Yet he never got in sync facing a Seattle secondary missing dynamic playmakers Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor.

Beathard was 22 of 38 for 201 yards Sunday before the injury.


Before a 34-yard field goal late, Walsh had failed on two straight field goals after missing from 52 yards late in the final seconds in Monday’s 34-31 loss to Atlanta. He also missed three against Washington in another three-point Seahawks defeat Nov. 5. He is 18 for 24 on the year.


Seahawks tight end Luke Willson was lost in the first half and evaluated for a concussion, while linebacker Josh Forrest injured a foot in the first half.

Running back Raheem Mostert was lost to a knee injury for San Francisco, already without right tackle Trent Brown because of a shoulder injury sustained Wednesday. Wideout Marquise Goodwin injured a foot in the third quarter.

Veteran 49ers left tackle Joe Staley went down early in the fourth period with what looked like a scary knee injury, but he later returned.


Seahawks: Host Philadelphia on Sunday.

49ers: At Chicago on Sunday.

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The Seattle Seahawks have been without Kam Chancellor before.

The Pro Bowl strong safety has missed nine games due to injury and two more because of a holdout since 2014. The Seahawks have gone 6-4-1 while allowing an average of just over 20 points in those games.

But the neck injury that will sideline Chancellor Monday night — and likely for the remainder of the season — comes on the heels of cornerback Richard Sherman’s season-ending Achilles injury and puts the Seahawks’ secondary in an unfamiliar position. Since 2011, the year Sherman and Chancellor joined free safety Earl Thomas in the starting lineup, Seattle has never been without any more than one of those three at once.

“We haven’t been in this territory before, but we’re excited to see,” defensive coordinator Kris Richard said Friday in reference to missing Chancellor in addition to Sherman. “We trust the guys that we’re going to put out there. These guys battle, they prepare, they prepare as if they’re going to be starters. And it’s the NFL; everyone is always one play away. It behooves you to be prepared.”

Earl Thomas has missed with past two weeks with a hamstring injury, but if he plays on Monday, he'll be the only original member of the Legion of Boom to do so.

Here’s how Seattle’s secondary will look Monday night against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field — and possibly beyond:

Jeremy Lane, left cornerback. It’s been an eventful few weeks for Lane, to say the least. The 2012 sixth-round pick began the season as the Seahawks’ starter at right cornerback opposite Sherman. He was also their nickelback, which is the role he had filled since 2014 when healthy. But he lost both of those jobs after injuring his groin in Week 4. With Lane relegated to a high-priced backup, the Seahawks included him in their trade to Houston for Duane Brown, but he returned to Seattle when he failed his physical. The awkwardness of the situation aside, the Seahawks have touted their good fortune in having Lane back, especially in light of losing Sherman. Former Seahawks starter Byron Maxwell could be an option at some point now that Seattle brought him back this week. Same for DeShawn Shead, another former starter. He’s on the physically unable to perform list and is waiting to begin practicing. Lane, though, will get the first shot at taking over on the left side, which won’t be as uninviting to opposing quarterbacks now that Sherman is no longer manning it.

Bradley McDougald, strong safety. Signed in free agency to a one-year deal worth up to $2 million, McDougald began the season mainly playing on special teams and occasionally as a third safety in nickel packages. He filled in at free safety the past two weeks while Thomas was sidelined, and now he’ll take over for Chancellor at strong safety. The Seahawks felt like they got a steal when they signed McDougald, a former starter with Tampa Bay. He represented a better backup option than what Seattle had last season when Thomas went down in December with a broken leg. The Seahawks are going to get their money’s worth from McDougald in 2017.

Earl Thomas, free safety. His importance to the Seahawks’ defense was never more evident than when he missed the end of last season. Thomas, a three-time All-Pro, came back strong from his broken leg and has been back to making impact plays, including a touchdown-saving forced fumble against the Rams and a 78-yard pick-six vs. Houston. He’s expected to be back for Monday night’s game after missing the past two weeks with a hamstring injury. With Sherman and Chancellor out, Thomas is the last man standing of the three original members of the Legion of Boom that remain.

Shaquill Griffin, right cornerback. The rookie third-round pick began the season as Seattle’s third cornerback and became the starter on the right side when Lane was hurt. Sherman and Seattle’s coaches have often mentioned Griffin’s poise. Among other times, that stood out when he held up against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in his first NFL game after Lane’s first-quarter ejection elevated Griffin into an every-down role. He’s mostly avoided getting beaten deep, which is a cardinal sin in Seattle’s defense, with a notable exception: Griffin allowed a 38-yard completion in the closing minutes that set up Washington’s game-winning touchdown in Week 9.

Justin Coleman, nickelback. Coleman had to step in as the nickelback when Lane was ejected in the opener and then again when Lane got hurt, that time for good. He had a pick-six in that Week 4 game and has been solid since then. The Seahawks acquired him for a seventh-round pick from New England on cut-down weekend. That move has paid off, especially considering Seattle gave up relatively little to get him.

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Byron Maxwell is back with the Legion of Boom.

The Seattle Seahawks are signing the free-agent cornerback to a one-year deal, a source tells ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The move reunites Maxwell with the team that drafted him and it provides the Seahawks with a reinforcement at cornerback after losing Richard Sherman to a season-ending Achilles injury.

Maxwell worked out for the Seahawks on Monday. Signing him was a logical move, given the Seahawks’ need for cornerback depth and Maxwell’s familiarity with Seattle’s defense, which will give him a chance to provide immediate help.

After being cut by Miami in October, Byron Maxwell is reuniting with the team that drafted him in the sixth round in 2011.

Maxwell, 29, was a sixth-round pick by the Seahawks in 2011 and made 17 starts from 2013-14. He signed a six-year, $63 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015 but spent only one season with team before was traded to the Miami Dolphins. Miami released him in late October and remains on the hook for the rest of his $8.5 million salary.

It’s unclear what exact role Maxwell will have in Seattle’s secondary. Jeremy Lane is the favorite to replace Sherman as the starter on the left side opposite rookie Shaquill Griffin, but Maxwell will give Seattle another option there.

The Seahawks agreed to send Lane to the Houston Texans in the Duane Brown trade, but he returned to Seattle when a failed physical voided his inclusion in the deal.

Justin Coleman has been Seattle’s nickel back of much of the season. Neiko Thorpe is the other cornerback on Seattle’s roster.

DeShawn Shead has been considered another potential reinforcement, but coach Pete Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle on Monday that he’s hit “a bit of a plateau” in his recovery from a torn ACL that he sustained in the playoffs last January. So it doesn’t sound as though Shead will be ready to come off the physically unable to perform list for at least a few more weeks, if at all.

Carroll also told the radio station that Sherman is scheduled to have surgery on his ruptured Achilles this week.

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Coach Pete Carroll said the Seattle Seahawks will not bring in another kicker this week after Blair Walsh missed all three of his field goal attempts in Sunday’s 17-14 loss to the Washington Redskins.

Carroll quickly dismissed that possibility on his 710 ESPN Seattle radio show Monday.

“No, we will not,” Carroll said before noting that Walsh had made all but one of his attempts this season before Sunday. “He’s 12-for-13 going into the game, guys. That was a hard day for whatever reason. We didn’t kick the ball off very well, either. It was just a hard day to kick the ball for us.”

Walsh has been reviving a career that got off track during his final two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, who released him last November. The Seahawks signed him to a one-year deal over the offseason before letting longtime kicker Steven Hauschka leave in free agency.

Walsh missed wide left on his three first-half attempts Sunday, from 44, 39 and 49 yards out.

Carroll said Walsh was having trouble during pregame warm-ups while kicking in swirling wind at CenturyLink Field. Walsh didn’t blame the wet conditions when asked if that was a factor, saying, “Those kicks were all me.”

Carroll reiterated on 710 ESPN Seattle that the Seahawks would have sent Walsh out to attempt the game-winner had they gotten in field goal range on their final possession. The Seahawks got as far as Washington’s 38-yard line but took a sack on the next play that forced them to try a Hail Mary from the 46, which fell incomplete in the end zone to end the game.

“I was counting on [Walsh] to kick the winner,” Carroll said. “I figured he’d have made it, and I would have gone with him with no hesitation.”

Carroll also said the Seahawks are still not certain of the extent of the groin strain that knocked running back Eddie Lacy out of Sunday’s game.

Free safety Earl Thomas (hamstring) and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (oblique), who didn’t play Sunday, are also uncertain for Thursday night’s game against the Cardinals in Arizona, according to Carroll. Running back C.J. Prosise (ankle) is expected to play.

Defensive end Dion Jordan could make his Seahawks debut this week. He’s been on the Non-Football Injury list while recovering from offseason knee surgery and began practicing two weeks ago. The team has until next week to activate him to the 53-man roster, but Carroll said Jordan is “ready to go” and that there’s a chance he plays Thursday night.

The Seahawks may have a need for defensive end depth this week with Marcus Smith in the concussion protocol after hitting his head in a collision with teammate K.J. Wright on Sunday.

Jordan, the No. 3 pick by the Miami Dolphins in 2013, hasn’t played since 2014 because of injuries and his third NFL suspension.

“He had a very good week last week,” Carroll said. “I’m thrilled about that for him in particular because it’s been such a long haul to get back. We’ll see how we can mix him in and find a spot.”

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Duane Brown gives the Seahawks' problematic offensive line a player with Pro Bowl experience.

The Seattle Seahawks’ starting offensive line on Sunday included a rookie left guard making his second career start and a pair of tackles who are both in their second seasons.

Seattle’s trade for Duane Brown on Monday not only gives the Seahawks a clear upgrade at left tackle, but it also adds experience to one of the league’s youngest offensive lines.

“He’s an alpha male, he’s a leader, he’s been through a lot of the NFL battles,” Seattle general manager John Schneider said of Brown, who’s in his 10th season. “These guys know who he is. He’s one of those guys. It’s kind of like what you saw with Dwight Freeney coming in here last week, where those guys were kind of like, ‘Holy s—, that’s Dwight Freeney.’ Same thing with this guy. They all know who Duane Brown is.”

The acquisition of Brown gives Seattle 11 offensive linemen on its 53-man roster. That might be one more than what the Seahawks will keep for the remainder of the season.

Here’s what that group looks like — for now, at least — with Brown on board:

Left tackle: Brown’s résumé includes a first-team All-Pro selection in 2012, when he made his first of three consecutive Pro Bowl appearances. He’ll take over for Rees Odhiambo, a 2016 third-round pick who has mostly struggled since being pressed into action at left tackle when George Fant tore his ACL in the preseason.

Backups: Odhiambo and Isaiah Battle, whom Seattle acquired in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs at the end of the preseason. Battle, a developmental prospect, has been inactive for every game this season.

Left guard: Ethan Pocic appears to be Seattle’s choice to fill in at this spot while Luke Joeckel recovers from arthroscopic knee surgery. Pocic, a rookie second-round pick, shared time at left guard with Mark Glowinski in Week 7, then took every snap there on Sunday. Coach Pete Carroll said Monday that Joeckel could be out another month.

Backups: Glowinski slots into the backup role, assuming the Seahawks stick with Pocic as the starter until Joeckel returns.

Center: Justin Britt has arguably been Seattle’s best offensive linemen over the past two seasons, having found a home at center after playing right tackle as a rookie in 2014 and left guard in 2015. When the Seahawks gave him an extension before the start of the season, he became the first offensive linemen drafted by Seattle’s current regime to get a second contract from the team.

Backups: Pocic was primarily a center in college and is the only backup at that spot on Seattle’s 53-man roster.

Right guard: Glowinski began the season as the starter but was benched after two games in favor of Oday Aboushi, a fifth-year player whom Seattle signed in free agency to a one-year deal. Carroll and offensive line coach Tom Cable have mentioned on several occasions how Aboushi has improved the communication along Seattle’s offensive line since taking over.

Backups: Glowinski and Jordan Roos, an undrafted rookie who has been inactive for every game.

Right tackle: Germain Ifedi has shown signs of improvement since the start of the season, but penalties have remained an issue. He has had a propensity to false start, and on Sunday, he was flagged for holding and then unnecessary roughness in the span of three plays. Ifedi, Seattle’s 2016 first-round pick, started at right guard as a rookie.

Backups: Matt Tobin has been active for every game as Seattle’s swing tackle. The Seahawks acquired him in an August trade with the Philadelphia Eagles.

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The Seattle Seahawks are making a habit out winning games despite poor starts on offense.

They did it in Week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers, Week 4 against the Indianapolis Colts and the following week against the Los Angeles Rams. Each time, the offense ground its gears early before finding some rhythm in the second half, while the defense stood tall the whole time.

That proved to be a winning formula again on Sunday at MetLife Stadium, where the Seahawks pulled away for a 24-7 win over the New York Giants.

Seattle trailed 7-3 at halftime, despite outgaining the Giants 222 yards to 42 through two quarters. Red zone struggles, dropped passes and penalties were the culprits, but the Seahawks overcame them — again.

The Seahawks are now 5-0 all time at MetLife Stadium, by a combined score of 153-57.

What it means: The Seahawks kept pace in the NFC West with the Rams, who maintained a half-game lead in the division with their win over Arizona in London. With Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer going down with a broken arm Sunday, it looks like Los Angeles is the only team that poses much of a threat to Seattle’s hopes of repeating as division champs.

What I liked: Seattle’s defense again played tough. They held the Giants to 177 yards overall and 2.7 yards per carry, an excellent sign for a run defense that has at times been leaky this season. The Giants’ only points came when a turnover gave them a short field. And second-year defensive tackle Jarran Reed produced a takeaway when he collapsed the pocket and stripped Eli Manning.

What I didn’t like: The Seahawks came away with no points on their second possession, despite running nine plays — count ’em, nine — at or inside the Giants’ 10-yard line. Wilson couldn’t connect with Jimmy Graham on three tries from near the goal line, including a final throw on fourth-and-1 that Graham dropped. Seattle entered the game 31st in the NFL in red zone efficiency, and this was again a problem. Graham dropped another pass in the first half, when he was wide open for what would have been a long gain. But he made amends in the fourth quarter with a 1-yard touchdown catch.

Fantasy fallout: Thomas Rawls started at running back, but he and Eddie Lacy again finished with a similar workload. Lacy played quite a bit after Rawls lost a fumble in the second quarter, which led to a Giants touchdown when they took over with a short field. Neither really distinguished himself. Lacy gained 34 yards on 11 carries, and Rawls ran 11 times or 36 yards.

Baldwin gets heated: The CBS broadcast showed Doug Baldwin in a heated moment on the sideline in the second quarter, attempting to shove offensive line coach Tom Cable out of his way with one hand. It didn’t appear as though Baldwin was upset with Cable but that he was saying something to quarterback Russell Wilson and/or head coach Pete Carroll. Baldwin was on the field for Seattle’s ensuing possession, and when the team headed into the locker room at halftime, Baldwin and Cable appeared to have an amicable exchange. Cable put his arm around Baldwin as the two briefly walked off the field together.

What’s next: The Seahawks are in the midst of a favorable stretch in their schedule. They return home next week to face a Houston Texans team that is without defensive end J.J. Watt and linebacker Whitney Mercilus, which will give Seattle’s offensive line a break. Seattle hosts the Washington Redskins the following week, then travels to Arizona for a Thursday night game against the Cardinals. You really can’t assume anything with the Seahawks, given how inconsistent the offense has been, but they’ll have a good chance to be 7-2 heading into their game against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 11.

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Back from their bye, the Seattle Seahawks (3-2) will return to practice Monday to begin preparations for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants (1-5) at MetLife Stadium.

Here are four numbers to keep in mind this week:

Seattle could pursue left tackle Branden Albert, who was scheduled to make $8.875 million this season before leaving the Jaguars over the summer.

$1.9 million: Seahawks’ cap space

Seattle has roughly $1.9 million in cap space to work with right now. The NFL Players Association website lists $1.98 million, while Over The Cap has it at $1.84 million. Either way, that’s not much when you consider that teams like to keep a few million dollars in cap space free to get them through the season. This will complicate the Seahawks’ efforts to add a left tackle — Branden Albert remains in play for Seattle — but it shouldn’t make that task impossible. Albert was scheduled to make $8.875 million this season before leaving the Jacksonville Jaguars over the summer.

If the Seahawks were to sign him, it would likely be for significantly less than that. The veterans minimum for a player of Albert’s service time — nine seasons — is $900,000. But remember, whatever the figure ends up being would be less in reality when prorated to account for the weeks that have already passed. Even if the prorated amount is greater than what Seattle has on hand, the team could create cap space by restructuring another player’s deal. The Seahawks did that recently with Doug Baldwin, converting most of his 2017 base salary into a signing bonus in order to clear room for Sheldon Richardson. The downside there is that it pushes cap charges onto future seasons. That’s why general manager John Schneider has said he doesn’t like resorting to that — though he made an exception for Richardson. If he wants Albert badly enough and if the price is reasonable, he could swallow that pill again.

84 percent: Seattle’s defensive snaps

The percentage of Seattle’s defensive snaps that Michael Bennett has played this season is at roughly 84 percent, most among the team’s defensive linemen by a wide margin (Richardson is next at 67 percent, per Pro Football Reference). When healthy, Bennett has consistently played more than any other Seahawks defensive lineman since he became a starter in 2014, with Cliff Avril next among that group.

This is notable with Avril (neck/spine) out indefinitely and Bennett’s status uncertain this week because of a plantar fascia injury suffered against the Los Angeles Rams. Frank Clark played well while starting in place of Avril in that game, but it would be a lot to ask of Marcus Smith and Branden Jackson to play at the same level if Bennett misses any time and they have to fill in. For that reason, Bennett’s status bears watching this week.

148: Rushing yards for the Giants

The Giants had 148 rushing yards in their stunning Sunday night win against the Denver Broncos, who had allowed a league-low 50.8 yards per game entering Week 6. Seattle’s upcoming matchup with the Giants doesn’t look quite as easy as it did before they went into Denver and upset the Broncos 23-10 for their first win of the season — especially with New York running the ball as effectively as it did while also allowing only 46 yards rushing and a 2.7-yard average on defense.

The Seahawks’ run defense has been much better since allowing runs of 61 and 75 yards in consecutive weeks earlier in the season. Tavon Austin’s 27-yard run for a Rams touchdown was a slip-up, but Seattle did well to hold Todd Gurley to only 3.1 yards per carry in that game.

9: Starts for Ethan Pocic

Rookie offensive lineman Ethan Pocic made nine starts at guard in college. Those all came at right guard during his 2014 sophomore season at LSU, where he mostly played center. The Seahawks will have a decision to make at left guard with Luke Joeckel expected to miss at least one game and possibly more following arthroscopic knee surgery that was scheduled for last week.

Pocic and Mark Glowinski are the two most likely candidates to fill in. Glowinski started all 16 games at that spot last season, so he’d make plenty of sense. At the same time, though, Pocic was a 2017 second-round pick, and if the Seahawks pass on him in favor of Glowinski, it would be fair to wonder why he hasn’t seen the field.

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It was shaping up to be a disappointing day for the Seattle Seahawks’ defense.

That unit seemingly had no answer for the Los Angeles Rams’ offense, which gained 124 yards in the first quarter to jump out to an early lead. But it all turned with the help of five takeaways, including four on defense that helped the Seahawks win 16-10 for their first road victory over the Rams since 2013.

Earl Thomas forced a fumble and picked off an errant Jared Goff pass. Sheldon Richardson came down with an interception on a tipped screen pass and also recovered a fumble that Frank Clark forced in the fourth quarter.

And still it wasn’t over until Goff’s pass on fourth down into the end zone in the game’s final seconds fell incomplete.

Talk about an escape from L.A.

What it means: The Seahawks head into their bye on a high note, sitting atop the NFC West standings at 3-2 and with a head-to-head victory over the Rams, who look like their stiffest competition in the division. The Seahawks have a lot of work to do, particularly on offense. That group started slow, gaining only 46 yards and throwing a pair of interceptions on its first five possessions.

What I liked: The Seahawks finally got tight end Jimmy Graham involved in the red zone, where he has yet to be the difference-maker everyone expected him to be when Seattle acquired him in a trade in 2015. Graham came down with a jump ball from Russell Wilson for a 4-yard touchdown before halftime. That’s a play that, curiously, the Seahawks have not even attempted much, let alone had success with. Graham finished with six catches for 37 yards.

What I didn’t like: Seattle’s offensive line struggled in pass protection while allowing three sacks and a whole lot of pressure. That was not the least bit surprising given how recent matchups between these teams have gone, but it was problematic. The Seahawks had to move the pocket quite a bit on designed roll-outs to give Wilson a chance. And their struggles in pass protection may have led to the decision to not take one last shot into the end zone at the end of the first half.

Fantasy fallout: Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls had similar workloads, somewhat of a surprise given how several comments from coach Pete Carroll last week gave the impression that Rawls would be Seattle’s primary ball carrier following Chris Carson’s season-ending leg/ankle injuries. Neither player found much room to run. Rawls gained 20 yards on eight carries, while Lacy started the game and rushed nine times for 19 yards. The situation in Seattle’s backfield looks like it’ll be fluid from here on out.

McKissic steps in for Prosise: J.D. McKissic is emerging as a weapon for the Seahawks. A week after scoring two long touchdowns, McKissic was again a factor in this game. He caught three passes for 36 yards, including a 21-yarder on a third-quarter drive that ended with a field goal. McKissic was inactive the first three games but has helped handle third-down duties while C.J. Prosise has been out the past two weeks with an ankle injury. Prosise didn’t play Sunday because of an ankle injury, and has now missed 12 of a possible 21 regular-season games. McKissic has been the receiving threat out of the backfield that Seattle hoped Prosise would be.

What’s next: The Seahawks have a bye before playing the New York Giants on the road in Week 7. A bye in mid-October is typically earlier than most teams would prefer, but this isn’t the worst time for the Seahawks to get a week off, with a few key players injured, several others playing nicked up and a long road trip upcoming. In addition to Prosise, cornerback Jeremy Lane (groin) was out against the Rams. Defensive end Cliff Avril was out as well, and Carroll has said Avril’s neck injury could be a long-term issue.

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Seattle Seahawks left tackle Rees Odhiambo is practicing Wednesday after making what coach Pete Carroll called a “very favorable turn” from the chest injury that hospitalized him Sunday night.

Meanwhile, the team has ruled out defensive end Cliff Avril for its Week 5 game at the Los Angeles Rams because of the neck/spine injury he sustained last week. Asked if Avril’s injury is a long-term issue, Carroll said, “It could be. It could be.”

“Like I’m saying, we’re going very slowly making sure that he takes the opportunity to talk with as many people as he needs to talk to so he knows what he’s got and what we need to do with it,” Carroll said. “We’re just going to take care of him and make sure that he’s well. If he wants to come back and we want to bring him back, we’ll let you know when we know. But right now we don’t.”

Avril was injured in the first quarter of Seattle’s win over the Indianapolis Colts when he dived to tackle Jacoby Brissett from behind and his chin landed hard on the quarterback’s heel. Avril didn’t return to the game. Carroll on Monday referred to the injury as a serious stinger and said Avril briefly experienced trouble with feeling in his hands.

Asked Wednesday if Avril is still experiencing symptoms, Carroll said, “I think he’s fine. He feels fine from what he said the other day.”

Avril, 31, has only missed one game since joining the Seahawks in 2013 as a free agent after five seasons with the Detroit Lions.

“We’re going to take some time to make sure that we’re evaluating him well like we talked about,” Carroll said. “We’re just going to hold him out.”

Frank Clark will start in Avril’s absence while former Philadelphia Eagles first-round pick Marcus Smith will also be in line for more playing time.

Odhiambo, listed as a full participant in Wednesday’s practice, was injured in the third quarter against Indianapolis when he took a hit to the chest on an interception return.

He finished the game but was having trouble breathing, which worsened after the game to the point that he needed medical attention from paramedics in the locker room. Odhiambo said he doesn’t remember much about that and that he started coming to in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, where he stayed overnight and was diagnosed with a bruised sternum, per the team.

Carroll said it will be important to see how Odhiambo handles practicing in pads in order to gauge his chances of playing Sunday against the Rams. If he can’t, either Matt Tobin or Isaiah Battle would start for Seattle at left tackle.

Carroll said it’s “going to be a long week” for cornerback Jeremy Lane as he tries to come back from a groin strain that knocked him out of the Colts game on the opening possession. Lane won’t practice Wednesday or Thursday, Carroll said. If he can’t play Sunday, rookie Shaquill Griffin would again take his place at right cornerback with Justin Coleman handling nickelback duties.

“We’re going to see all the way to the end of the week if he can make a comeback on this thing, but he won’t be able to practice the next couple of days,” Carroll said of Lane.