RENTON Yet another twist to the Seahawks offensive line. Three of them, in fact.
J’Marcus Webb, the presumed new starting right tackle this season, has what coach Pete Carroll termed “a twisted” right knee that will keep him out of Saturday’s preseason opener at Kansas City -- and perhaps next week’s exhibition against Minnesota, too.
Carroll confirmed what the last two days of practices without Webb showed: Bradley Sowell will start at left tackle after only practicing there consistently beginning on Wednesday; and Garry Gilliam, who had been starting at left tackle all spring and summer, will start at right tackle against the Chiefs.
The line was already likely to have new starters in all five positions this season. That includes former tackle and guard Justin Britt as the first-time center.
All of that is protecting $87.6 million quarterback Russell Wilson. That’s the reason you may not see much of No. 3 at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday. Expect rookie No. 2 QB Trevone Boykin to enter the game while the new starting line keeps playing well into the first half.
The coach said he doesn’t believe Webb’s injury is serious, but that the short turnaround between Saturday’s exhibition and Thursday’s at home against the Vikings might make it difficult for Webb to play in the second preseason game.
It appears the Seahawks are starting Sowell, whom they signed from Arizona in the offseason, at left tackle to see if he can be their “swing,” backup tackle on both sides. Gilliam starting on the right puts him back at the position where he started all 16 regular-season games and both postseason ones last season.
Yet it’s fair to wonder why the Seahawks wouldn’t just keep Gilliam at left tackle, to maximize his time there at his new position this month while the game results ultimately do not count.
Carroll said Jimmy Graham was not making Friday afternoon’s trip to Kansas City that followed the lightest of the dozen practices of training camp so far. The tight end came off the physically-unable-to-perform list on Wednesday and is still recovering from a ruptured patellar tendon in his knee from November.
Thomas Rawls, the new lead running back who also came off the PUP list this week following surgery for a broken ankle, also will not play Saturday.
Here is Carroll on who else will not play against the Chiefs:
With rookies C.J. Prosise and Zac Brooks still out with hamstring injuries and Rawls not playing, Christine Michael will be the first running back. Rookie fifth-round pick Alex Collins, who’s been impressive in practices, will get a lot of time in the backfield, as will undrafted rookie Troymaine Pope and George Farmer. Farmer, a former running back at USC, was a cornerback until Tuesday. Now he will fill Prosise’s role as a third-down, pass-catching back. Prosise, the third-round pick from Notre Dame, has frustrated coaches with his hamstring injury that’s kept him out since the first 10 minutes of training camp July 30.