Seahawks Insider

Training camp Day 15: Walter Jones leaves practice early

Post by Eric Williams on Aug. 17, 2009 at 7:46 pm with 25 Comments »
August 17, 2009 7:46 pm

The health of Walter Jones is becoming a growing concern, as he asked out of a team drill during this afternoon’s practice, wincing in pain as he knelt alongside a team trainer.

Jones had been working with the first team on Monday, his second day of practice since missing nearly two weeks due to back spasms.

Jones returned to practice on Thursday.

During a conversation with reporters after practice Seahawks head coach Jim Mora said he did not know the extent of Jones injury, and he was not concerned with having the starting five offensive lineman working together with a little over three weeks left until the team’s first regular season game at home against St. Louis on Sept 13.

“It’s coming, but not yet,” Mora said. “Walt wasn’t scheduled to go the whole practice [today] anyhow. So, that wasn’t a major deal. But yeah, eventually, we need to see that. I don’t think that we’re at the critical stages yet.”

Asked when that time will come when all five starting lineman need to be working together, Mora said by the Wednesday before game week against the St. Louis Rams.

“In a perfect scenario, you could have them every day of training camp, but that’s just not the way it is,” he said. “So, as long as we set it—I mean it—by that Wednesday, I think we’ll be okay. It won’t be perfect, but it’ll be what it is, and we’ll make the best of it.”

While Jones was out on the field, Seattle had Jones at left tackle, Rob Sims at left guard, Max Unger at center, Sean Locklear at left guard and Ray Willis at right tackle.

Mora said Unger was subbing for Spencer because he was sitting out team reps today.

Earning praise from Mora for Saturday’s game were Unger, Mike Teel, Nick Reed, Devin Moore, Cameron Morrah and Deon Butler.

Mora said Butler was “average at best” returning punts and kicks, but that they are going to keep running the rookie receiver out there so that he gets more experience.

“He made a couple decisions that weren’t what you wanted,” Mora said. “But yeah, we’re going to put him back there. He wasn’t clean, but he needs to learn. He needs to learn how to do that.

“Same with kickoff returns: he was a little indecisive, but he’s going to keep doing it, because he’s got that element of speed, and I think we all know now that he’s got an element of toughness, after that wicked hit that he took, and just popping right back up. So when you see that, you see the speed combined with the toughness, and the willingness to do it, then you’re going to keep giving that guy a shot.”

Mora said he was impressed with Moore’s ability to break tackles for a little guy. And he also was impressed with Unger’s ability to handle both guard and center in the same game.

Sitting out today were T.J. Duckett, Julius Jones, Grey Ruegamer (elbow), Cory Withrow (leg), Kevin Brown, Lawrence Jackson, Olindo Mare (knee) and Marcus Trufant (back).

Mora said Julius Jones and Duckett were out with bumps and bruises. He said Mare’s knee got sore during pregame, and that he was scheduled to share kicking duties with Coutu.

I talked a little bit with Teel about his performance, and he said it was good to get out and play a game after so many practices.

“I still don’t know the offense to where I want to know it, where I can just let it fly and not have to think at all,” Teel said. “It’s not down to where I want it to be yet, but it’s nice to just go out and play. You know, let if fly and have fun.”

The players were in full pads today, and worked both 7-on-7 drills and team drills. Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp said no one stood out among the young receivers competing for the last couple receiver spots, and he would like to see some improvement in the running game.

Knapp said part of the reason for the struggle running the ball is Seattle had not worked very much against a 3-4 front.

That’s all for now.

Notes from practice
Leave a comment Comments → 25
  1. I’ll be eagerly awaiting word on what was the main reason for Walt leaving practice.

  2. If there’s any ? about Mare’s health, I’d say Cotou’s a done deal, short kick offs or not.

  3. edstang45 says:

    we need a update on Trufants Back issue, is this going to be a bigger problem than earlier expected??

  4. Dukeshire says:

    I believe it’s best for the team and the fans to prepare a if Walt is done. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s clear he’s not right. My biggest concern with the mirco fracture surgery were the ancillary effects; protecting the knee while placing stress on other parts of the body. There are a lot of miles on the greatest Seahawk ever, and when one considers that, along with his intolerance to pain medication, it is today as it was when he had the operation: he may have played his last game. I sincerely hope I’m wrong and this is all hyperbole, but do not be surprised if he cannot go.

    Mare is not good news either. Coutu does not appear to have a NFL caliber leg. His next touchback will be his first.

    If Tru is still unable to practice a week from now, I’ll be worried. DB is thin. Unless Hobbs’ performance on Saturday was an aberration (it wasn’t) and Jennings’ body suddenly develops, the cupboard is very thin. They need Trufant worse than they need Walt, at this point.

    Sorry to be a pessimist tonight, but that’s how I see it, right now.

  5. Ouch, Dukeshire, ouch. You make a good point and I can’t imagine what it takes to bring the big guy down to his knees asking for help…

    Hope it’s an acute thing and I’m keeping the optimism. The line seems to have their identity and confidence tied to Walt being in there. I hope the situation gets clear and they can start to form whatever identity / group they’re going to be.

  6. What worries me most about the Trufant situation is that the Seahawks(and many other NFL teams) have a history of downplaying a players injury status. Maybe Trufant’s “sore back” is simply that, a sore back. What gives me pause is something similar I heard in the not so distant past..

    Only time will tell.

  7. It is hard to “spin” why Walt would go out like he did today…the details are there. I guess I just want to believe something “acute” can account for it.

    After watching Kelly Jennings and Hobbs play with the “big boys” of pre-season, man I really want to hear some good news about Tru.

    As much as I want to cheer about all the good, the o-line and secondary were keystones of the horrible season last year.

  8. Duke – I could not have said it any better!

    I -SADLY – think Walt is done. and I can’t wait to see him in the HOF. Lets hope that our new guys can toe the line

    I am not as concerned abut Coutu but I would like to see him get it closer to the endzone – but his FG are right there.

    Lets hope we get good news on Tru – Walt – and Mare – SOON!!!!!!!!

  9. Bernie42 says:

    I appreciate the candor, Dukeshire. I think you’re right in that we need to prepare for the worst. Hopefully we’re all pleasantly surprised to find out we were wrong, but if we’re not, we may be better prepared for what lies ahead.

    The Truf situation sure does feel a lot like the HasselBACK situation to me.

  10. nightwulf says:

    Well said, Duke…
    Lock, Sims, Unger, Spencer, Willis…That could work for a while…and perhaps if we gave Walt enough time to recuperate, he might be back for the last half of the season…or not. Still saying that out second 1st round pick in this draft will be the best available LT…unless the stud safeties are gone before we get our first pick, then THAT will be the best available LT. Hopefully, they’re just being super cautious with Tru, or we could have some problems there…and hopefully Mare’s sore knee is just that…sore…Coutu hasn’t got it…

  11. If the NFL’s “historic record” of the SEA-SD game is the gamebook, then these preseason gamebooks have to be taken with a grain of salt. The gamebook on last Saturday has W.Jones playing RT and Willis playing RG for Hawks OL starters. Also listed in the starting lineup is C.Wallace as the FB with Griffith, Kirtman & Schmitt subbing in.

    Are Withrow and Ruegamer practicing?

  12. Did anybody notice how T.Fisher did at CB?

  13. Dukeshire says:

    Yesterday ended with pessimism, so today we should start with some positive injury news. Or at least a player we all freak out about at the slightest mention of injury that maybe had his best day in camp.

  14. Travis Fisher played ok, better than Hobbs and Jennings. Actually, Jennings played better than last year. He is finally looking back for the ball. He just isn’t physical enough to make the play. Maybe Seattle can get something for him in a trade.

    The four CBs left standing after the final cut may be Tru, Lucas, Wilson and Fisher.

    ‘Several poster as early as last Feb were doubtful about the chances of Wahle, Jones and Spencer to play 16 games. I guess Ruskell thought they would be ok or he would have done more for an offensive line that has pretty much stunk since 06. Ruegamer and Withrow? Ouch.

  15. well – it’s a life philosophy i guess – if you always expect the worst, then you can only ever be pleasantly surprised by what happens. re Walt, i’d be significantly more worried if it was knee that was the issue, given the off-season surgery. back spasms happen to plenty of players, and i’m not saying you’re wrong Duke, but it’s not a certainty that the back is an ancillary result of the knee.

    one question – you noted that he has an intolerance to pain meds – i’d not heard that before – what do you mean? Like an allergic reaction, or a preference against it?

    Seems to me that he must have played through many minor injuries over his many years here, and if the coaches aren’t yet talking in panicked language, then i’ll buy what they’re saying, for now.

  16. Something that I really liked reading on Farnsworth’s blog, and seeing at camp:

    “So one No. 1 line featured – from left tackle to right – Jones, Rob Sims, Unger, Locklear and Ray Willis. On another, it was Locklear, Sims, Spencer, Unger and Willis. On yet another, it was Locklear, Sims, Vallos, Unger and Willis. “We want to find out which five are the best for us and which are ready to play,” Knapp said. “We’ve got a pretty good idea which of the ones to choose from, it’s just a matter of which spots to put them in.”

    Coaches seem much more willing to juggle the O lineman and find those combinations this year. I don’t remember hearing that Solari was doing that so much before the 2008 season, possibly because Holmgren knew what worked in his offense and just stuck with it. I really like Knapp’s attitude expressed in that quote.

  17. Dukeshire says:

    First off let me say that I do not always expect the worst. I like to believe I’m a pragmatist. In the case of Walt, it’s a gut feeling. To start with, I do not always trust what the coaches say. That may make me a skeptic, but I don’t think they are terribly candid (understandably) about the severity of players injuries. The fact they are not “talking in panicked language” about Walt yet, does not reassure the notion he will be well, soon. I look at what we know: He is a 35 year old who’s had shoulder injuries in recent years and is coming off micro-fracture knee surgery (that has been described to me by a family friend who is an orthopedist as a “last resort” type surgery, regardless of the “non-weight bearing” aspect) and is now suffering back issues. (Significant enough to warrant an MRI). And yes, there is the issue of his allergies to anti-inflammatory pain meds. As I understand it, he cannot take things like: Cortisone, Vicodin, Codeine, Anaprox, Indocin, Percocet and Percodan. This combination of issues has me less than optimistic. With a player like Walt, an icon, it’s difficult to accept what’s right in front of you. As I said before: I hope I’m wrong. But I fear I may not be.

  18. HeliJoe86 says:

    Hey guys first time posting here. Been reading for long time and with the excitment and worry of the upcoming season I figured I better finally sign up.

    I gotta ask everybody why so worried about Coutu? If I remember correctly everyone used to love Brown until he became… well anyways his kicks never seemed to make it past the 3 yard line. Dont get me wrong I havent seen enough from Coutu to say much but from what I have seen is he is pretty accurate with field goals, and at least gets it inside the 5. Lots of NFL kickers are only that good.

    As for Jones I agree with duke. I was kinda hoping we would draft a OT just to be safe. Lets just hope he can get through one more season.

    And on Tru yes I think its time to start worrying a little. Its still early but just back soreness should be ok by now unless its more serious, plus with the immediate signing of a new cb and the story changing on how he was injured, some things just aren’t adding up.

  19. HeliJoe86 says:


  20. The coaches and FO for most teams are liars. They, usually understandably, don’t want people knowing what’s really going on. Like Hasselbeck last year… The Trufant and Walt situations worry me at the moment.

    That’s a good point about Brown not being a great touchback kicker either. From what I’ve heard of Coutu, he’s not a great 48+ field goal guy either, whereas Brown could hit those 50 yarders. I do think Coutu has the makings of a very good kicker if we don’t expect touchbacks or long field goals. However, Mare can provide the touchbacks (field position) and can kick some bombs too. If Mare proves to be hurt, I have no problem going in with Coutu as our kicker. But if Mare is healthy, it just doesn’t make any sense to go with a lesser guy. That would be like Wallace starting over Hasselbeck. Sure, Wallace is good, but he’s not as good as Hass so it makes no sense to start him over Matt.

  21. bleedshawkblue says:

    Agreed on Big Walt, but I doubt he’d even suit up if he was that close to done. Shoulder and knee trouble will definitely overcompensate into back trouble, but back trouble is a common thing for linemen. As I recall, he-who-shall-no-be-named that played LG next to Walt for awhile had a career-threatening back injury in his second year. I’m frankly much more concerned about the knee. If the knee holds up and it takes awhile for the back to become right, getting our HOF left tackle for the last half of the season and the playoffs would be just fine with me.

    Agreed as well with Duke that Tru is a much bigger concern as depth in the secondary is cause for freakout. Anyone else praying not to see Wilson returning punts on the Suicide Squad? Looks like Fisher will be a steal, though, and we have enough talent at other positions such as D line and WR that I saw some decent trade bait for DB depth in the later quarters on Sat.

  22. I thought he broke his leg?

  23. nightwulf says:

    Bobby, He did break his leg.
    Levi Jones, anyone? just as a back up in case Walt can’t go?

  24. Ya, Hutch broke his leg vs Vikes early that season. Funny that he should sign with the one team that hurt him most.

  25. chuck_easton says:


    The reason Levi Jones is still available is supposedly that he wants to be guaranteed a starting job and starting pay to sign.

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