Okung playing hurt for Seahawks

Published on December 29, 2010 by     T.C.

Matt Hasselbeck’s curious leg (glute?) strain rightfully received the lion’s share of attention coming out of Sunday’s loss to the Buccaneerss.

Seems there may be something to worry about with one of the Seahawks’ hopeful cornerstones, too.

Coach Pete Carroll said Monday that rookie tackle Russell Okung reinjured his left ankle in Sunday’s game, though the first-round pick toughed it out and returned despite the pain.

“He’s still hobbling a little bit,” Carroll said. “If you watch him closely, he’s not 100 percent.”

This is the third ankle injury Okung has suffered during his frustrating rookie campaign — the first was a high right ankle sprain during a preseason game, and the most recent two have been less-severe sprains of his left ankle.

After missing the first three games of the season while healing from the initial injury, Okung sprained his left ankle for the first time in his third career start.

It doesn’t look like his most recent issue is going to keep him out this week against the Rams, though.

Still, Carroll said it’s noticeable when Okung’s on the field. Worth wondering just how much pain the 6-foot-5, 310-pound rookie has been in while trying to play through all of his ankle troubles.

“It’s a factor in his play,” Carroll said. “It just is what it is. We’ve just got to keep on trying to help him get through it.”

Carroll also spoke about the apparent breakdowns by cornerback Marcus Trufant that led to a pair of Tampa Bay touchdowns.

Carroll’s prognosis: one score was squarely on Trufant. Blame is shared for the other.

Here’s Carroll’s evaluation:

“He really had a fairly routine play on (Kellen) Winslow on the first touchdown, because it was a zone and he’s outside and as (Trufant) looked in the backfield, (Winslow) snuck underneath him and made a nice play.

“(That touchdown) was a play that it looks like his responsilbity but it was a zone that should have got taken care of.”

As for the second touchdown?

“The other was a one-on-one, no help, nothing coverage on a full blitz, and a guy got inside him and made a nice play for the touchdown. Those are plays that are really regrettable.

“We count on Tru to make those plays. He knows that, and he’d be the first to tell you. But they did get him on those. We wish like crazy he’d have come through and held outside leverage throughout the little scramble of the quarterback and all that and the flow to him, but he didn’t get it done, so those are the plays he got beat on.”

Receiver Brandon Stokley left Sunday’s game with a head injury, but Carroll expects him back at practice by Friday, and possibly as early as Thursday.

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