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Pete Carroll says it’s “a lot to ask” to expect Malik McDowell on field in 2017

Reuben Foster should have a chance to start for the 49ers, joining Myles Garrett and Dalvin Cook as rookies hoping to make an impact in 2017.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll doesn’t sound as if he believes Malik McDowell will play this season.

“I think it sounds like it’s a lot to ask right now, but we’ll just see,” Carroll said in an interview with Dave “Softy” Mahler on 950 KJR after practice on Monday. “I don’t know. It’s a serious injury.”

The Seahawks placed McDowell on the non-football injury list, and the defensive lineman returned home to Michigan to continue his rehab from an ATV accident last month.

“He had a serious accident,” Carroll said in his Monday press briefing, via Curtis Crabtree. “He had multiple injuries. He had an injury to his head. It’s going to be quite a while, and we’re going to have to wait it out. He’s on NFI and is going to be there for a while. We’re just going to see how he progresses down the road. We’re not looking for him to get back in the immediate, not even for the first game of the season. We’re going to wait it out and see how he does.”

McDowell likely remains on NFI to start the season, forcing him to miss at least six weeks. But it sounds as if McDowell’s absence will be longer.

Although McDowell could miss all of the 2017 season, Carroll said McDowell’s injuries are not believed to be career-threatening.

“No we don’t think so, but we have to wait,” Carroll said. He’s just turned 21. We just got to wait him out. He’s a real young kid, so he’s got plenty of time to get well but we have to make sure and take care of him.”