The Hawks experienced an innumerable amount of injuries to key players last season, this much we all know, so why is such a “fluke” phenomenon upon us once again? Who deserves the blame for a condition that places our season on the edge of the toilet bowl? Will we be able to pull out of it this season or are we destined for another year of artificial ineptitude?
Thanks to EA Sports Madden football series, fans seem to place all the blame for nearly every injury solely on the medical staff of a given team, failing to realize that the medical staff, while having something to do with injury prevention (taping ankles and such), is not always at fault. A lot of it has to do with the players themselves (genetics, off season workout regimens, prior injury history) andthe strength and conditioning coaches. Either way, the analogy that football is like a battle or war has never been more apparent than when you examine the contents of the infirmary-
QB Matt Hasselbeck- Broken rib, questionable for Sunday, but lets get serious- how effective would he be in that much pain and how protected would he be with only a flack jacket and a swiss cheese offensive line (tattered contents to follow)?
WR Deion Branch- Realistically, we expect this guy to miss half of each season at this point. Branch is a prime example of why size is valued in the NFL cause munchkins like Branch just can’t take the pounding.
WR T.J. Houshmandzedah- Hey, a player who can play through pain! Much like Plaxico Burress in prior seasons, Housh is not practicing, but still playing. Unlike Plaxico Burress, Housh has no hole in his leg and isn’t overly worried about dropping the soap, as he showers alone (hopefully).
LT Walter Jones- Don’t look at me, I was screaming from mountain tops asking for an OT in the draft. Bet that looks GREAT to you now given our situation at the position. Jones appears to be about a coin flip to play this week end, but has not played yet. It remains to be seen exactly what we will get from the lock-Hall-of -Fame OT after 2 knee surgeries in the off season.
RT/LT Sean Locklear- Lock has a high ankle sprain and will miss around a month. Many a casual fan wonders why an ankle sprain can keep a position that never runs long distances or high speeds out so much, but ankle flexion is imperative to quality pass blocking (go ahead, watch the ankles of the OL during the next game, you know you were already thinking about it). Now we are looking for a replacement for our replacement! Super! Neat-o gang!
C Chris Spencer- Our annual addition to the Seahawks injury report, Spencer has supreme athletic gifts but is about as durable as wet toilet paper. Then again, given what we will trot out along the line this week, I wonder who the agent for wet toilet paper is?
DT Brandon Mebane- Mebane looks like a lock to miss his 2nd straight game. As much as Mebane isn’t the household name that many others on this list are, he seems to me to be the most devastating loss in the group, as displayed by Frank Gore running through 8 and 9 man fronts where nobody had any gap control, something uber-stud Brandon Mebane regulates with Dog Pound effectiveness. Mebane is (clearly) a personal favorite of mine and, if I weren’t a dude, I’d be willing to have his babies. Okay, not really, but you get the point.
MLB Lofa Tatupu- Give him credit for giving it a go, but Lofa seems like he is going to miss the Bears game with an injury to his hamstring. This wouldn’t concern me as much if it weren’t for the fact that hamstring injuries tend to linger and a prolonged period without the defensive signal caller could be devastating.
OLB Leroy Hill- Yet another annual addition to this list, the versatile LB just can’t seem to stay healthy for a full season. Hill won’t likely return until November, which would be a lot easier to handle if Tatupu was able to play. Here’s hoping!
CB Marcus Trufant- Trufant was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform, or the “PUP,” list prior to the season, ensuring he will miss at least the first 6 weeks. The pass defense has actually performed admirably in his absence, a good sign considering the lack of health in the Hawks back 7 on D.
CB Josh Wilson- Wilson suffered a high ankle sprain in the game against the Niners. This was a tough blow due to his early performance at the CB spot, where he has been near shut down, and the fact that it injures our potential field position, as Wilson was the Hawks’ best kick returner. Wilson should miss around a month with the injury.
CB Travis Fisher- The former Ram (yuck!) has missed some time with a hamstring injury, but should be able to return this week and should help bolster a unit already down their top 2 players. Unfortunately, Fisher also isn’t very good, but he does have cool hair.
Seahawks Fans- The 12th Man is probable with a bruised psyche. Apparently Frank Gore got a little carried away and abused the 12th Man brutally last week. As a result, Hawks fans have avoided anything with the colors red and gold present, the movie 21 and any form of blackjack since. Doctors say it will take a home victory over Frank Gore and the Niners later this season to cure them of their phobia of said number and colors. Last I checked, Tim was curled into the fetal position in the corner of his residence, rocking back and forth and muttering, “No more missed assignments, Gore will crush you! No, better gap control Colin Cole, please! No, you’re hurting him! Hook slide Mr. Hasselbeck!” over and over to himself.
Back to the blame portion of our show (you didn’t think I forgot did you?). If there is one thing that is apparent within the confines of the Hawks current injury report, it is a lack of a pattern. Few injuries coincide with each other or a chronically bad body part. What this implies is that it is nobody’s fault really, so lets stop trying to find a scapegoat and accept that, at the moment, it appears that the football Gods are frowning upon us. We also realize that Seattle is one of pro-sports’ most snake bitten cities, having not won a major title since the Sonics (who?) did it in the 70’s. That’s, of course, before being taken away from the city by David Stern and Clay Bennett, all of which was facilitated by freshly-brewed coffee… But hey, that’s another rant for another day. Thus ends my carefully orchestrated plan to make injury reports less boring.