You can say this much about head coach Jim Mora’s announcement on Wednesday that offensive tackle Walter Jones needed arthroscopic surgery and Marcus Trufant has a “disk issue,” likely leaving both of them unavailable for the beginning of the regular season – he was prepared.
The Seahawks already have been working on the offensive line with a plan in place should Jones not be available, with Sean Locklear working as heir apparent at left tackle, Ray Willis filling Locklear’s spot at right tackle and rookie Max Unger filling in at right guard.
Seattle had wanted to try Locklear at right guard when Jones returned to practice this week, but they only got a few plays to look at the new configuration before Jones started to feel pain in his surgically repaired left knee on Monday.
Now the team’s attempt to create more versatility and depth across the line is even more important with Jones likely out for an extended period of time.
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Further, the move over the offseason in signing free agent Ken Lucas has proved even more invaluable. Lucas has played with a renewed focus since joining the team, out to prove doubters wrong that his play had slipped toward the end of his tenure in Carolina. With Lucas and Josh Wilson the team has two, legitimate corners going into the regular season.
Kelly Jennings has been OK as the team’s nickel corner. However, Jennings still can’t come up with the big play down the field, so the team could always go back to using Jordan Babineaux in nickel situations.
With Jones and Trufant out, the team will have a drop in production at those two positions, but at least they have a plan in place moving forward to cover for those areas should the two veterans be out for a long period of time.
The most promising thing helping the Seahawks get through the first part of the season potentially without the services of Jones and Trufant is the team’s schedule.
Seattle plays four of its first six games at home. And the combined record of the teams they play in those six games from the 2008 regular season is 44-52. That stretch includes home games against St. Louis, Chicago, Jacksonville and Arizona along with road games at San Francisco and Indianapolis. So the Seahawks could possibly squeak buy without two of its best players until the team’s bye comes in Week 7.
Here’s my story detailing the two announcements from Wednesday afternoon’s practice on Jones and Trufant.
Gregg Bell of the Associated Press reports that linebacker Leroy Hill has been formally charged in Georgia with misdemeanor marijuana possession stemming from a January traffic stop. Hill is contesting the charge, and awaits punishment from the league.
ESPN’s Mike Sando questions the health of Seattle’s cornerstone players.
Brock Huard of ESPN 710 Seattle outlines the best and worst-case scenarios for Walter Jones.
Care Farnswoth of Seahawks.com profiles fan favorite Justin Forsett.
Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian says defensive end Nick Reed plays bigger than his size. He’s been one of the pleasant surprises for Seattle during training camp.
Rod Mar, former Seattle Times staff photographer now at Seahawks.com created a photo blog, which includes photos from the San Diego game. It’s worth checking out.
I talked with KJR’s Ian Furness in our weekly conversation, which you can listen to in this audio link.
KJR’s Ian Furness talks with linebacker Lofa Tatupu about Aaron Curry in this audio link.
KJR’s Mitch Levy and Hugh Millen talk with Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp in this audio link.
More Levy and Millen: They talk with cornerback Ken Lucas in this audio link.
The rift continues between Denver receiver Brandon Marshall and Broncos management. It looks like Marshall will not play against Seattle on Saturday.
And Knowshon Moreno won’t play either. He’s out one-to-two weeks with an MCL sprain.