RENTON, Wash. -- Restructuring the offensive line was such a priority for the Seattle Seahawks they spent their first two draft picks last April on a tackle and a guard in the hopes they would become the long-term solutions on the right side.
Just two days after Moffitt was placed on injured reserve, the Seahawks announced Thursday that Carpenter has a torn anterior cruciate ligament, prematurely ending the season for the rookie right tackle.
"It's a shame. It's part of the game. But we're going to be fine. We're all confident in that," Seahawks assistant head coach Tom Cable said. "I have no worries. We're going to move forward and continue to get better."
Carpenter's injury happened during practice on Wednesday when he went down during a pass rush drill. He was taken off the practice field on a cart and an MRI Wednesday night confirmed the extent of Carpenter's injury. Cable said it was the first time in his coaching career that he had a player suffer such a serious injury in a pass protection drill.
"Yesterday, it was bad. Just the way he went down, the way the injury happened," said Breno Giacomini, who will step into Carpenter's spot. "That's the way it goes. It's tough for him. James will be back, though. He's a tough kid, so he'll be back and we'll try and help him however we can help him.
There is no timetable set for when Carpenter will have surgery or on his recovery time, but typical ACL injuries usually require about nine months of rehabilitation.
"It's part of the game. There really isn't anything we can do about it. We can't let it affect us," Seahawks center Max Unger said.
Carpenter was Seattle's first-round pick out of Alabama in the April draft, taken with the 25th overall selection. He battled weight problems early in training camp, but had started all nine games this season and had shown consistent improvement.
Carpenter's injury came on the heels of Moffitt being lost for the season with a pair of torn ligaments in his right knee. Moffitt, who was injured when he was caught up in a pile during the Seahawks' 22-17 win over Baltimore last Sunday, will be replaced by veteran Paul McQuistan. Carpenter's spot will be taken by Giacomini, who started the season opener at right tackle while Carpenter filled in at left guard.
That game in San Francisco to open the season was the only start of Giacomini's NFL career. He's played in every other game this season as an extra lineman in short-yardage situations and on special teams.
"We've got something here. Me and Paul, we're just going to try and do what we've been doing," Giacomini said.
The Seahawks offensive line has played better of late. After giving up 28 sacks through the first seven games, Seattle surrendered just one sack in each of the past two games against Dallas and Baltimore -- two of the better defenses, statistically, in the NFL. They also got a better push in the run game, averaging 140.5 yards rushing the past two weeks after averaging just 77.7 through the first seven games.
Giacomini and McQuistan said they just want to continue the improvement the line has shown.
"I'm going to try and keep the same thing going. We're going to pretty much keep the same game plan, but obviously those guys are a little bit different," Seahawks QB Tarvaris Jackson said. "... You just want to make sure we get them going early and make sure they get the confidence going and know that they can get it done."