It was a pretty eventual Monday here at the VMAC. The big news is veteran cornerback Marcus Trufant has been placed on season-ending injured reserve with a back issue.
Trufant was initially diagnosed with a bruised sacrum, but Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said as team doctors checked him out further, they came to the realization that he was suffering from the same back disk problems that forced him to miss the first six weeks of the 2009 season.
“We’re just really disappointed for him,” Carroll said. “He’s the captain on our team, and just a beautiful kid, in our program and in the community and all of that. He’s going to miss this season that means so much to him and all of us, but it’s the right thing to do. We’ve got to take care of him. This is a reoccurring back situation. We didn’t realize this is really what happened before, so we’ve got to take care of them.”
Second year cornerback Walter Thurmond, who started for Trufant against the New York Giants two weeks ago, we’ll get the nod at cornerback opposite Brandon Browner.
“That’s where we’ll begin,” Carroll said about Thurmond being anointed the starter. “And the guys will be competing for playing time there, but Walter will jump in right now and assume that starting role.”
Carroll said that Trufant is trying to avoid surgery, as he did two years ago when he elected to rehab the same back issue that kept him out of the first six weeks of the 2009 season.
And Carroll said that Trufant is approaching the injury as if he will return to compete for a roster spot in training camp next year.
“We haven’t even talked about that yet,” Carroll said. “We’re just trying to get through the shock of what this is. But I would think that’s definitely on his mind.”
The Seahawks replaced Trufant on the active roster with defensive tackle Jason Shirley, a 6-foot-5, 345 pounder cut by Cincinnati who the Bengals tried to the convert to an offensive lineman. Shirley is the older brother of UW defensive lineman Josh Shirley. The stout defensive tackle played his college ball at Fresno State.
With Trufant out, linebacker Leroy Hill is not the only player on Seattle’s current roster that played on the 2005 Super Bowl team.
“I’m the last man standing,” joked Hill. “And I’m going to try and keep standing, too. But I feel good and everything. And losing another veteran, the other veterans have to step up.”
Seattle also signed running back Allen Bradford to replace Jameson Konz, and linebacker Stephen Franklin, a linebacker out of Southern Illinois released by Cincinnati during training camp. Franklin signed as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Bengals this year.
Carroll also provided a quick run down of the injuries heading into Wednesday.
* Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has not been ruled out for Sundays’ game at Cleveland. Charlie Whitehurst took most of the reps with the first unit, while Josh Portis got a handful of reps with the starters and handled all of the scout team duties.
Jackson watched from the sidelines and played lightly tossed the football with some of the receivers.
Although Carroll did not rule out Jackson for Sunday, he’s approaching this week as if Whitehurst will be the starter.
* Carroll said tight end Zach Miller (neck) should practice on Wednesday, along with offensive guard Robert Gallery (groin).
* Center Max Unger was out of a walking boot for his right foot and walking around, but did not practice today. Carroll said he will be on the field with the team on Wednesday, but probably will not get any serious work in until Friday.
* Today is considered bonus Monday, an opportunity for the team to get an extra day of work in as they prepared for Cleveland this week. The Seahawks will resume their regular schedule by taking Tuesday off, and then practicing on Wednesday.
Players on the PUP list, including receiver Deon Butler, defensive back Roy Lewis and tight end Cameron Morrah or not eligible to begin practice until Wednesday, after the Monday night game, but Carroll said all three could be available to add to the active roster by Sunday depending on how they look at practice this week.
However, Carroll did mention that Lewis could be a candidate to play inside in nickel situations because it’s something he’s done well in the past, freeing up Thurmond to stay at corner in nickel situations. Lewis has been working out in pads the last, couple weeks in anticipation of getting back out on the field this week.
* Carroll also commented on the Jim Harbaugh-Jim Schwartz confrontation at midfield after the game.
“It looked like a hearty greeting to me,” Carroll said. “That’s all I’ve got to say about that.”
* The Seahawks also tried Jarriel King at left guard with the second unit today. King was considered an offensive tackle coming in, but Carroll said they are moving him around to try and find a home for him.
“Obviously he’s miles behind us in learning the development of what we’re trying to do,” Carroll said. “But physically he looks very capable, and we’re real excited about him adding into it. We feel like we picked up a draft pick in him.”