Seahawks offensive line starters uncertain for Sunday
Sep 9, 2011, 4:10 PM | Updated: 5:04 pm
By Liz Mathews
The Seahawks offensive line just got a whole lot younger on Friday afternoon.
â€œIt is what it is,” head coach Pete Carroll said Friday after practice. “Thereâ€™s no reason to spend any time on it. Thatâ€™s what it is.”
Although veteran left guard Robert Gallery was listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report, he isn’t expected to play this Sunday in the season opener against San Francisco. Gallery, who sprained his knee in the final preseason game, hasn’t participated in practice this week.
“Weâ€™ll always leave it at doubtful because thereâ€™s a chance,” Carroll said. “You never know when he wakes up, but most likely heâ€™s not going to make it.â€
Carroll wouldn’t comment on whether or not rookie James Carpenter would start on Sunday in Gallery’s place, but did say that lineman Breno Giacomini is likely to start at right tackle — regardless of who fills in for Gallery.
“Thatâ€™s the way itâ€™s looking,” Carroll said. “The way weâ€™ve practiced is the way itâ€™s looking. I just want to hold out until we get to game time and make sure we use every day possible to figure it out.â€
Left tackle Russell Okung has been cleared to play and will start Sunday afternoon. Okung has not played in since spraining his ankle in the first series of the preseason opener. But despite his lack of game time, Carroll said that Okung is prepared after having participated in all the team walkthroughs and mental activities.
“Russellâ€™s ready,” Carroll said. “Heâ€™s cranked up and ready to go. Weâ€™re really excited for him. This was a frustrating preseason for him again. Heâ€™s had a couple of those. But weâ€™re happy to have him back and heâ€™s really raring to get going.â€
With Gallery out, the remaining linemen have very few combined total regular season starts. Max Unger, now playing at center, and Giacomini are the most senior of the group.
Wide receiver Sidney Rice, also listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report, is likely to remain sidelined this Sunday due to a lingering sore shoulder.
“He ran around, caught balls and that stuff,” Carroll said of Rice’s participation on Friday. “We need to protect him and take care of him so itâ€™s likely he wonâ€™t go.â€
Ben Obomanu is expected to start in Rice’s place.
Defensive end Chris Clemons and linebacker David Hawthorne are both probable to play in San Francisco. Clemons had tweaked his ankle in Thursday’s walkthrough and was given a rest day to recover from treatment.
While Carroll wouldn’t confirm whether or not Hawthorne would start at middle linebacker, he did say that rookie linebacker K.J. Wright is available to play the whole game if needed.
“Heâ€™s had a tremendous preparation,” Carroll said of Wright. “Heâ€™s really been impressive. We feel very confident about him starting a game. If we start him in this game, heâ€™ll be fine. Heâ€™s done a marvelous job and he really gives the guys around him the confidence that he knows his stuff, he can make his calls.
“Heâ€™s been ahead of the curve for a rookie coming in and particularly in the play-calling position that heâ€™s in. We didnâ€™t know he was going to be that sharp. He surprised us in that heâ€™s played beyond what youâ€™d expect a first-year starter in a situation like weâ€™re in.”
Official Injury Report
OUT: T Jarriel King (ankle)
DOUBTFUL: G Robert Gallery, WR Sidney Rice
QUESTIONABLE: None listed
PROBABLE: DE Chris Clemons, LB David Hawthorne