Kam Chancellor likely done for year, and Seahawks have to question defense's future

The Seahawks defensive backs are dropping like flies, with Seattle losing star cornerback Richard Sherman during last Thursday's win over the Cardinals in Week 10. Earl Thomas was already missing from the game, Sherman blew out his Achilles, and at the end of the game, safety Kam Chancellor suffered a neck injury.

Seattle has not ruled him out for this week's game against Atlanta, but according to NFL Media's Mike Garafolo on "Good Morning Football" (weekend edition), Chancellor will be ruled out for this game as well as the entire season in all likelihood. 

Multiple reports about Chancellor's future have popped up, and it seems likely the safety will indeed end up on injured reserve, ending his season. 

Thomas' status for this week is still TBD, although he was a full participant in practice on Friday, so he could very well be back out on the field. 

In my opinion, Thomas is the fulcrum for that defense, so having him out there is huge, but even as good as the defensive backs are individually, the Legion of Boom as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts when operating at full speed. 

It is fair to question the long-term prognosis of the Seahawks defense too, because when next year rolls around, various members of the defense will be cruising into their 30s.

Bennett and Avril might go down as two of the all-time great steals in free agency -- Bennett signed a one-year, $5 million deal in 2013, while Avril was inked for two years and $15 million that same offseason.

Thomas was a first-round pick -- acquired as part of a trade with Josh McDaniels, who was then running the Broncos, so he could land Alphonso Smith in the second round the year before -- but Sherman (2011) and Chancellor (2010) were both fifth-round picks. The heart of this defense was built with excellent scouting, talent evaluation and savvy moves in the open market. 

In a league that almost always features change and fluctuation, the Seahawks defense has been a constant for the past half decade. The Seahawks have been in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs every single year since 2012 and six of seven seasons since 2010. 

John Schneider and Pete Carroll built a defensive behemoth that's been wreaking havoc in borderline dynastic fashion. It's very possible -- and even likely -- that we have another year or two remaining of the Legion of Boom operating at full capacity. But Father Time does not wait for many people in the NFL, and when you start to see the way that the Seahawks injuries are piling up on the defense this year, it's not hard to fathom the end of one of the greatest defensive dynasties we've seen in the modern football era. 

At the very least, things are going to be extremely difficult for Seattle moving forward. The Rams have a one-game lead in the division, while Seattle lacks any real semblance of a running game and now is pretty much without the strength of its defense. It's going to be exceptionally difficult to make a deep playoff run in a loaded-up NFC. 

The Lions and Packers are nipping at their heels; so are the Atlanta Falcons, who are starting to find some offensive life, and, at 5-4, are a real threat to the Seahawks if Seattle hopes to have a wild card spot.

We'll find a lot out about the immediate future of that Seattle defense on Monday night when Matt Ryan and the Falcons come to town. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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