RENTON — The Seattle Seahawks are getting used to the kind of news they got Friday about their offensive line, when they learned that center Max Unger will not be able to play at Atlanta Sunday with a concussion.
Seattle has not played with its expected starting offensive line since the first half of the second game of the season against San Francisco, and the loss of Unger means that for the third time this season it will play with four of five positions held by someone other than who lined up there on opening day.
The Seahawks, though, aren’t quite as accustomed to getting similar news about the defensive line. Friday, though, they also learned that end Red Bryant will miss the game with a concussion.
That will result in the first change due to injury on the defensive front this season.
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Bryant, like Unger, was injured in Sunday’s 27-24 overtime win over Tampa Bay.
“They’re not going to play,” coach Pete Carroll said after Friday’s practice. “We’re going to take care of them this week and have them ready for next week (a home game against Minnesota), hopefully.”
Lemuel Jeanpierre will step in at center for Unger, as he also did in games earlier this year at Houston and Indianapolis. The offensive line will also again play without left tackle Russell Okung and almost certainly without right tackle Breno Giacomini.
Each has been out since September, and Okung by rule cannot come back until next week.
Each, though, returned to practice this week, and Carroll didn’t completely rule out that Giacomini could play if needed at Atlanta — he was listed as doubtful instead of out on the team’s official injury report.
Carroll said Okung and Giacomini took part fully in Friday’s practice and will enter next week with the expectation of being able to play against Minnesota.
“They feel like they’re able to handle the work,” Carroll said. “They have had no issues with it at all. So next week, they’ll come back going full speed, and that’ll be really exciting to get those guys back in.”
The injury issues at tackle are a key reason Seattle has already allowed 27 sacks this year compared to 33 all of last season.
The defensive line, meanwhile, has been intact since Chris Clemons returned from a knee injury suffered in the playoffs last January in Week 3.
The loss of Bryant comes at a time when the defense is trying to solve some perplexing issues defending the run that seemingly rose out of the blue two weeks ago — Seattle allowed a combined 405 yards on the ground against the Bucs and the Rams.
Michael Bennett is listed as Bryant’s backup and Tony McDaniel could also be used at end. As Carroll noted, though, the Seahawks rotate players liberally up front, and replacing Bryant will mostly mean just giving more snaps to players who already see a lot of time.
“We have some rotations that we’ve been working and we’ll just adjust it a little bit,” Carroll said. “But the same guys will be playing, for the most part.”
One player who won’t figure in is rookie backup tackle Jordan Hill. He is listed as out after injuring a biceps. Carroll said the injury is to his other biceps than the one that kept Hill out of the first four games of the season.
Receiver Percy Harvin, still on the road to recovery from hip surgery on Aug. 1, did not practice this week. But Carroll said he is getting closer to returning to the field.
“Percy is the best he’s been,’’ Carroll said. “He had another excellent day (of conditioning workouts); he’s not ready to play this week. He’ll return to practice hopefully next week and we’ll just go one day at a time then.
“But all of the signs are really encouraging. He feels good, he’s not having issues after he works out or next days. So I think that we’ve built up enough days here to take a real good positive step. I don’t know what that means, in terms of playing next week, but we’re hoping that he’ll be able to get some extra work and really jump back into it.”
• Among those listed as probable is strong safety Kam Chancellor with an ankle injury. Chancellor has not missed a snap for Seattle this season. His backup is Jeron Johnson, who is questionable with a hamstring injury that has held him out the last two weeks.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @bcondotta