Pete Carroll: Russell Okung could be ‘a week away’

Aug 19, 2011, 10:29 AM | Updated: 3:01 pm

By Liz Mathews

Seahawks left tackle Russell Okung could be back to full practice in as little as one week. Okung was a limited participant in practice on Thursday after spraining his ankle is last week’s preseason opener in San Diego.

“Russell is not as bad as he was,” Pete Carroll said on Thursday. “There’s no doubt. He’s way, way ahead from where he was. We know that he’s maybe a week away or two weeks away at the most. He’s able to do walk-through stuff and he’s staying up with all installations and advances, so it feels good.”

Carroll said that the team is going to have to adjust to losing players from time to time — that’s just the nature of the game. For now, Tyler Polumbus will replace Okung at left tackle.

“We can’t hold our breath and wait for Russell now,” Carroll said. “We have to keep going. We know he’s coming back quickly though and love the fact that he’s making a great recovery. He’s mindfully strong about this. He’s in much better shape mentally than he was at other times because he knows he’s going to make it back soon. That’ll happen within a couple weeks.”

But whether or not Okung is available to start the regular season opener in San Francisco remains to be seen.

“We think he has a real good chance to do that, but I don’t know that,” said Carroll, who wants to see Okung back in action before making any final decisions.

“Well, we know that Russell can play,” Carroll continued. “He is better already than he was at any time last year. His footwork, his balance…when he was out here we saw him for two solid weeks and we were just thrilled about where he was. So we know that he’s taken that freshman to sophomore step forward.

“How far? We don’t know. But he has taken a good step forward. We would love to have him. I could give you some percentages and numbers and stuff, but it’s not going to matter. We want him back when we he can get back and he’s ready. We’ll take him when he can.”

For now, Okung is just “waiting around” and told the media on Thursday that he wants to return to practice as soon as possible.

“I don’t think the left tackle position is any more significant than any other position on on the offensive line,” said Okung of all the attention he is receiving with his latest injury. “It’s five guys out there trying to get one collective thing done.”

And concerns about the youth and inexperience of the line shouldn’t remain the focus either.

“Every day we are getting better, obviously people say ‘we are young’ and ‘we are this,’ but we’re not worried about that,” Okung said. “In our room, we plan to be one of the hardest working units on the field, one of the most knowledgeable units on the field.

“And from there, we’ll take over.”

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