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.