DANNY ONEIL

George Fant’s injury – heartbreaking as it was – shouldn’t slow Seahawks

Aug 21, 2017, 11:31 AM | Updated: Aug 22, 2017, 9:15 am
Left tackle George Fant suffered an injury in the first half of Friday's preseason game. (AP)...
Left tackle George Fant suffered an injury in the first half of Friday's preseason game. (AP)
(AP)

It was George Fant’s presence last year that prompted questions about whether the Seahawks would trade for a left tackle.

It is his looming absence that has people asking for the same thing.

Hey, you take progress wherever you can find. Especially on Seattle’s offensive line, and the fact that so many were worried about what the team would do after Fant suffered a season-ending knee injury is testament to how far he has come in a year.

And for the record, it didn’t even take 24 hours following Fant’s season-ending knee injury in Friday’s preseason victory for the first explicit request that Seattle trade for Joe Thomas.

Thomas is the great white whale for many Seahawks fans, a reference that has nothing to do with the left tackle’s girth or ethnicity and everything to do with a seemingly Melvillian obsessions here in Seattle to chasing down this specific mammal. He is the Pro Bowler that some Seahawks fans just won’t stop asking about. Seven years from now, he’ll be 40 and spending most of his life on a fishing boat and Seattle fans will still wonder what he’d cost to acquire.

The answer to that question right now is that he’d cost too much, which is the same answer it has been for the past couple of years.

The reality is that Fant’s injury – as disappointing as it was – was a much bigger blow to the player than it was to the Seahawks’ chances this season. That’s not a criticism of Fant. Far from it. The guy has been better than anyone could have hoped for a converted basketball player and way better than the Seahawks could have ever expected.

But if Seattle’s chances this season depended on Fant’s availability, well, this season was way too fragile to begin with. Even with 26 added pounds of muscle for Fant and a full year of experience on offensive line, expecting him to be even an average NFL tackle in his second season was asking a ton. And the gap between whoever steps in at that position – whether it’s Rees Odhiambo going to tackle or Luke Joeckel sliding over from left guard – should be able to replace the level of performance Fant would have provided.

This isn’t like the Seahawks trying to replace Earl Thomas for the final month of last season. Or Michael Bennett for a month. Or Kam Chancellor for about the same period of time earlier in the season.

So as heartbreaking as Fant’s injury was – and it was a huge blow for a guy who has worked so hard to build himself into a credible football player – let’s not get carried away with the implications for the season or the need to trade for a certain tackle in the Midwest.

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George Fant’s injury – heartbreaking as it was – shouldn’t slow Seahawks