Chester Pitts. The Seahawks’ on-the-mend offensive lineman got some snaps at left tackle this afternoon during the team’s 55-minute walk-thru. Pitts also will dress for Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Raiders in Oakland, but not play.
These developments that seem minor are indeed major because Pitts has been sidelined since having microfracture surgery on his right knee last September, which ended his final season with the Houston Texans. The Seahawks signed Pitts in late July.
“Chester is going to practice this week,” coach Pete Carroll said. “It will be limited, but we’ll get him out there. Which is a really important. Unfortunately, the week isn’t very long for him.”
That’s why Pitts will make the trip to the Bay Area and work out before the game.
“This is an important step for us in bringing him around,” Carroll said. “He’s been incredibly dedicated to getting right. He’s worked as hard as anyone I’ve ever seen, in the hours he’s put in and the dedication to it. Hopefully we’re going to reap the benefits of that.”
THEN THERE WERE 75
The Seahawks reached the league-mandated limit of 75 players today by releasing defensive end Ricky Foley, wide receiver Kole Heckendorf, guard Gregg Peat and kicker Clint Stitser, and they also waived/injured defensive lineman Jonathan Lewis.
The roster must be trimmed to 53 players by Saturday.
ON THE FIELD
The defensive and offensive players worked on opposite sides of the field during the walk-thru – without helmets or pads. It was a twist to the normal walk-thru routine because this is an abnormal week, with the team traveling to the Bay Area on Wednesday for Thursday night’s game.
FOLLOW THE LEADER
Punter Jon Ryan is averaging 51.3 yards during the preseason, which ranks second in the league.
Justin Forsett has moved ahead of Quinton Ganther as the team’s leading preseason rusher with 50 yards, while Mike Williams, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Deon Butler each have eight receptions to share the lead.
Chris Clemons has three of the team’s six sacks, while linebacker Will Herring and strong safety Lawyer Milloy have 12 tackles to pace the defense – one more than rookie cornerback Walter Thurmond.
Pacing the special teams are rookie Dexter Davis and Cord Parks, who have three tackles.
Russell Okung, the team’s top draft choice, was on the field and not wearing a boot for the first time since the rookie left tackle sprained his ankle in the second preseason game. He even took part in the pre-practice stretching, but Okung isn’t going to play Thursday night and likely won’t be ready for the Sept. 12 regular-season opener against the San Francisco 49ers.
But Carroll is not giving up hope.
“I know for Russell’s sake he’s dying to play in this first game and he’s going to do everything he can to get back,” Carroll said. “We’ll just see how that goes.”
What about being ready for the opener? “You’ve been around me, I’m always hoping,” Carroll said. “I’m optimistic that there is a chance, and we’ll hold that out until there isn’t. … It will be a pretty special recovery if he’s able to do that. But who knows?”
Also back was left guard Ben Hamilton, who did not play in Saturday night’s game against the Vikings in Minnesota to rest a sore knee.
Linebacker Aaron Curry did not participate in the walk-thru after hyperextending an elbow against the Vikings. But he returned to the game after being injured, so his inactivity today was precautionary.
“He had a very good game for us really. This is the best he’s played for us, matter of fact,” Carroll said. “He’ll be alright.”
Those who remain sidelined: tackle Ray Willis, defensive linemen Kentwan Balmer and Nick Reed and linebackers Leroy Hill and David Hawthorne.
The players will practice at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, their only full session to prepare for Thursday’s game. After a shorter practice on Wednesday the team will fly to the Bay Area.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Me and Golden, you know, I pretty much own him. The thing about him is he’s a rookie and rookies don’t know much, and they think they do.” – cornerback Josh Wilson, talking a little trash and aiming it in the direction of second-round draft choice Golden Tate