Pro Bowler's fibula broken in practice drill

Updated: August 24, 2004, 9:21 AM ET
Associated Press

CHENEY, Wash. -- Linebacker Chad Brown, a three-time Pro Bowler, broke his left leg during practice Monday with the Seattle Seahawks.

Chad Brown

Coach Mike Holmgren said Brown will undergo surgery on his left fibula as soon as possible. Doctors believe Brown likely will miss the first four games of the regular season.

The Seahawks hope he can return by the Oct. 17 contest at New England.

Holmgren said Brown broke the bone after getting his feet tangled with tight end Itula Mili during a passing drill. Fellow linebacker Isaiah Kacyvenski said he could hear a pop in Brown's leg about 20 yards away.

"Every day you pick up a newspaper there is someone on some team and something that happened," Holmgren said. "You worry about it, but it can't paralyze you. You have to practice and do what you need to do to get ready to play.

"It's just the nature of the beast. You just keep your fingers crossed that it doesn't happen too much to you."

Brown, 34, is entering his eighth season with the Seahawks after being signed in 1997 as a free agent from Pittsburgh. He ranks fifth in Seahawks' history with 707 tackles and sixth in sacks with 47 sacks.

Reserve D.D. Lewis, listed as the backup at both outside linebacker positions, has been held out of contact drills while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, so fifth-year pro Kacyvenski will start in Brown's place, Holmgren said.

He added there are no current plans to try and acquire another linebacker, but said, "That's not to say something won't happen in a couple of weeks."

Brown and fellow outside linebacker Anthony Simmons were expected to carry the linebacking corps early in the season as the Seahawks plan on using an unproven middle linebacker. Fourth-year pro Orlando Huff, second-year player Solomon Bates and rookie Niko Koutouvides are battling for the starting role at middle linebacker.

Seattle opens the season with back-to-back road games at New Orleans and Tampa Bay. The Seahawks return home on Sept. 26 to face San Francisco, followed by a bye week. Seattle will host NFC West rival St. Louis on Oct. 10.

Monday's practice was Seattle's first since a lackluster 19-3 exhibition loss to Denver on Saturday night. Holmgren said he was particularly disappointed in the performance of the Seahawks' offense against the Broncos.

Seattle will travel to San Diego for a preseason game Friday night.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press