Here’s the latest on Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman Russell Okung. Coach Pete Carroll said that his starting left tackle suffered a left ankle sprain on the opening series against San Diego tonight.
It’s the same leg he suffered a high-ankle sprain in October last season, forcing him to miss three games. Okung had missed the first three games of the regular season last year with a high-ankle sprain on his right leg.
Initial X-rays came back negative for a potential fracture. Okung will be re-evaluated once he gets back to Seattle today.
Carroll said Okung’s injury is in the same area where he suffered a high ankle sprain last year.
“I feel very sorry for him that he has to even deal with this tonight,” Carroll said. “He’s been through so much with all that stuff. The fact that it just happened really out of nowhere – he’d been practicing beautifully and doing everything full speed and doing great. So it’s hard to imagine how that could happen.”
Carroll said that Okung’s injury was not the result of contact. Tyler Polumbus replaced Okung at left tackle. Carroll said he did not consider swinging rookie James Carpenter to left tackle. Seattle drafted Carpenter No. 25 overall in this year’s draft because of his versatility, and the fact he played left tackle at Alabama last year.
“We know Tyler can play,” Carroll said. “He’s played for us before. And Will Robinson can play left tackle as well, but we’re not ruling out the fact that we’re going to get him back very quickly.”
I asked Carroll if he would consider moving Carpenter to left tackle, but he said they’re not even looking that far ahead yet.
“We’re just getting on the plane and going home,” Carroll said. “We’re not that far along.”
I also asked Carroll if he had considered not playing Okung because of all the starters that did not play tonight, but Carroll said he wanted to get the first unit offensive line some play time together.
“This offensive line needed to work together. They need with the quarterbacks,” he said. “If you noticed we played the two young kids on the right side (John Moffitt and James Carpenter) all the way into the third quarter, which is what the design was, to make them have to respond to the conditioning and all of that stuff. They did all right. They really hung in there. And there will be some things to correct of course. But for the first time they needed some extra work, and they got it.”
* Carroll liked the fact that his team ran for 133 yards on the ground. Improving the running game has been a point of emphasis during training camp.
Leading the way was recent addition Thomas Clayton, who finished with 62 yards on 16 carries, including a 25-yard touchdown run.
Clayton has the nickname Tommy Gun because he flexes his biceps after a long run.
“I thought Tommy did a really good job tonight,” Carroll said. “It was fun to see him run the football. I thought he did a very good job in the fourth quarter when he got a feel for things.”
* Carroll said he’s excited to get some guys back on the practice field next week, including Red Bryant, Chris Clemons and some other players who did not play. Ben Obomanu also has a shoulder injury but is expected to be ready for practice next week.
* Carroll said that Sidney Rice’s injury is not that serious, characterizing it as a weight room injury. “He’s fine,” Carroll said. “He could have played tonight. Justin Forsett could have played tonight. We just didn’t need to.”
* Rookie linebacker K.J. Wright led the team in tackles with seven.