Seahawks Insider

Okung update, Carroll pleased with run game

Post by Eric Williams on Aug. 11, 2011 at 10:46 pm with 12 Comments »
August 11, 2011 10:46 pm

Here’s the latest on Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman Russell Okung. Coach Pete Carroll said that his starting left tackle suffered a left ankle sprain on the opening series against San Diego tonight.

It’s the same leg he suffered a high-ankle sprain in October last season, forcing him to miss three games. Okung had missed the first three games of the regular season last year with a high-ankle sprain on his right leg.

Initial X-rays came back negative for a potential fracture. Okung will be re-evaluated once he gets back to Seattle today.

Carroll said Okung’s injury is in the same area where he suffered a high ankle sprain last year.

“I feel very sorry for him that he has to even deal with this tonight,” Carroll said. “He’s been through so much with all that stuff. The fact that it just happened really out of nowhere – he’d been practicing beautifully and doing everything full speed and doing great. So it’s hard to imagine how that could happen.”

Carroll said that Okung’s injury was not the result of contact. Tyler Polumbus replaced Okung at left tackle. Carroll said he did not consider swinging rookie James Carpenter to left tackle. Seattle drafted Carpenter No. 25 overall in this year’s draft because of his versatility, and the fact he played left tackle at Alabama last year.

“We know Tyler can play,” Carroll said. “He’s played for us before. And Will Robinson can play left tackle as well, but we’re not ruling out the fact that we’re going to get him back very quickly.”

I asked Carroll if he would consider moving Carpenter to left tackle, but he said they’re not even looking that far ahead yet.

“We’re just getting on the plane and going home,” Carroll said. “We’re not that far along.”

I also asked Carroll if he had considered not playing Okung because of all the starters that did not play tonight, but Carroll said he wanted to get the first unit offensive line some play time together.

“This offensive line needed to work together. They need with the quarterbacks,” he said. “If you noticed we played the two young kids on the right side (John Moffitt and James Carpenter) all the way into the third quarter, which is what the design was, to make them have to respond to the conditioning and all of that stuff. They did all right. They really hung in there. And there will be some things to correct of course. But for the first time they needed some extra work, and they got it.”

Some tidbits

* Carroll liked the fact that his team ran for 133 yards on the ground. Improving the running game has been a point of emphasis during training camp.

Leading the way was recent addition Thomas Clayton, who finished with 62 yards on 16 carries, including a 25-yard touchdown run.

Clayton has the nickname Tommy Gun because he flexes his biceps after a long run.

“I thought Tommy did a really good job tonight,” Carroll said. “It was fun to see him run the football. I thought he did a very good job in the fourth quarter when he got a feel for things.”

* Carroll said he’s excited to get some guys back on the practice field next week, including Red Bryant, Chris Clemons and some other players who did not play. Ben Obomanu also has a shoulder injury but is expected to be ready for practice next week.

* Carroll said that Sidney Rice’s injury is not that serious, characterizing it as a weight room injury. “He’s fine,” Carroll said. “He could have played tonight. Justin Forsett could have played tonight. We just didn’t need to.”

* Rookie linebacker K.J. Wright led the team in tackles with seven.

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Leave a comment Comments → 12
  1. Okung is expected to be one of the cornerstone saviors of this franchise. Does this worry me? You bet it does. We know the talent is there. We just don’t know if the body is willing. In all honesty, I gave a couple of “mulligans” to the injuries last year (in part due to the contract holdout), but this one now worries me… I ain’t gonna lie.

    No, no, no… to Carpenter moving to the left side… allow continuity to develop… Carpenter needs to know what Moffitt is going to do at RG, who needs to know what Unger is going to do at C, etc.

  2. Here’s hoping its not another major sprain…

    But take heart… last year Russell Okung proved that even with a sprained ankle he’s as good as most starting left tackles with two good ankles.

  3. freedom_X says:

    In a weird way, I almost think a leg fracture might have been better news. Not because it’s less serious, because it isn’t, but because it’s a different injury. Then I could say Okung just has bad luck.

    But since he has problem after problem spraining his ankles, it of course naturally makes one think he has a chronic, incurable weakness in them. Is that medically possible? I’ve never heard of such a thing. I hope Seattle has a chiropractor or biomechanical analyst studying Okung to make sure he doesn’t have some bad movement habits that increase his injury risk.

    Maybe he overcompensates for the hurt left ankle, blows out the right, overcompensates for the hurt right, blows out the left again.

    Anyway, if he medically checks out, he shouldn’t be nursed. Either he can play on those ankles or he can’t. If he can’t make it out of the preseason without getting his ankles hurt, he’ll never make it through a NFL season let alone get to a Super Bowl, so we might has well find out if he can hold up or not. Better to know if he’s done, in preseason rather than in week 1, or week 4…

  4. bird_spit says:

    When we drafted Okung, media was talking all about his durability. Wow..all you can say. If it is cronic, then he is a candidate for some surgery. But I suspect he will be battling this all season.

  5. GriffinNW says:

    I’m literally laying here and can’t stop thinking about this Okung thing. It makes me sick, I feel so bad for him and the team and the fans.
    This line is built around HIM, and he can’t even stay on the field.
    Hate to say it, but I too think the kid has got some shitty ankles. That or he has some SERIOUS footwork issues. This is going to be a continuous problem it seems like.
    I hope were all wrong and this is just another unfortunate issue, but I have my doubts.

    What a shitty night.
    How is another LT not on our list to bring in. You just can’t rely on Okung right now to stay healthy. He’s got ankles made of glass.

  6. This reminds me of Hasselbeck and his back.

    With any luck, its a minor sprain and they kept him off of it because of how unimportant this game was. Hopefully, its just coincidence his ankles are having problems, but I’m not so sure.

  7. WTF Russell Okung aka Greg Oden – Duck tape both legs up to his knees. The biggest thing I think as a positive for this game is the mobility of TJ in the pocket. He will need to be pretty mobile this year. Other than that, pretty much the game was as expected for with limited practices. It will be nice to hopefully see the enitre 1st string minus Okung in the next exhibition game or so and see how the continuity is and hopefully grow from there. I think on paper the team is better but the schedule is brutal so realistically 6-8 wins in my opinion.

  8. HawkfaninMT says:

    Is Langston Walker still available as his back up?

  9. How about that Portis kid? As Gruden said, he looks like a young Randall Cunningham. Pete’s enthusiasm for him is definitely warranted – let’s hope he continues to develop and we don’t have to burn a 1st rounder for a QB next year.

  10. GriffinNW says:

    LaCroix – Maybe use that pick on a LT with real ankles… Hope we don’t have to do that.

    dacmike- Last year I called him Greg Oden and people flipped out. Glad I’m not the only one who sees the sad resemblence.

  11. monmornQB says:

    It’s really to bad that Okung is a highly motivated, highly talented first round bust. A 300+ lb man with the ankles of a 30lb little girl.

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