The Seattle Seahawks likely will be without the team’s most talented lineman for a second time this season, according to coach Pete Carroll.
Carroll confirmed that rookie offensive tackle Russell Okung suffered another high ankle sprain, this time his left. Okung missed the first three games of the season with a high ankle sprain to his right leg that he suffered in the team’s second exhibition game in August.
Carroll said Okung’s latest ankle injury is not as severe as the first.
“It’s not nearly like the other one, but we don’t know what that means yet,” Carroll said. “He’s being treated and medicated right now to see how it responds in the next couple days to see what happens, and we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Carroll did not rule out Okung for Sunday’s game at Oakland. However, it took the Oklahoma State product a little over a month to recover from his first ankle injury.
“I think it will be a challenge for him to get back,” Carroll said. “But we’ve got to wait.”
With Okung at full strength against Chicago two weeks ago, Seattle’s offensive line had its best game of the season, not allowing any sacks and helping the Seahawks rush for over 100 yards for the first time this season.
But the line struggled against Arizona on Sunday, giving up five sacks and failing to provide consistent protection for quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
“I think coming off of last week we felt pretty good about our pass protection,” Carroll said. “And we did a few more things that maybe called on our guys to come through without as much help as they had. And we didn’t play as well as we did a week ago for sure.”
Carroll gave credit to Arizona’s defensive front and how the Cardinals attacked Seattle’s offense.
Seattle had its best day on the ground so far this season, totaling 144 yards, and that included nullified gains of 39 yards on two holding penalties by tackle Sean Locklear.
That said, Carroll attributed Seattle’s success more to the hard running style of Marshawn Lynch than a consistent push up front.
Lynch finished with 89 yards on 24 carries, while Justin Forsett rushed for 41 yards on nine carries.
“I think we were effective because of the way Marshawn hit it,” Carroll said. “He makes yards. He makes plays after contact. Plays that might not be blocked just right, he can get something out of it. And then Justin does the same thing in his way in a totally different style.”