By John Boyle
Left tackle Russell Okung, who limped off the field in the second half of Sunday’s loss to Arizona, escaped serious injury, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. Now Okung and everyone else on the line will have to focus on improving the team’s pass protection, which Carroll said was a major factor in his team’s offensive struggles.
First, the update on Okung. Carroll said the injury was a bone bruise, the result of him getting “kicked or something” on the knee. Carroll indicated that the former first-round pick could be limited in practice this week, but should be able to play in Seattle’s home opener against Dallas on Sunday.
“He got a bruised knee,” Carroll said. “All the tests and all proved out that he’s cleared. We’ll see how he comes back Wednesday and Thursday, but we expect him to make it through the week and play.”
So that’s the good news for Seattle. The bad news, however, is that rookie quarterback Russell Wilson was quite frequently under duress in his debut, so if the Seahawks are going to improve, Okung, who was called for three false start penalties, and everyone else on the line will need to be better. Wilson was sacked three times Sunday, a number that would have been even higher if not for his elusiveness.
“He was under siege,” Carroll said. “He really was rushed well. They didn’t get him as much as they rushed him, but they were around him a lot. It was a very difficult game for the quarterback because of that.”
And while Okung’s bruised knee is good news, another bruise from Sunday’s game was much more significant. Receiver Charly Martin is still in Arizona after bruising a lung, and will be out at least a couple of weeks.
“It was pretty serious, so he’ll be there until at least tomorrow if not the next day,” he said. “We’re going to have to take care of Charly and bring him back. It’s going to be couple of weeks for him.”
The Seahawks will likely get a receiver back, however, with Golden Tate expected to return to practice after sitting out Sunday with a sprained knee.
“He ran really well today,” Carroll said. “We think he’s got a good chance. I’m not sure if Wednesday will be a full day for him, it depends on how he handles all the change of direction stuff today and tomorrow, but he feels like he’s going to go and we think he’s going to be in good shape to go.”
Doug Baldwin should also be OK, though he’ll need some dental work first.
“He officially got his teeth knocked it,” Carroll said. “It was a mess. He’s getting that work done tomorrow. I’m sure he wishes he could get it done today, because he’s kind of got the clean slate right now. It doesn’t look too good. But he’ll be OK I think for this week.”
Asked if the team might need to add a receiver because of the loss of Martin, Carroll said, “That’s a possibility. Yeah, we’re looking into all of that.”
Asked specifically if bringing TE Kellen Winslow back after cutting him prior to the season opener, Carroll said, “Everybody’s a possibility at this point.”