RENTON – Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Russell Okung had his first practice in over a month on Wednesday.
So far, so good, according to offensive line coach Art Valero.
“He looked rusty,” Valero said. “But it was good to see him back out there. He’s still got to get the speed of the game and all of those other things being out for as long as he was. Those things are still going to hinder his recovery, and all he can do is practice and get into banging shape.”
Sporting a brace and a heavily taped right leg, the Oklahoma State product got plenty of work in during team drills. However, the true test for Okung will be how his ankle responds after going through the rigors of a full-fledged practice.
Out since Seattle’s second exhibition game on Aug. 21 because of a high ankle sprain, Okung took most of the reps with the first unit and also spent some time working with the scout team in preparation for Sunday’s game at St. Louis.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is hopeful Okung can play against the Rams, but he’s also taking a cautious approach because Okung’s replacement, Tyler Polumbus, has done a good job filling in.
Polumbus worked at right tackle during practice on Wednesday with Sean Locklear (knee) a limited participant.
“Everything is available to us,” Carroll said. “If we don’t get to the point where we feel like starting him (Okung), then we would certainly like to play him if he makes it through the week and all that.
“We’d love to get him some playing time just to start the process of bringing him back, because he just has played so little that we really can’t expect too much.”
Joining Okung on the left side of the line was veteran Chester Pitts. The former Houston Texan has been slowly working his way back to the field after season-ending microfracture knee surgery a year ago.
After working most of the last month at left tackle as a possible replacement for Okung, Pitts moved to his more natural position of left guard with Ben Hamilton (knee) nursing an injury.
“It’s just one of those things where it’s a confidence builder for him, and he’s got to go play,” Valero said about Pitts. “I mean there were times today where you could see he was kind of walking around a little bit on egg shells. And then there were other times you went, ‘Whoa.’ It’s just a matter of getting that experience and being able to react to things that will allow him the ability to do those things a lot faster and better.”
LB Leroy Hill (calf/Achilles’) is out. LB Aaron Curry (hamstring), OG Ben Hamilton (knee), DT Brandon Mebane (calf), CB Marcus Trufant (ankle) and D.E. E.J. Wilson (knee) did not participate in practice. OT Sean Locklear (knee) was a limited participant. OT Russell Okung (ankle), OG Chester Pitts (knee) and WR Mike Williams (shoulder) were full participants in practice. Williams wore a red jersey and was not involved in contact drills. … For St. Louis, FS Oshiomogho Atogwe (thigh), TE Billy Bajema (knee), LB Chris Chamberlain (toe), TE Mike Hoomanawanui (ankle), RB Steven Jackson (groin), WR Laurent Robinson (foot), DE Clifton Ryan (migraines), DT Darell Scott (ankle) and S Darian Stewart (hamstring) did not participate in practice. S Craig Dahl (head) and RB Keith Toston (shoulder) were limited participants in practice.