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Monday, October 25, 2010
Perspective on Russell Okung's injury

By Mike Sando

NFL defensive players have complained about cut blocking for years.

Okung
Okung
Hall of Famer Howie Long once followed Bobb McKittrick, then the San Francisco 49ers' offensive line coach, into a stadium tunnel following a game to confront McKittrick over the controversial tactics.

Seattle Seahawks left tackle Russell Okung could have done without one cut block in particular Sunday. Okung was finishing a blocking assignment during a routine running play against the Arizona Cardinals when teammate Chris Baker tried to block defensive end Calais Campbell in the lower legs. When Campbell outran the block, Baker's momentum carried him into the back of Okung's left leg.

The result: a high-ankle sprain for Okung, the second time since August he has suffered one from contact with a teammate. The Seahawks have not ruled out Okung for their game Sunday because they aren't sure how the ankle will respond to treatment.

Okung missed the final two exhibition games and the first three regular-season games following his previous high-ankle sprain. He sprained the other ankle Sunday.

"It's not nearly like the other one," coach Pete Carroll told reporters Monday. "But it’s a legitimate sprain and they’ re calling it a first-degree sprain, so we' ll see what that means."

The injury likely means Tyler Polumbus starts at left tackle against Oakland in Week 8. I've seen the Raiders get pressure against offensive tackles at times this season. Seattle faces Osi Umenyiora and the New York Giants in Week 9. Umenyiora entered the Giants' Monday night game with eight sacks and seven forced fumbles.