Somehow, Seahawks O-line gets even thinner

Published on December 19, 2008 by     Seahawk Fanatic

Add Sean Locklear to the long list of Seattle Seahawks
offensive lineman headed to the injured list.
Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said during his Monday press
conference that X-rays and a magnetic resonance imaging
(MRI) test on offensive tackle Sean Locklear confirmed he
has a dislocated left big toe.

Locklear probably will not practice this week, Holmgren
said, but the team is hopeful that he can play after receiving
treatment. The Seahawks will likely determine if Locklear can
play against the New York Jets on Saturday, the eve of the game.

“While it’s a very painful injury there didn’t seem to be a lot
 of extra damage,” Holmgren said. “It will be a challenge for
him to get ready to play, though.”

Holmgren said Locklear’s toe is swollen and he’s had some bleeding.
Locklear joins Chris Gray, Rob Sims, Mike Wahle and Walter Jones
on the list of injured linemen who have either missed games or never
made it to the field for Seattle this season. Locklear also missed
the first two games of the season
with a sprained knee.

With Locklear out, Holmgren said the easiest way to replace him is
 to put Kyle Williams, recently activated from the practice squad
to the active roster, at left tackle so the Seahawks maintain
continuity at the other line positions. However, don’t be surprised
 to see Floyd “Pork Chop” Womack move from left guard to left tackle,
 Steve Vallos move from center to left guard, and recently signed
center Steve McKinney to get his first significant playing time.

Holmgren said he’ll unveil the starting five linemen during Wednesday’s
 practice.

The Seahawks also officially put Walter Jones on the injured reserve
list on Monday. Holmgren said Locklear played OK in his audition at left
 tackle with Jones out. However, the Seattle coach reiterated that he
believes the left tackle position should remain in Jones’ hands until
the 12-year veteran says he can’t play anymore. Jones is expected to be
 ready for training camp after microfracture surgery on his left knee
ended his season. Jones is the 13th player added to Seattle’s injured
reserve list.

“No one is going to play left tackle until Walter Jones decides
he doesn’t
 want to play anymore,” Holmgren said. “That’s the bottom line on
that deal.”

Holmgren joked during Monday’s press conference that he was answering
questions about situations he would not be around to deal with
next season
because he’s going to be “on a beach somewhere.”

Don’t expect to see Matt Hasselbeck throw a pass this week, either.
Holmgren
 said Hasselbeck, out with a bulging disk, is getting better, but
will remain
 the emergency quarterback this week. Although even with a makeshift line,
Holmgren said if Hasselbeck were healthy that he would play.

Seattle’s backup line was a concern for quarterback Seneca Wallace during
Sunday’s come-from-behind win over the Rams. Wallace was on his
back often,
as St. Louis blitzed nine of Wallace’s first 11 pass plays in the
opening half,
sacking him twice and hitting Wallace six times, including a
forced fumble that
led to a 36-yard Josh Brown field goal.

The poor protection led the usually reserved Wallace to vent his
temper on his
teammates as they left the field, igniting a fire that seemed to
motivate the
Seahawks to their first victory in seven weeks.

Holmgren said that he lambasted players during his halftime speech
and told
them the toughest guy in the room was Wallace because he was getting
the heck
beat out of him and no one else seemed to care.

“When a ‘quiet’ guy is emotional and says what he says, people have
a tendency
to listen,” Holmgren said. “Not only hear, but listen.”

Seattle’s offensive line protected Wallace much better in the second half,
giving him time to make downfield plays.

Extra points

The Seahawks signed quarterback Jeff Rowe, a fifth round
pick by Cincinnati in
2007 out of Nevada, from the Bengals’ practice squad Seattle’s
active roster. Rowe,
6-foot-5 and 221 pounds, fills the spot vacated when Jones was
placed on injured
reserve. “My feeling is, instead of waiting and then signing a
fourth arm or the
next quarterback at training camp and filling that up, they
looked over the practice
 squads and our scouts liked this young guy,” Holmgren said
about the signing. …
Holmgren said linebacker Leroy Hill is gaining strength in his
right shoulder after
leaving the Thanksgiving Day game against Dallas with a stinger,
but likely will not
play Sunday against the Jets.

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