By John Boyle
Russell Okung isn’t going to play this weekend. How long he’ll be out, however, is still a mystery. Pete Carroll said Okung is away getting a second opinion, and that until they hear more, he can’t speculate on how long the left tackle will be out.
“He’s getting another opinion right now and he’s out of town to do that, so we’ll wait,” Carroll said. “We’ll wait on that. He won’t be able this weekend.
“There is a range, so I don’t think it’s worth speculating on that right now. Let’s wait until everybody zeros in and the doctors all figure out what’s the right thing to do. They’re working quickly to try to get it all figured out, but he had to travel to get this next opinion.
Carroll said Paul McQuistan will start, which means James Carpenter will start at left guard.
“Paul’s starting the game and playing, and we’ll look forward to him getting more comfortable at the spot with the work he has this week,” Carroll said. “It will call for Alvin Bailey to step up and Michael Bowie to step up and get ready to play as well. Carp will start at guard. If everything goes well this week, that’s the plan right now.”
Asked what he thought of Carpenter and McQuistan’s play last week when they were in the game together, Carroll said, “They did all right. We felt very good about the first time out with no preparation for Paul. James had been working at guard, so that wasn’t an issue. Paul’s a really, really smart player and he knows the calls and he’s lived this stuff for years with us, so he’s really good at it. So that part, the coordination was fine, but it’s just used to getting used to that monster coming off the left edge there—99’s pretty good—so he wasn’t prepared, Paul couldn’t have been prepared for some of the finesse things we did in protections and stuff, he just didn’t have the snaps at it. Hopefully and likely we’ll be much better in regards to that kind of stuff because we get all week of prep.”
Carroll said he does hope to get some playing time for Bowie and Bailey, noting that, like Carpenter the last two weeks, they would be much better prepared to fill in if they have some game experience under their belts.
“That’s the best way to bring guys up,” Carroll said. “They can watch all they want, but they’ve got to get out there and play. Just like we did with Carp—we’ve been working Carp in the whole time, every chance we got to get him going, get his feet on the ground and get his mind right and get the timing of the game and all of that—he’s ready to start now. We’re very fortunate that after the preseason and these couple of games he’s ready to go. We’d like to do basically the same thing with these young guys, just bring them along. So if we can get the opportunity to get them in the games we’re going to do it. And we’ll push that opportunity some, because we know the value of that. We have to get our depth ready to handle the rigors of the season. It’s more evident now.”
On Chris Clemons and Brandon Browner, Carroll said, “Those guys are going to get work on the field today. Clemons is going to go at a regular clip just like anybody else. Brandon will be a little bit more limited than that until we can se how he’s doing. Then we’ll have to see how the guys respond and see what happens by the end of the week. I don’t know right now. This is a day-to-day deal for both those guys.”
And more on Clemons: “He had a very good week last week, he looked great. I would expect that he’s going to have a good week this week too, and we’ll have a decision to go ahead and play him. The tough part would be to hold him out at this point, I think he’s going to be that close to ready.”
On Spencer Ware, Carroll said, “He does have a sprained ankle, so we’ll see how bad it is.”
And Carroll said rookie DT Jordan Hill is “very close” to returning from a bicep injury.
Carroll was also asked if there was an update on Percy Harvin, who is recovering from hip surgery, and while they don’t know yet how soon Harvin will be back, the receiver still thinks he can make it back right when he is eligible to come off the PUP list: “He says ‘I’m going to be ready as soon as they can let me back out there.’ He’s totally committed to that thought. Whether that happens, I don’t know, but he’s competing exactly the way we would hope that he would. He’s talking about the very first game he can come back, he wants to play.”