Monday, September 16, 2013
Okung likely out, Seattle considers options
By Terry Blount
RENTON, Wash. – Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday he doesn’t think offensive tackle Russell Okung can play this weekend because of a toe injury suffered early in the game with the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night.
“I don’t think that’s possible,” Carroll said. “We’ll wait and see. There are some options that we’ll deal with to try to figure it out. We need to wait and see. It’s a spectrum of options."
Whatever option the Seahawks select, it won’t be as good as Okung, a Pro Bowl player and the sixth overall pick in the 2010 draft.
Okung (6-foot-5, 310 pounds) has a torn ligament in his toe, leagues sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Monday. Carroll would not confirm the specifics of the injury.
“We’re still taking in information to know what it’s all about,” Carroll said. “We’re waiting for more info. We don’t know yet. If I told you something different I’d be making it all up.”
With Okung likely out for Sunday’s home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Seahawks will have some tough decisions to make at the crucial left-tackle spot.
Paul McQuistan moved from left guard to Okung's left-tackle spot when Okung left Sunday's game in the first half. James Carpenter came in to play left guard. But the Seahawks coaches might opt to play one of their two rookie offensive tackles -- Alvin Bailey or Michael Bowie -- against Jacksonville and leave McQuistan at guard to split time with Carpenter.
Both Bailey and Bowie were on the inactive list against the 49ers. Bowie (6-foot-4, 330) was a seventh-round draft choice out of Northeastern State in Oklahoma. Bowie suffered a shoulder injury in the final preseason game against Oakland, but was back practicing full speed last week.
Bailey (6-foot-3, 320) was an undrafted free agent out of Arkansas. He is listed as Okung’s backup on the Seahawks' depth chart, which is unofficial.
Another option for Seattle could be to bring back free agent Mike Person, who was released last week. Person (6-foot-4, 300 from Montana State) is a tackle who was working as the team’s third tight end before the Seahawks signed veteran tight end Kellen Davis last week.
Seattle is one of the deepest teams in the NFL, but the offensive-tackle spot is a thin area on the depth chart.
Okung struggled with ankle problems his rookie year, missing the first three games of the season before starting 10 games.
He missed four games in 2011 with a torn pectoral muscle, but he started 15 regular-season games last year and both playoff games, along with being voted to the Pro Bowl for the first time.
Carroll said the only other injury from Sunday's game was rookie running back Spencer Ware, who suffered a sprained ankle at the end of the game.
“It’s a significant sprain,” Carroll said.