The status of Seattle's new left tackle was already going to be a big topic this week after he left Thursday night's injury-filled win over the Arizona Cardinals late in the second quarter and didn't return. But Brown's availability for next Monday night's game against the Atlanta Falcons looks even more important in light of what happened Sunday.
Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn sacked quarterback Dak Prescott six times in Atlanta's win over the Dallas Cowboys. That's tied for the second most in NFL history, one shy of the league record owned by Kansas City Chiefs great Derrick Thomas.
A brief history lesson: Thomas' seven-sack performance came in a 1990 game against the Seahawks, which Seattle actually won. On the final play from scrimmage, Dave Krieg escaped Thomas' grasp to avoid what would have been an eighth sack and hit Paul Skansi for a 25-yard touchdown pass as time expired to tie the score. Seattle then kicked an extra point for a 17-16 victory.
Back to Clayborn. Five of his six sacks came against backup left tackle Chaz Green, who was benched midway through the fourth quarter. Byron Bell replaced him and gave up Clayborn's sixth sack. Green was filling in for injured All-Pro Tyron Smith.
It's a position the Seahawks could find themselves in Monday night depending on how quickly Brown can recover. Matt Tobin replaced him against Arizona and, predictably, had a hard time blocking Chandler Jones. Rees Odhiambo, who started the first seven games before the Seahawks acquired Brown, was unavailable after being put on injured reserve a day earlier.
Coach Pete Carroll said postgame that he didn't know of the severity of Brown's injury. Brown's comments suggested that it won't be a long-term issue -- "I'll be fine," he told The Seattle Times. It is still a sprain, however, and it prevented him from returning in the second half, so there are no guarantees about his immediate availability.
Here are three other numbers that matter this week for the Seahawks (6-3) as they prepare to host the Falcons (5-4) in a rematch of last year's divisional-round playoff game, which Atlanta won 36-20.
Seven: number of Seahawks who couldn't finish Thursday's game
It's a good thing the Seahawks will have had 10 days off between games. They'll need all the time they can get after all the injuries they suffered against Arizona. In addition to Brown and cornerback Richard Sherman, who suffered a season-ending Achilles injury, five other Seahawks couldn't finish the game: strong safety Kam Chancellor (stinger), defensive tackle Jarran Reed (hamstring), defensive end Frank Clark (thigh), running back C.J. Prosise (ankle) and linebacker Michael Wilhoite (calf). Wide receiver Doug Baldwin (hip), cornerback Shaquill Griffin (shoulder) and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson were also injured but managed to return. Free safety Earl Thomas will have a good shot at returning from the hamstring injury that kept him out of the past two games, but Seattle's injury list will still be a long one this week.
58.3. Richard Sherman's passer rating allowed over his career
According to the NFL, that ranks first among qualified cornerbacks since Sherman's rookie season in 2011. Sherman is also first in completion percentage allowed (47.5) and interceptions (32). Those numbers help illustrate what Seattle's defense will be missing with Sherman out for the remainder of the season. Reinforcements could be on the way in the form of two former Seahawks starters. The team is working out Byron Maxwell on Monday, according to a source, and DeShawn Shead is waiting to come off the physically unable to perform list, though he might not be ready to play for a few more weeks. For now, it'll probably be Jeremy Lane and Griffin tasked with covering Julio Jones next Monday night.
28. Accepted penalties against Seattle over the past two games
After being flagged 16 times in Week 9, the Seahawks were on pace for 164, which would shatter the franchise record for penalties in a season -- 138 in 2011 -- and even top the NFL record of 163 set by the Oakland Raiders the same season. Well, Seattle is still on that track after 12 more accepted penalties against Arizona. To be sure, some of them were borderline at best, but only some of them. After the 16-penalty fiasco, Carroll answered in the affirmative when asked if it could reach a point where he'd reduce playing time for the worst offenders. He might be one step closer to that after Thursday night's game.