A toe injury in Sunday’s season opener has ended the season for Seahawks’ right guard Max Unger, the team’s second-round draft choice last year when he was a 16-game starter as a rookie.
Max Unger’s second season with the Seahawks lasted one game.
The team placed its starting right guard on injured reserve Tuesday after Unger damaged the big toe on his left foot in Sunday’s season opener against the San Francisco 49ers.
To fill Unger’s roster spot, guard Mansfield Wrotto was re-signed. Wrotto had been released Sept. 5, despite starting the final two preseason games at left tackle for injured first-round draft choice Russell Okung.
In other moves, cornerback Kennard Cox was released to clear a roster spot for linebacker Leroy Hill, who returns from his one-game suspension; and cornerback Cord Parks was signed to the practice squad to replace Ross Weaver, who was released.
The loss of Unger, a second-round draft choice last year, is just the latest hit for an offensive line that also was ravaged by injuries the past two seasons.
The coaches have options to replace Unger, a 16-game starter as a rookie. Ben Hamilton could be inserted into the lineup, either at right guard or at left guard with Mike Gibson moving to the right side; Sean Locklear could slide over from right tackle, where he could be replaced by Stacy Andrews; or Wrotto could step in.
Then there’s Chester Pitts, who was inactive for the opener and is coming off microfracture knee surgery. Coach Pete Carroll had said that if Pitts could play, it would be at left tackle. But that was before Unger went down.
Tyler Polumbus, who joined the team two weeks ago, is starting at left tackle for Okung.
Last season, injuries forced the Seahawks to use seven different starting combinations on the line – including four players at left tackle and three each at left guard and center. In 2008, it was eight different starting combos – including four players at right guard and three at left tackle.
What direction the team goes to replace Unger won’t be known until Wednesday, when coach Pete Carroll meets with the media at noon.
“We have to do some switching and changing to move some stuff around,” Carroll said Monday. “We’ll have to figure that out in the next day or so.”