A recap of the day’s activities:
Chester Pitts. The Seahawks began the week hoping that the veteran offensive lineman would be able to play in Sunday’s game against the Rams in St. Louis. When it became apparent that his surgically repaired right knee was going to prevent that from happening, Pitts was released today.
“Chester wasn’t going to make it to the game, and wasn’t going to be able to play,” coach Pete Carroll said after practice. “In the situation we’re in, we’ve got to make a spot for a guy to be on the roster.”
That likely will be guard Mike Gibson, Carroll said. Gibson was released from the 53-man roster on Tuesday and signed to the practice squad today. Gibson started the season opener before being replaced by Ben Hamilton in Weeks 2 and 3.
“We’re hoping that Chester is going to get well,” Carroll said. “He’s just got to get over the hump. He’s close. But he’s not able to go yet. … He’s been working like crazy and we’re hoping we’ll be able to get back here before too long.”
Pitts had microfracture surgery last September, ending his eighth season with the Houston Texans after only two games. The Seahawks signed him in late July.
Wednesday, he got his most extensive practice session in almost a year, working at left guard with the No. 1 line. But his knee was sore after practice, and Pitts was not going to be able to participate today.
Carroll said that general manager John Schneider discussed the situation with Pitts.
“I’m hoping Chester understands what we’re doing here,” Carroll said. “We need a roster spot right now, and he can’t play. This is something we had to do.”
Still, it was not an easy decision, because Pitts had been so upbeat while continuing his arduous rehab from the surgical procedure.
“Chester has been a diligent worker to get right,” Carroll said. “It just hasn’t been enough time for him yet. As soon as it does, we’ll try to get him back out here.”
The offensive line, of course. After sitting out practice Wednesday to rest a sore knee, Hamilton was back at left guard with the No. 1 line today. Gibson, who fills the practice squad spot that opened when running back Chris Henry left the team, also got some work at that spot.
First-round draft choice Russell Okung worked at left tackle for the second consecutive day, a good sign because he got extensive reps on Wednesday after missing 5½ weeks with a high sprain of his right ankle.
The rest of the group included Chris Spencer at center, Stacy Andrews at right guard and Tyler Polumbus at right tackle. Polumbus has started the first three games at left tackle, but he has been at right tackle the past two days because Sean Locklear has a sore knee.
Part of the reason Pitts had to be released is because the two linemen who were signed Tuesday – former Green Bay Packers Allen Barbre and Breno Giacomini – have not had enough time in the offense to be factors against the Rams. But Barbre should join the mix at left guard eventually.
“It’s just an absolute emergency case if those guys had to play, because there just aren’t enough days to get it done,” Carroll said.
ON THE FIELD
The players practiced for 95 minutes on a picture-postcard afternoon along the shores of Lake Washington. Crowd noise blared from speakers when the offense was on the field because Sunday’s game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome.
The official report, as released by the team:
LB Leroy Hill (calf/Achilles)
Did not practice
CB Marcus Trufant (ankle)
DT Brandon Mebane (calf)
DE Chris Clemons (ankle)
OT Sean Locklear (knee)
DE E.J. Wilson (knee)
Limited in practice
LB Aaron Curry (hamstring)
OT Russell Okung (ankle)
WR Mike Williams (shoulder)
OG Ben Hamilton (knee)
Hamilton and Curry were back after sitting out the previous day, but Clemson sat out after twisting an ankle during practice on Wednesday and Locklear also was out after being limited on Wednesday.
Trufant did some running on the field after practice, with Carroll and Schneider watching his every stride.
The official “status” injury report will be issued Friday.
Walter Thurmond continued to work at left cornerback in Trufant’s absence, while Raheem Brock stepped in for Clemons and Kentwan Balmer and Junior Siavii subbed for Mebane.
For the Rams, S Craig Dahl and RB Keith Toston participated in all phases of practice after being limited on Wednesday. But leading rusher Steve Jackson (groin) was one of nine players who did not practice. The other were S Oshiomogho Atogwe (thigh), TE Billy Bajema (knee), LB Chris Chamberlain (toe), TE Michael Hoomanawanui (ankle), WR Laurent Robinson (foot), DT Clifton Ryan (migraines), and DT Scott Stewart (hamstring).
Don’t look now, but Friday is October. In the NFL, one of the predominant fall colors is pink. That’s because the league dedicates the entire month to raising awareness for the fight against breast cancer.
On game days, the Seahawks’ uniforms will be accentuated with pink splashes on their gloves, shoes, wristbands, chinstraps and the captains’ “C” patches worn on the jerseys of quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu and cornerback Roy Lewis.
The Seahawks have only one home game in October – on the 24th against the defending NFC West champion Arizona Cardinals. But they’ll also display their pinkness during road games at St. Louis this week and at Chicago on the 17th.
STAT DU JOUR
Only two players remain from the last Rams’ team to beat the Seahawks. That was in 2004, because the Seahawks have swept the home-and-home series the past five seasons. Those holdover players are Jackson, the running back from Oregon State, and long snapper Chris Massey.
As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch pointed out today, the Rams’ entire rookie class this season was in high school the last time the Rams beat the Seahawks. Also, the 10-game losing streak is the second-longest in Rams’ history, exceeded only 17 consecutive losses to the 49ers (1990-98).
YOU DON’T SAY
“It probably means that they’re hungry and that we have to be ready.” – Hasselbeck, on the significance of the Seahawks’ 10-game winning streak in the series