Seahawks offensive guard John Moffitt gets drug suspension
RENTON – Out for the year after suffering a knee injury against Baltimore a month ago, Seattle Seahawks rookie offensive guard John Moffitt received some more bad news this week.
The team announced Tuesday that Moffitt has been suspended for four games without pay for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Moffitt’s suspension begins immediately. Per league policy, players on injured reserve who are suspended under the drug, steroid or personal conduct policies may serve those suspensions while they are on injured reserve.
According to Moffitt’s agent, Michael George, his client was suspended for taking a drug used to treat hyperactivity. He said Moffitt failed to get clearance from the league before taking the drug.
Because Moffitt is on the injured-reserve list, he is essentially being docked four weeks pay, about $94,000.
“The league’s doing their work and I can’t say anything about it,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said about Moffitt’s suspension.
Moffitt started in nine games for the Seahawks at right guard this season.
He’s the first Seattle player to be suspended this season. The last Seahawks player suspended by the league was linebacker Leroy Hill, who was docked two game checks last year while on the injured reserve for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, stemming from domestic assault charges in 2010.
The Seahawks also made some roster moves, placing offensive tackle Russell Okung on the season-ending injured-reserve list with a torn pectoral muscle and bringing back Mike Gibson.
Carroll said that Paul McQuistan will move to left tackle and Lemuel Jeanpierre will play right guard. The Seahawks had been hesitant to play Jeanpierre at right guard because he doubles as the team’s backup center. But with Gibson also able to play center, the Seahawks are more protected.
This will be Seattle’s sixth different starting offensive line combination this season.
The projected starting five to begin the season – Okung at left tackle, Robert Gallery at left guard, Max Unger at center, John Moffitt at right guard and James Carpenter at right tackle – played only four games together this season.
“We’re pretty much headed in that direction,” Carroll said. “Hopefully it’ll work out fine. Paul is not unfamiliar with playing tackle, so that helps and Lem has played a little bit for us.
“The fact that these guys have been with us and we don’t have to go outside the organization and the system to get guys means we’re very fortunate.”
Seattle has benefitted from McQuistan’s versatility. He started one game at left guard earlier this season while Gallery nursed a groin injury, and he started the past three games for Seattle at right guard with Moffitt out.
McQuistan said he played some left tackle in 2008 while with Oakland. He also started 42 games at left tackle while at Weber State.
The Seahawks also filled two vacant spots on the practice squad by adding running back Jay Finley and defensive end Keith Darbut.
Finley is a Baylor product who attended Corsicana High in Texas, the same high school Seattle linebacker David Hawthorne attended. At 5-11, 205 pounds, Finley was one of the final roster cuts for Cincinnati during training camp.
Darbut is a graduate of NCAA Division III Baldwin-Wallace, where he had 101/2 sacks and 15 tackles for loss during his senior season. At 6-4, 230 pounds, Darbut worked out as a pass rusher during practice on Tuesday. Darbut ran the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds during his pro day.
Darbut was an undrafted rookie free agent in training camp with Cincinnati but was released.
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks