RENTON Germain Ifedi limped off the practice field Wednesday. And this isn’t the greatest week for that to happen to the Seahawks.
The rookie starting right guard and team’s No. 1 draft pick got tangled up in line play during scrimmage in the no-pads practice, four days before Sunday’s season opener against menacing defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and the Miami Dolphins’ big-bucks defensive line at CenturyLink Field.
Ifedi walked off the field -- angrily -- into the team-headquarters building. He did not return for the rest of practice. The team listed him later on its official practice report as “limited” with an ankle injury.
“I don’t know. I don’t know what’s wrong with him,” offensive line coach Tom Cable said of Ifedi following practice.
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Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said of Ifedi’s injury: “I did not see what happened. I know that he went in, they took him in for a minute, but I didn’t see because I was down on the end with another drill.”
Seattle’s 31st-overall draft choice in May has been the Seahawks’ starting right guard from the first minicamps of spring. He was a star of training camp for his aggressive blocking and for standing up to Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett and others in skirmishes after whistles. If he can’t play against Miami, well, the offensive line with new starters at four spots would get newer.
Rookie third-round draft choice Rees Odhiambo from Boise State began training camp as a backup guard; he has also backed up at tackle. On Saturday, Seattle released Jahri Evans, a 10-year veteran and four-time All-Pro right guard from New Orleans. Evans re-signed with the Saints on Wednesday.
Last month the Seahawks waived Patrick Lewis, their starting center over the last half of the 2015 regular season and in their two playoff games, because Justin Britt had won the center job for 2016. Buffalo claimed Lewis off waivers.
Britt has guard experience; he was the starting left guard last season, when J.R. Sweezy was the right guard. Sweezy signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent this spring. Britt quickly grasped the center position this spring and has been the starter there since.
Seattle drafted Joey Hunt in the sixth round out of Texas Christian to be the backup at center.
We’ll see how injured Ifedi is before what they do without him becomes a thing.
Not all Seahawks injury news was daunting Wednesday.
The team listed tight end Jimmy Graham as a full participant in practice. Signs are he may play Sunday in what would be his first game since he ruptured the patellar tendon in his knee Nov. 29.
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell mentioned the possibility of Graham playing against Miami this weekend, on a limited basis. Bevell compared Graham to running back Thomas Rawls, who had two carries last week in the preseason finale at Oakland and will play against Miami on Sunday after his broken ankle in December.
“It remains to be seen with Jimmy,” Bevell said. “Both those guys are still early with their playing times. You could say this is the second preseason game for Thomas, if Jimmy was able to go it would be his first preseason game. They’re not going to go 70 plays. We know that we have to monitor what they’re going to do, but we just want to see them out there and build on the progress that they’ve made.”
Coach Pete Carroll mentioned before Graham’s lastest full-go practice that the chances he plays against the Dolphins were “the same...good.”
Rookie tight end Nick Vannett did not practice with his high-ankle sprain and won’t play Sunday. Rookie second-round pick Jarran Reed was back at defensive tackle in full participation after his toe injury kept him out of last week’s exhibition finale. Cornerback Tharold Simon has a new knee injury and did not practice.
Simon just can’t stay healthy. This is the fourth and final year of his rookie contract, and he’s been mostly a reserve, beset by injuries or penalty prone in that time.
Simon seemed to be reacting to his latest setback on Twitter Wednesday:
“Feel like I dnt belong” he posted following practice.
“Flat tire on this big truck” was his next post.