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Originally published September 5, 2013 at 5:18 PM | Page modified September 5, 2013 at 11:55 PM

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Seahawks’ defensive line taking shape

End Cliff Avril and tackles Brandon Mebane and Tony McDaniel are each expected to play for the Seahawks in their opener Sunday at Carolina. That’s good news for a defensive front that has been battered by injuries.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Seattle’s defensive front is missing a few key pieces.

But as the season opener approaches Sunday in Carolina, it’s beginning to round into more familiar shape.

Seattle’s injury report for Thursday’s practice listed end Cliff Avril and tackles Brandon Mebane and Tony McDaniel as full participants, indicating each is on track to play against the Panthers.

Avril, one of the team’s key free-agent signees, has practiced little during camp while battling a hamstring injury. Mebane and McDaniel each were sidelined last week with groin injuries.

All are listed as starters, and sorely needed on a line that has been a revolving door throughout camp.

End Chris Clemons is still out while rehabbing a knee injury, tackle Jordan Hill was out Thursday with a biceps injury suffered last week, and end/linebacker Bruce Irvin will miss the first four games while suspended for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Missing even one or two among Avril, Mebane and McDaniel would have the team dipping quickly into relatively untested depth.

Mebane, though, had coyly said before Thursday’s practice not to worry.

“We’ll be all right,” he said with a smile. “You’ll see on Sunday.”

Coach Pete Carroll does not speak to the media on Thursday, but defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said it was good to see Avril back and to see Clemons at least back out on the field beginning to reintegrate into some drills.

“It’s nice to have more pass-rushers on the field,” Quinn said. “We always like that around here.”

Also appearing healthy is end Michael Bennett, who missed the last exhibition game while having a procedure done on his toe. Bennett, listed as a backup to Red Bryant, can also play tackle and Quinn noted that his ability to play a number of different spots makes him particularly valuable.

Cornerback Brandon Browner was listed as out with a hamstring injury, throwing his availability for Sunday’s game into doubt.

If Browner can’t play, Walter Thurmond would take over as a starting cornerback opposite Richard Sherman. Jeremy Lane and Byron Maxwell are the other backups at that spot and could be used in nickel situations.

Quarterback Russell Wilson, Bryant and Heath Farwell were named captains Thursday by a vote of their teammates.

It’s the first time for Wilson, who is in his second year with the team, while Bryant (defense) and Farwell (special teams) were each named for the second consecutive season.

“Absolutely it’s something that means a lot to me to be the leader out there,’’ said Farwell, also a backup middle linebacker. “It’s a big responsibility. But it’s something I embrace, and just to be voted by those guys, the guys on the team, means a lot to me.’’

• Receivers Sidney Rice (knee) and Stephen Williams (head) were each listed as full participants Thursday.

• Listed as out were Clemons, Hill and OL Michael Bowie (shoulder).

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @bcondotta

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