NFL Nation: Mike Gibson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Center Phil Costa wasn't even around long enough to be asked about dating Hulk Hogan's daughter let alone possibly hike the ball to quarterback Andrew Luck with the Indianapolis Colts.

Costa, in a surprising announcement, has decided to retire.

"Phil feels it's in his best interest to retire from the game," Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said in a statement released by the team. "We certainly understand and wish him nothing but the best."

The Colts signed Costa to a two-year, $2.7 million contract that included $450,000 guaranteed last month.

UPDATE: The Colts do not have to pay Costa any of the guaranteed money he was scheduled to make since he decided to retire.

The idea was for Costa to compete with Khaled Holmes for the starting center position, but I got the sense that the Colts were hoping Holmes would win the job. Costa, who started with the Dallas Cowboys in 2011, was beat out by rookie Travis Frederick last season.

Holmes only played 12 snaps and was a healthy inactive 11 times last season as a rookie.

Now the Colts are in serious of need of adding another center to the roster. This isn't a position they should be in with their franchise player Luck. The little bit of good news out of Costa telling the Colts he was retiring is that he did it now and not after training camp had already started. It gives Grigson some time to try to find another center to add to the roster.

Alex Mack?

Nope. The Cleveland Browns quickly matched the offer the Jacksonville Jaguars gave him.

Mike McGlynn?

McGlynn, who plays guard and center, was the best center on the Colts' roster last season, but the team had no interest in re-signing him. McGlynn is now with the Washington Redskins.

Samson Satele?

Next.

Kyle Cook, Mike Gibson and Steve Vallos are the three best centers still available on the free agent market, according to Bill Polian's free agent tracker.

Grigson said during the NFL owners' meetings last month that he wasn't overly impressed with the group of free agent centers.

That takes us to the draft. The Colts' first pick is not until No. 59 in the second round.

Here's a recap of the top 10 centers in the draft, according to ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.:

1. Marcus Martin, USC
2. Weston Richburg, Colorado St.
3. Russell Bodine, North Carolina
4. Travis Swanson, Arkansas
5. Jonotthan Harrison, Florida
6. Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma
7. James Stone, Tennessee
8. Bryan Stork, Florida St.
9. Corey Linsley, Ohio St.
10. Tyler Larsen, Utah St.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Finding a new center to replace the retired Brad Meester is one of the Jacksonville Jaguars' top priorities this offseason, but the fact that they didn’t sign one during the first few weeks of free agency isn’t a concern for general manager David Caldwell or coach Gus Bradley.

They’re confident they can find a starter among the players already on the roster, beginning with third-year player Mike Brewster.

"We felt like going through our end-of-season evaluations that Brew could hold the fort down," Caldwell said during the NFL owners’ meetings this week. "This is a big year for him. He’s going into his contract year and it felt like that it could be a year for him to really excel and be the guy. I know the players feel comfortable with him. I know our coaching staff feels comfortable with him.

[+] EnlargeMike Brewster
AP Photo/Scott A. MillerMike Brewster has played in 26 games with 10 starts since making the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2012.
"If we found one that we really liked that we felt like could come in and be an appreciable upgrade then we’d go that route, but if not we felt like between the draft and between Brew and even a guy like Pat Lewis, who we have some feeling for that we claimed off Cleveland’s practice squad, that one of those guys could come in and be the starter for us."

Jacques McClendon, whom the Jaguars claimed last September and ended up playing in five games (two starts) at guard, also can play center. But Brewster, who was a four-year starter and Rimington Award finalist at Ohio State, gets the first chance. He missed the final two games of the season after suffering a fractured left ankle, but is expected to be healthy in time for OTAs in April.

Bradley said Brewster has worked hard in rehab alongside left tackle Luke Joeckel, who missed 11 games after suffering a fractured right ankle, and appears to have gotten bigger and stronger.

"I think that he’s in the mindset that he has the opportunity right in front of him and he’s really going to take advantage of this opportunity," Bradley said. "We’ll see. He looks the part, coming off of his injury very well, but it’s going to be competitive. We have confidence in him to play that position. We’ve talked in our offensive staff meetings and our overall staff meetings specifically about that one position, and his name keeps coming up."

The 6-foot-4, 305-pound Brewster, however, has yet to play a snap at center in his first two seasons. He has played in 26 games with 10 starts since making the team as an undrafted free agent in 2012, but all have been at left or right guard.

In fact, only one of the Jaguars’ other current options at center has taken a snap. McClendon snapped once against Tennessee when Meester moved to tight end so he could catch a pass in his Jaguars finale. McClendon, a fourth-round pick by Indianapolis in 2010, has played in just nine games, five of which came with the Jaguars last season.

The Jaguars signed Lewis from Cleveland’s practice squad on Dec. 17. He has yet to play in an NFL game.

There are still 13 free-agent centers available -- led by Kyle Cook, Brian de la Puente, Mike Gibson and Rich Ohrnberger -- so the Jaguars might still add one on a bargain contract before the draft. Even if they do, however, they’ll still likely draft one in May. Starting a rookie center is not ideal because of the responsibilities of making line calls and adjustments, but signing veteran guard Zane Beadles and re-signing quarterback Chad Henne makes it more palatable, Bradley said.

"The center spot is always dangerous," Bradley said. "If you start with a rookie center and a rookie quarterback, I think that makes it difficult. But if you have a veteran quarterback and it happens to be a rookie center, you’ll still go through some growing pains, but it’s not to the extreme of both being rookies."

It’s Brewster’s job for now, but the Jaguars are obviously keeping their options open.

Bethel clears protocol, plans to play

November, 20, 2013
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TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona Cardinals gunner Justin Bethel has passed the league's concussion protocol, and he expects to play Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

“Yeah, that’s the plan,” Bethel said. “That’s my plan to play.”

Passing the concussion test was Bethel’s biggest hurdle to returning to the field. He was limited in practice Wednesday.

Bethel
“We’ll take it very easy with him,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said.

Bethel left last weekend’s game against Jacksonville after a vicious hit left him staggering. After finally getting to his feet, he had to take a knee again and eventually be helped off the field.

The second-year gunner, who Arians has said may be the best special-teams player in the NFL, said he didn’t know how bad the concussion was, but he was feeling better Wednesday.

“Just going to go out there and try to get better every day, do what I can,” Bethel said. “And just try to get ready for Sunday.”

Without Bethel, the Cardinals' punt-return unit would be in trouble. In the third quarter against the Jaguars, fellow gunner Teddy Williams was lost for the season with an Achilles injury. In Williams' place, the Cardinals signed Bryan McCann, who is expected to assume the gunner duties. But if Bethel can't return Sunday, the Cardinals' ability to flip the field won't be as strong as it has been and the defense will face more pressure to keep opponents from working in short fields.

Quarterback Carson Palmer was listed on the Cardinals’ injury report with a hand injury, but he practiced fully. The only Cardinal not to practice was center/guard Mike Gibson. Linebacker John Abraham (hamstring) and wide receivers Michael Floyd (shoulder) and Brittan Golden were limited.

Arians said Floyd’s right shoulder, in which he suffered a sprained AC joint against Houston, was sore. The coach also described Golden as at “about 90 percent,” an estimation the receiver agreed with.

“He’s still finding that last gear,” Arians said. “I think it’s more scar tissue than it is injury at this point in time. We hope to get him back soon.”

OC Goodwin learning from Arians, Moore

September, 6, 2013
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TEMPE, Ariz. – A lot has been made about the Arizona Cardinals spending all offseason learning a new offensive scheme.

Offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin can relate.

Since he was hired in early February, Goodwin has been learning how to direct an entire offense, from the run to the pass, from the first string to the practice squad. Until this year, Goodwin had only been an offensive-line coach. He knew two things: pass protection and run blocking.

When new head coach Bruce Arians brought him on board in Arizona, he entrusted Goodwin with the keys to the Cardinals’ new offense, one that featured All-Everything receiver Larry Fitzgerald and would soon have a name quarterback in Carson Palmer. But there was one caveat. Goodwin wouldn’t be calling the plays.

“It’s still a work in progress for me as being the O-line coach trying to grasp that kind of stuff,” Goodwin said. “Every day I get more and more apt at being able to do it, and being able to see it and tell you what those guys are doing.”

[+] EnlargeHarold Goodwin
AP Photo/Paul SpinelliHarold Goodwin, in his first stint as an offensive coordinator, relies on the experience of fellow coaches Bruce Arians and Tom Moore.
For now, Goodwin is content being a sponge, watching and learning from two football geniuses. Arians was the mastermind behind a Super Bowl victory with the Pittsburgh Steelers and is known for his vertical passing game. Tom Moore, the assistant head coach, made Peyton Manning into who he is today.

“At the end of the (day), he’s still a great mind as far as the passing game,” Goodwin said of Arians. “I just throw in my two cents every now and then for the most part.

“Those guys are doing it because they’ve been doing it for along time.”

But Goodwin still gets his chance to mold the offense in his image. He said the majority of the work during the week is on his shoulders.

For now, however, Goodwin will continue to learn from two of the brightest minds in the game.

“At the end of the day,” Goodwin said, “in my belly, I’m still a line coach.”
  • The fact that Patrick Peterson will also be playing wide receiver this season isn’t a secret. But how the Cardinals will unveil Peterson on Sunday still is.

“I can’t tell you that,” Goodwin said with a smile. “He’s going to be in there some. Who knows? That’s up to coach (Arians) and what he calls. Obviously they’ve seen some stuff in the preseason, but they haven’t seen it all.”
  • Goodwin believes left tackle Nate Potter is good enough to make the transition to guard, which the second-year pro started doing this week at practice.

“Nate’s a good athlete,” Goodwin said. “It’s still a little bit of an adjustment to him, but I think he’s capable.”
  • The Goodwin family is a house divided these days. Harold’s younger brother, Jonathan, is an offensive lineman for NFC West rival San Francisco. But don’t expect a good-luck phone call. Harold hasn’t heard from his brother as his coordinator debut nears.

“I haven’t talked to him,” Harold Goodwin said. “He’s the enemy now.”
  • While he was in Indianapolis, Goodwin was impressed enough with tackle Bradley Sowell that when the Cardinals were looking for a little more stability on the offensive line, they turned to the former Colt.

“He knows the system because he was in it last year,” Goodwin said. “It’s still a little bit of a learning curve because he forgot a little bit, but for the most part you see him out there getting reps, so he knows most of it.”
  • With Potter now an option at guard, Goodwin said guard Daryn Colledge along with backup center Mike Gibson will be the “exchange guys inside.”
This much we knew about the Arizona Cardinals' running game heading into Sunday’s season opener at St. Louis: Rashard Mendenhall is the starter.

Smith
After that? It was anybody’s guess.

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians helped sort out the four-man “committee” waiting on the sideline by announcing that in most situations, Alfonso Smith will “probably be our next guy.”

That’s as much a testament to Arians’ faith in the oft-injured Ryan Williams as it is to Smith’s perseverance. He’s been cut three times in four years, during which time he bounced between the Cardinals’ 53-man roster and the practice squad. At the start of minicamp and OTAs, Smith wasn’t expected to make it through final cuts. But he impressed during training camp and developed a reputation as a punishing pass-blocker.

“There were a lot of linebackers and DBs that quit rushing him in training camp when we had pads on,” Arians said. “There were serious blows. He brings it and that’s what I like about him.”

That leaves rookies Andre Ellington and Stepfan Taylor, and Williams, awaiting their call. Ellington and Taylor have roles on special teams, but how many running backs Arians dresses on Sunday will be telling.

“It’s a blessing, man, just to be able to be on the active roster starting off and to get an opportunity to be the backup, so I’m going to be excited,” Smith said. “I’m going to be pumped up.”

In other news:
  • Arians said he will use three kick returners in St. Louis, although there are five or six possibilities.
  • The number of offensive linemen the Cardinals dress against the Rams will be a game-time decision, Arians said. He’s thrown around seven throughout training camp, but that could change with the injury to rookie guard Jonathan Cooper. If it’s seven, look for Nate Potter and Mike Gibson, in addition to the front five, because of their ability to combine to work at all five spots. If it’s eight, look for Bobby Massie to dress.
  • Arians said he thought Denver quarterback Peyton Manning’s seven-touchdown outing Thursday night against Baltimore was "outstanding." Arians, who was Manning's quarterbacks coach in Indianapolis in 1998-2000, said, "It was one of those ones that you dream about when you’re young, you know seven touchdowns in a game, especially against the Ravens, which is a great defensive football team. So that was really, really special."
A few thoughts on known contract offers for restricted free agents in the NFC West:
  • The Hyphen: The Cardinals announced a second-round tender for running back LaRod Stephens-Howling, meaning any team signing Stephens-Howling would have to give Arizona a 2012 second-round choice if the Cardinals declined to match the offer. Stephens-Howling was a seventh-round pick. The fact that Arizona values him at a second-round level reflects well on him, and on the team for drafting him.
  • Amendola valued: Jim Thomas' report of a second-round tender for Danny Amendola suggests the Rams' new staff wants to keep the slot receiver. Amendola caught 85 passes in 2010, then suffered a season-ending elbow injury in the 2011 opener. He is 26 years old, has a good rapport with quarterback Sam Bradford and can contribute in the return game.
  • Secondary values: Arizona safety Rashad Johnson and cornerback Greg Toler received original-round tenders. That means Johnson would fetch a third-round pick and Toler a fourth-rounder. The knee injury Toler suffered before last season suppressed his value.
  • No Max Hall: The Cardinals retained rights to exclusive-rights free agents Rich Bartel, Alfonso Smith, Ronald Talley and Brandon Williams. They made no offer to Max Hall, a forgotten man in the team's quarterback race. Hall was once a player the Cardinals liked for his toughness and leadership, but his days in Arizona appear finished.
  • 49ers' LB depth: San Francisco had only two RFA candidates, linebacker Larry Grant and receiver Brett Swain. The team has made no announcement on its tenders, but Grant appears likely to receive an original-round offer, pegging his value to a seventh-round pick, Matt Maiocco notes. Grant played extensively on special teams and filled it pretty well at linebacker when Patrick Willis was out. The 49ers should be able to match any offers, or they could look for depth in the draft. Looks like Swain is head headed for free agency.
  • Seahawks have three: NFL Players Association records show Seattle extending a $1.26 million tender to kicker Steven Hauschka, allowing Seattle the right of first refusal. Guard Mike Gibson and cornerback Roy Lewis are the team's other RFAs. Lewis' agent said he has not yet received word from the team, which has until Tuesday to make RFA offers.

Looks like I've finally made it through a blog post without mentioning -- wait, who wrote that headline?
The Seattle Seahawks' top priorities in free agency appear clear, at least when it comes to their own players.

Re-sign running back Marshawn Lynch and defensive end Red Bryant.

Lynch's agent of record, Mike Sullivan, recently took a job with the Denver Broncos. That would not affect negotiations as much if Lynch remained with Octagon Worldwide. The agent game can be an unpredictable one, however. That is something to file away.

Bryant has said he strongly wants to re-sign with Seattle.

The charts below expand upon Brian McIntyre's lists. I've added offensive and defensive snap counts from ESPN Stats & Information. The final column shows what players earned per year on their most recent contracts.

The second chart shows restricted free agents. Teams can retain rights to RFAs by making one-year qualifying offers.

MNF inactives: Rams without Fred Robbins

December, 12, 2011
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SEATTLE -- The St. Louis Rams' inactive list could favor the Seattle Seahawks' run defense.

The Rams will be without veteran defensive tackle Fred Robbins, who was questionable on the injury report and did not practice during the week. Robbins' absence means more playing time for Darell Scott and Gary Gibson.

Also inactive for the Rams: quarterback A.J. Feeley, quarterback Tom Brandstater, running back Quinn Porter, fullback Brit Miller, linebacker Justin Cole and guard Kevin Hughes. Kellen Clemens will serve as the backup quarterback to Sam Bradford.

For Seattle, linebacker David Hawthorne is active. The Seahawks' inactive list features quarterback Josh Portis, safety Jeron Johnson, cornerback Kennard Cox, linebacker Adrian Moten, guard Mike Gibson, guard Paul Fanaika and defensive tackle Pep Levingston.
Mike Gibson, Ben Hamilton, Chester Pitts and Tyler Polumbus started at left guard for the Seattle Seahawks last season.

No wonder the team went after Robert Gallery when the free-agent negotiating period opened Tuesday.

Gallery
Gallery and Seattle agreed to terms on a three-year deal, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The contract length suggests this will be a relatively modest deal financially for Seattle, a bit of a surprise.

Gallery, 31, missed four games last season and 10 in 2009, but he's a significant upgrade at the position for Seattle. The team has struggled to find a long-term starter at left guard since losing Steve Hutchinson to Minnesota following the 2005 season.

The line has been a mess overall. Seattle started 11 combinations last season alone, but the line is taking shape. First-round draft choice James Carpenter projects as the starter at right tackle, with third-rounder John Moffitt at right guard. Max Unger will step in at center, with Gallery at left guard and 2010 first-round choice Russell Okung at left tackle.

For the first time in years, Seattle has what appears to be a coherent, sustainable and promising plan for its offensive line. Gallery's durability is the biggest concern. The Seahawks felt good about adding another veteran guard, Mike Wahle, several years ago. His injury problems prevented him from holding down the job for long, however.

Gallery's connections to new Seahawks assistant head coach/offensive line Tom Cable were important in getting this deal done. Both were together in Oakland for years. Gallery let it be known he wanted to leave Oakland and stay with Cable. Cable's presence means the Seahawks know what they're getting from an injury and production standpoint.

Logan Mankins and the NFC West wish list

February, 14, 2011
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Signing Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins away from New England has gone from unlikely to an even longer shot after the Patriots named Mankins their franchise player.

The NFL and NFL Players Association cannot agree upon whether the franchise tag even exists this offseason, but if it does, the tag will effectively take Mankins off the market.

It's unclear whether any NFC West team would make a strong push for Mankins given the expected price tag, but the thought had appeal for Seattle Seahawks fans still stinging over Steve Hutchinson's departure as a transition player following the 2005 season.

Floyd Womack, Chris Spencer, Rob Sims, Mike Wahle, Mansfield Wrotto, Steve Vallos, Mike Gibson, Ben Hamilton, Chester Pitts and Tyler Polumbus have started at left guard for Seattle since Hutchinson got away. Trading away Sims last offseason proved unfortunate once Alex Gibbs retired as line coach and Seattle stopped favoring smaller guards.

Thoughts, notes from Seahawks HQ

November, 26, 2010
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RENTON, Wash. -- A few quick notes from Seattle Seahawks headquarters following the team's practice Friday:
  • Receiver Mike Williams showed up on the injury report Friday as questionable despite missing practice again. Williams continues to wear a protective boot on his injured left foot. The team plans to run Williams through a workout Sunday before determining his availability. Williams dominated at Arizona two days after suffering a compound fracture of a finger, so he has shown an ability to fight through injuries. Otherwise, circumstances would seem to give him little chance at playing.
  • Middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu has generally been pleased with the Seahawks' run defense under the circumstances, except for the game against the New York Giants. A couple other opponents have put up strong rushing totals -- Oakland comes to mind -- without pounding out yardage from play to play. Tatupu said he's still adjusting to life without defensive end Red Bryant and nose tackle Colin Cole, the two players Seattle built its run defense around, even though their replacements have played well. It's a feel thing. Tatupu: "I always knew where Red was going to be and knew what he was going to do, and C.C. for the most part. I also felt a little freer as far as having more control over which gap to shoot." Tatupu said he's getting more comfortable with the new personnel.
  • The Seahawks have limited quarterback Matt Hasselbeck's passing reps from the beginning this season. They gave him days off during training camp and continue to limit his throws during the season, similar to a baseball manager keeping a pitch count, coach Pete Carroll said. Hasselbeck's arm appears fresher as a result. Carroll: "He seems to have maintained really good arm strength. There is no question about his ability to throw any of the stuff in the plan."
  • Mike Gibson will start at left guard after working his way back from a high-ankle sprain. Gibson started at left guard against San Francisco, Oakland and the Giants.
  • Seattle listed Williams and fullback Michael Robinson as questionable on their injury report. Eight players are probable: Gibson, Golden Tate, Chris Spencer, Hasselbeck, Brandon Stokley, Chris Clemons, Tatupu and Marcus Trufant. Trufant, who suffered a concussion last week, practiced Friday and plans to start Sunday.
  • Tate enjoyed a strong week of practices. Carroll singled him out for praise and said Tate would be part of the plan against Kansas City. Tate impressed with a leaping grab Friday.
  • The Seahawks placed rookie tight end Anthony McCoy on injured reserve. They claimed 6-foot-7, 300-pound defensive end Clifton Geathers off waivers from Cleveland.

That's it from Renton. I'll be covering the Chiefs-Seahawks game Sunday before heading to Arizona for the Monday night matchup between San Francisco and Arizona.
NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans Saints named Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas, Jeremy Shockey and Darren Sharper inactive against the Seattle Seahawks.

Seattle, meanwhile, has left tackle Russell Okung and slot receiver Brandon Stokley back from injuries.

Inactive for New Orleans: Thomas, Bush, Shockey, Sharper, cornerback Patrick Robinson, safety Malcolm Jenkins, linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar and tackle Charles Brown. Former Seahawks Julius Jones starts at running back for the Saints. Usama Young starts at free safety. Jimmy Graham starts at tight end.

Inactive for Seattle: running back Michael Robinson, guard Mike Gibson, receiver Golden Tate, receiver Ruvell Martin, tight end Anthony McCoy, defensive tackle Colin Cole and defensive lineman E.J. Wilson. J.P. Losman is the third quarterback.

Having Okung available for the first time since Week 7 gives Seattle a shot at improving its offensive line, particularly in run blocking. Okung has battled ankle injuries this season. He has been active for only three regular-season games previously.

Playing without Robinson and McCoy, a backup tight end, limits some of the personnel groups Seattle might otherwise employ. The team used four tight ends at times last week, including with John Carlson lining up at fullback.

Making sense of major Week 10 injury news

November, 14, 2010
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SAN FRANCISCO -- The St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers announced their list of inactive players for Week 10 without making waves.

The situation was much different in Arizona, where the Cardinals named defensive lineman Darnell Dockett (shoulder) and running back Beanie Wells (knee) inactive against Seattle. The Seahawks named left tackle Russell Okung inactive, no surprise but a significant development nonetheless.

A look at NFC West inactives:

Arizona Cardinals: Wells, Dockett, receiver Max Komar, cornerback A.J. Jefferson, safety Hamza Abdullah, linebacker Cyril Obiozor and center Ben Claxton. John Skelton is the third quarterback. Paris Lenon is starting at linebacker despite an ankle injury. Alan Branch starts for Dockett. Branch has played well this season; he had two sacks against the Seahawks earlier this season in a breakout game for him.

Seattle Seahawks: Okung, receiver Brandon Stokley, fullback Michael Robinson, guard Mike Gibson, receiver Golden Tate, nose tackle Colin Cole and defensive lineman E.J. Wilson. Gibson provided quality depth on the offensive line. Ruvell Martin is active at receiver while Stokley and Tate recover from injuries.

St. Louis Rams: cornerback Justin King, cornerback Quincy Butler, safety James Butler, tight end Fendi Onobun, linebacker David Vobora, guard John Greco, receiver Danario Alexander and defensive end Eugene Sims. The Rams are thin in the secondary, as usual, but the 49ers aren't likely to spread the field with wide receivers all afternoon, either.

San Francisco 49ers: receiver Kyle Williams, quarterback Alex Smith, cornerback Tramaine Brock, linebacker Keaton Kristick, linebacker Thaddeus Gibson, tackle Barry Sims, tackle Alex Boone and receiver Jason Hill. The 49ers are keeping four wide receivers active, the minimum. They are healthier at tight end.

Okung, Polumbus, Mebane among inactives

November, 7, 2010
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SEATTLE -- The Seattle Seahawks' list of inactive players leaves them severely shorthanded on both lines.

Left tackles Russell Okung and Tyler Polumbus are inactive. Seattle's seven active offensive linemen: Chester Pitts, Mike Gibson, Chris Spencer, Stacy Andrews, Sean Locklear, Breno Giacomini and Allen Barbre.

On defense, starting tackles Brandon Mebane and Colin Cole are inactive. Mebane's status following a calf injury had been in question. Not having him against the New York Giants further diminishes a group already without defensive end Red Bryant, who landed on injured reserve during the week.

Seattle's inactive list: quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, fullback Michael Robinson, defensive tackle Frank Okam, Okung, Polumbus, receiver Golden Tate, Cole and Mebane.

Robinson had been the emergency quarterback behind Whitehurst and Zac Robinson, who was signed from the practice squad for this game.

I'm not sure what the Seahawks would do at quarterback if injuries felled Whitehurst and Robinson. Running back Leon Washington did complete a pass while with the New York Jets in 2007. I heard it was a beauty.
Initial reports suggested Russell Okung's ankle injury wasn't the more serious "high" variety, but we're talking about the hard-luck Seattle Seahawks, so of course it ended up being just that.

Okung
Okung
Injuries seem to wind up being worse than anticipated for Seattle. That was the case with Walter Jones and Matt Hasselbeck in past seasons, and it was the case on a lesser scale Tuesday with Okung and second-year pass-rusher Nick Reed. Reed, seen limping toward the locker room after the Seahawks' game Saturday, underwent arthroscopic knee surgery. Linebacker David Hawthorne, scheduled to start the opener while Leroy Hill serves a suspension, is also hurting and was scheduled to undergo an MRI exam for an injury the team did not disclose.

Okung's high sprain wasn't a particularly severe one, coach Pete Carroll noted, but it still wasn't clear whether the Seahawks would have their first-round draft choice and starting left tackle for the regular-season opener. High sprains are more serious than typical ones.

"When you asked the other night, I was hoping it wasn't (a high sprain), but it is, so we'll see how it works out," Carroll said Tuesday.

The Seahawks drafted Okung because they badly needed a front-line left tackle to protect Hasselbeck and the team's other quarterbacks. While two-plus weeks remain until the regular season, the team faces one of the NFL's best defensive fronts when visiting the Minnesota Vikings in its next exhibition game. Pro Bowl pass-rusher Jared Allen will be working against Okung's replacement, Mansfield Wrotto, when Hasselbeck is in the game.

Okung was extremely durable in college, making his injury after less than five quarters of NFL action all the more confounding. Seattle's run of bad luck with injuries has become a tiresome topic in recent seasons -- it's not the only reason the team has struggled, obviously -- but with Okung and backup right tackle Ray Willis out, and with veteran Chester Pitts trying to bounce back from a procedure similar to the one that ended Jones' career, tackle depth is a concern.

"With Ray (Willis) down, too, it’s about as bad as it could have hit at that spot," Carroll said.

It can get much worse, actually, as the Seahawks found out last season when they replaced Jone with Sean Locklear, Brandon Frye, Damion McIntosh and Kyle Williams.

Carroll said he was "going to hold out hope" that Okung would be ready for the regular-season opener against the San Francisco 49ers. Meanwhile, Mike Gibson will replace Ben Hamilton at left guard against the Vikings. He could stay there, I think, based on what we've seen from both players to this point.

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