By John Boyle Herald Writer
RENTON — Russell Okung is almost certainly out for this week’s game against Jacksonville.
The bigger question is just how long the Seattle Seahawks will be without their Pro Bowl left tackle, who left Sunday’s win over the San Francisco 49ers with a toe injury.
“He has a toe injury and we’re still taking in information to know what it’s all about,” Carroll said. “We don’t know all the details yet. … We’re waiting for more info.”
Prior to Monday’s press conference, ESPN reported that Okung has a torn ligament in his toe, and when asked if that report was accurate, Carroll said, “I don’t know all of the stuff. I know there’s some stuff that happened there and we’re waiting to figure it all out. I think it’s best to just hold there; if I told you something I’d be making it up.”
And while a toe injury may not sound like a big deal, it can potentially be very serious, especially for a 300-plus pound man whose job requires gaining leverage while pushing against other 300-plus pound men. In 2010, center Max Unger had suffered a turf toe injury in Week 1 that ended his season, and while at this point we don’t know if Okung’s injury is in any way similar to that one, that does serve as a reminder that a toe injury has the potential to end a season.
Carroll was in fact asked if Okung’s injury could possibly be season ending.
“Don’t know that yet,” he said. “There are some options that we’ll deal with here and try to figure it out. There’s a little bit of a spectrum here that could come to us with options. We need to wait and see.”
About the only certainty is that the Seahawks will be without Okung this week. When asked if Okung had a chance to play against Jacksonville, Carroll answered, “I don’t think that’s possible, we’ll see though. We’ll see what happens. I don’t think he can make that.”
With Okung out, that leaves a void at one of the most important positions on Seattle’s offense. Paul McQuistan, who started the game at left guard, slid over to left tackle when Okung went down, with James Carpenter taking over at guard. That could be an option again this week, particularly because Carpenter had already been splitting time at guard with McQuistan, but another possibility could be rookie Alvin Bailey, who is listed as Seattle’s backup left tackle, but was inactive for the 49ers game.
Asked what the play would be at that spot, Carroll only answered, “Don’t know yet. We’ll figure it out.”
Other than Okung, the only other player to suffer an injury Sunday was running back/fullback Spencer Ware who has an ankle injury Carroll described as a “significant sprain.”
Cornerback Brandon Browner, who has missed the first two games with a hamstring injury, is likely to return to practice Wednesday and has a “good chance of making it back” for Sunday’s game, Carroll said.
Defensive end Chris Clemons, who is coming back from ACL surgery, practiced last week and will do so again this week, and could return to game action as soon as Sunday.
“We’ll see,” Carroll said. “He’s got a shot. If it was up to him he’s playing, he’s calling for it right now, but he’s got to have a good week of work. Like we’ve said all along, we’re going to take our time to do this right, it might be time, we’ll see. If it’s not this week, it’s going to be next week, I would think, just by the way he’s worked so well in practice.”
Carroll said they are also hopeful that rookie defensive tackle Jordan Hill can return to practice this week. Hill has been out since injuring his biceps tendon late in training camp.
Herald Writer John Boyle: firstname.lastname@example.org.