The Seahawks lost a meaningless game Saturday night at Qwest Field. The bigger concern is how long they'll lose a meaningful player. Left tackle Russell Okung...
The Seahawks lost a meaningless game Saturday night at Qwest Field.
The bigger concern is how long they’ll lose a meaningful player.
Left tackle Russell Okung, the player Seattle picked No. 6 overall in April’s NFL draft, left in the first quarter after suffering an ankle injury during Seattle’s 27-24 loss to Green Bay.
“It’s a legitimate ankle sprain,” coach Pete Carroll said after the game. “So we’ll see how it goes.”
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Okung left the field in the first quarter and was replaced by Mansfield Wrotto, who finished the game at left tackle. Okung was not available in the locker room afterward. He underwent X-rays, which did not detect a fracture. He will have an MRI on Sunday.
Carroll was asked if Okung suffered a high-ankle sprain.
“It may be,” Carroll said. “We don’t know that right now.”
Typically, recovery from a high-ankle sprain takes four to six weeks. Sometimes it is quicker. Seahawks cornerback Josh Wilson was back two weeks after suffering that type of injury last year. Sometimes it’s longer, as was the case with tackle Sean Locklear, who missed about two months.
The uncertainty of Okung’s status provides a flashback to last season, when Seattle went through four starters at left tackle after Walter Jones failed to come back from offseason knee surgery.
“It’s pretty significant,” Carroll said of Okung’s injury. “Obviously we made it as big a priority as we could make it to get him. So we’ll have to see how it goes.
“That’s a big loss if he can’t come back. We put a lot of time and effort into getting this guy right. He has done everything we could ask of him, and we’ll see what it is. I don’t know how long it’s going to take.”
Seattle’s backup tackles are Wrotto and Joe Toledo. Chester Pitts, a veteran who has played tackle and guard, was signed before training camp, but has not been cleared to practice. He is recovering from knee surgery.
Okung’s injury overshadowed a step forward by Seattle’s first-unit offense, which scored on two of its first three possessions. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck played the entire first half and completed 11 of 15 passes for 127 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown to Deion Branch to tie the score 7-7.
Receivers Mike Williams and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, playing only in the first half, caught four passes apiece.
Seattle was playing catchup against the Packers from the very beginning. Rookie safety Earl Thomas was beaten over the top by Greg Jennings on a 56-yard pass perfectly thrown by Aaron Rodgers.
The Packers scored touchdowns on each of their first two possessions, turning the exhibition game into a showcase of the deficiencies of Seattle’s starting defense. The Packers held the ball for more than nine minutes in the first quarter, never punted and exposed the recurring problem of Seattle’s inability to get off the field on defense. Green Bay faced four third downs in the first quarter and converted all of them.
Seattle trailed 17-14 at halftime but took the lead in the second half when Green Bay turned the ball over on three of its first four possessions. Charlie Whitehurst’s 3-yard touchdown pass to Ben Obomanu put the Seahawks ahead 21-17, and Clint Stitser’s fourth-quarter field goal gave them a seven-point lead.
The Seahawks were in position to add to that after recovering a kickoff that Green Bay return man Sam Shields failed to field. But Whitehurst was intercepted on an ill-advised throw toward Cameron Morrah.
Green Bay scored 10 points over the final nine minutes as Seattle’s backup defense couldn’t stop the Packers’ backup rushing unit.
The Seahawks had one final chance, but Whitehurst was intercepted for the second time when his throw was tipped by Hawks tight end Anthony McCoy and picked off by Shields with 3:50 left.
But the biggest question wasn’t how Seattle let this game slip away, but when its rookie left tackle will return.
Danny O’Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org
GB — Kuhn 1 pass from Rodgers (Crosby kick), 11:15.
Sea — Branch 11 pass from Hasselbeck (Stitser kick), 8:32.
GB — Finley 12 pass from Rodgers (Crosby kick), 1:36.
Sea — Washington 11 run (Stitser kick), 12:51.
GB — FG Crosby 34, 9:50.
Sea — Obomanu 3 pass from Whitehurst (Stitser kick), 4:16.
Sea — FG Stitser 35, 13:21.
GB — FG Crosby 51, 8:26.
GB — Jackson 12 run (Crosby kick), 3:34.
A — 65,586.
|Total Net Yards||421||272|
|Time of Possession||35:25||24:35|
Rushing — Green Bay, Jackson 11-80, Kuhn 6-30, Porter 9-27, Grant 5-19, Flynn 3-19, Rodgers 1-3, G.Harrell 4-(minus 4). Seattle, Washington 4-19, Obomanu 1-17, Jones 5-14, Forsett 5-13, Whitehurst 1-7, Ganther 2-5.
Passing — Green Bay, Flynn 10-20-1-130, Rodgers 8-11-0-116, G.Harrell 1-1-0-23. Seattle, Hasselbeck 11-15-0-127, Whitehurst 9-20-2-73.
Receiving — Green Bay, Finley 4-48, Nelson 3-39, Swain 2-34, Jennings 1-56, West 1-23, P.Williams 1-14, Dillon 1-12, Johnson 1-12, Quarless 1-10, Jackson 1-9, Grant 1-8, J.Jones 1-3, Kuhn 1-1. Seattle, Houshmandzadeh 4-60, Williams 4-44, Butler 2-24, Schmitt 2-14, Jones 2-12, A.McCoy 1-12, Branch 1-11, Tate 1-8, Carlson 1-6, Washington 1-6, Obomanu 1-3.
Missed FG — None.