By Curtis Crabtree Associated Press
RENTON — The Seattle Seahawks could be missing three starting offensive linemen when they take the field against the Houston Texans on Sunday.
Right tackle Breno Giacomini and center Max Unger are both listed as doubtful to play against the league’s second-ranked defense. Coach Pete Carroll said both would be game-time decisions but it looks unlikely either will be able to play.
Carroll emphasized that the Seahawks are trying to be cautious with both Giacomini and Unger and won’t push things if they aren’t ready to play.
“When (our players) are getting banged up, we’re trying to really give them every chance to get back and utilize our depth and if that’s what this calls for, then we’re ready to do that,” Carroll said. “We’re not going to force guys back out there until they’re ready to play.”
Unger has a triceps injury suffered last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was checked by trainers on the sideline but remained in the game and didn’t miss a snap with the starters. Carroll said they held him out of practice all week in hopes of seeing where he’s at during pre-game workouts.
“We’re just trying to get through and really protect him and make sure that we’re making all the right choices,” Carroll said.
Giacomini is dealing with a sore knee that worsened last week against the Jaguars. Giacomini was lifted from the game in the second quarter and replaced by rookie Michael Bowie.
“He did get kind of whacked last week on the same knee so it is a bit of an extension of what he had. We got to see how he bounces back,” Carroll said.
Left tackle Russell Okung is also out after being placed on the short-term injured reserve list last week with a sprained toe ligament on his left foot.
Lemuel Jeanpierre would get the start at center in place of Unger, with Bowie getting his first career start at right tackle. Jeanpierre started five games in 2011 for Seattle split between center and right guard and Carroll said he’s confident Jeanpierre can hold up in Unger’s absence.
Bowie saw his first action in place of Giacomini last week against Jacksonville and Carroll is excited to see how he can perform if he has to start against Houston on Sunday.