With outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu expected to miss the remaidner of the season due to a pectoral injury, the Seahawks are turning to a familiar face to bolster that position.
Frank Clark, who spent his first four seasons in Seattle after being selected in the second round of the 2015 draft, is expected to sign with his former team after passing a physical, Pete Carroll said Wednesday.
"Uchenna is going to get surgery, so that will be season-ending for him," Carroll said prior to Wednesday's practice. "There's a spot there that we had a shot with Frank, and having background and history with him, it's a natural spot for him to play with us and see if he can get in the rotation and help us out. We'll see how it goes."
Carroll expects the transition to be a quick one for Clark, and is anticipating the three-time Pro-Bowler will be able to play when the Seahawks host the Browns on Sunday.
"He knows exactly the position that we're asking him to play," Carroll said. "We think the transition to fit into the spot playing outside 'backer and rushing in the 4-3 stuff, it just fits naturally. His experience is important with such a young group of guys that he's with now. So I'm hoping that will all fit together well."
While Seattle's defense has changed since Clark last played for the team, recording a career-high 13 sacks in 2018, Carroll said he should quickly be able to step into the role they envision for him.
"It's very similar," Carroll said. "(Defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt) feels really comfortable about being able to make this a really quick transition to get him in position to play. We'll see how he does, and we're excited for him to get a chance to come back. He's really looking forward to it, so we're trying to make this work out."
After four seasons in Seattle in which he recorded 35.0 sacks, including 32 over his final three seasons, Clark was traded to Kansas City prior to the 2019 draft. In four seasons with the Chiefs, Clark made the Pro Bowl three times and played in three Super Bowls, winning two. His 13.5 postseason sacks are the third most in NFL history.
Reflecting on Clark's first stint with the Seahawks, Carroll recalled, "his energetic nature. He's really a terrific effort guy, explosive, brought a lot of juice to the club. There's a lot of positives things.
"Frank grew up with us. It was a good process to see him come into the league and come into being a young man. It's rewarding. He goes and wins a World Championship and has a lot of success and does some good stuff, then we get a chance to get him on the other end of his career to see if he can help us out some. It's a good thing, it's a really positive thing."
Perhaps no player is more excited for Clark's return than Jarran Reed, as the two became close friends during their three years together in Seattle, a friendship that has continued throughout their careers, including one season together in Kansas City.
"I think I'm probably the most excited guy in the building having Frank come back here," Reed said.
When Clark was released by Denver earlier this season, making him a free agent, Reed began campaigning for a Seattle reunion. He stepped up his campaign this week following the unfortunate news on Nwosu.
"When it first happened, of course I did put a bug in Pete's ear, John (Schneider), Coach Hurtt. There's nothing wrong with the guys we have here, but anytime you've got a player out there of that caliber that we can get our hands on, I think we should do it.
"It started after he got released. I just put it on there, then when we lost 'Chenna, I was kind of extra with it."
Linebacker Bobby Wagner, one of the few other players on Seattle's current roster who played with Clark, said the reunion is "going to be great. A familiar face, someone who is very good at sacking the quarterback. He's had a hell of a career, so it's cool to get him back."
Wagner also pointed out, however, how much the team will miss Nwosu.
"(We'll miss him ) a lot, man," Wagner said. "His leadership, his play. He's such an amazing player, it's very unfortunate what happened. He's real stout in the run game, equally as good in the pass game, extremely smart, a leader, just all-around a good person and a fun guy to play with. It's going to be tough to have him out, but I know he's going to work hard and try to get back."
Take a look back at Frank Clark's time with the Seattle Seahawks. Clark was drafted by the Seahawks in the second round (63rd overall) in the 2015 NFL draft and played for the team from 2015-2018.