RENTON — The news on cornerback Walter Thurmond was as unfortunate for the young Seahawks cornerback as it was expected. As for the rest of a large contingent of Seahawks players, the prognosis Monday was far less clear.
Thurmond, who fractured his fibula in Sunday’s 6-3 loss, also has
what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll called “a pretty torn up ankle,” and will need surgery. Thurmond is looking at a four-to-six month recovery, the team said. He was placed on injured reserve Monday, and Ron Parker, an undrafted rookie who spent training camp with Seattle, was claimed off
of waivers from Oakland, who released Parker last week.
Thurmond had started the last two games in place of Marcus Trufant, who is out for the season with a back injury. Rookie Richard Sherman will now move into the starting lineup. It is the second serious injury in three seasons for Thurmond, who missed most of his senior year at Oregon after tearing three ligaments in his knee.
And while Thurmond’s injury is the most serious, it is hardly the only one that affected the Seahawks in Sunday’s loss. Seattle went to Cleveland knowing it would be without quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral), tight end Zach Miller (concussion) and center Max Unger (foot), then lost Marshawn Lynch just before the game when he had a flare up of back spasms during pregame warm ups.
“We didn’t have much time to prepare for that,” Carroll said of Lynch’s injury, which he said is a long-existing issue. “We just had a moment’s notice. It would be like if you went out the first play and got hurt, then now what are you going to do? That’s kind of how it was, so yeah, we missed him. We miss some guys right down the middle of our offense.”
The question now is whether all of those key offensive players will return for this weekend’s game against Cincinnati, and the answer from Carroll on all of them was a resounding, we’ll see.
On his quarterback, Carroll said of Jackson, “We’re just going to start over again this week and see where it is. He only had a couple of days break, he was throwing the ball pretty well last week, but he never threw the ball full speed at all. We’ll see where he is and see how he can come back. I think it’s going to be all week long, and we’ll just take it one day at a time and see where it goes, see what Wednesday has for us.”
Before Jackson’s injury, the Seahawks offense seemed to finally be hitting its stride in the second half of a loss to Atlanta, then in a win over New York two weekends ago. And when Charlie Whitehurst came into the game against the Giants, he played well enough that the Seahawks were confident they wouldn’t miss a beat in Cleveland playing with their backup. Instead, Whitehurst managed only a 35.0 quarterback rating while completing 12 of 30 passes for 97 yards.
“Charlie had a hard time,” Carroll said. “Things weren’t as clean as we would have liked. … I think that’s the toughest time Charlie’s had in the games he’s played in. I know he didn’t feel real good about it. He didn’t feel as though he was seeing things as well as he would like and for whatever reason they did a nice job on him.”
Despite Whitehurst’s struggles, Carroll won’t consider promoting rookie Josh Portis should Jackson miss another game.
“Josh has got a long way to go,” Carroll said. “We really like the progress he’s made and all but he’s not close to being ready to push for the job, if that’s what you’re asking.”
And Jackson won’t be the only question mark when practice resumes Wednesday.
On Lynch, Carroll said: “We’ll have to be careful through the week and make sure we do the right things and get him all the way to game time. He’s determined to play for sure in his mind, but we’re not going to really know until the end of the week.”
Carroll was equally unsure about Miller, who suffered a concussion two weeks ago against the Giants and has not been cleared to practice since: “Zach would not be cleared today (had they practiced), so Wednesday will be really important. … This was a serious concussion, obviously, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens Wednesday and Thursday and see where we are.”
The diagnosis was marginally more optimistic on Unger: “Max is a lot closer. They’ll test him again tomorrow and see how he’s doing and see if it’s ready for Wednesday, but I don’t think we’re going to know until he gets working. … We won’t know if he can do all the pushing and the stuff that he has to do to play full speed until probably late in the week.”
Carroll unhappy about game-changing call
When the final score of a game is 6-3, any call, particularly one that nullifies a touchdown, can be a game changer. That was the case Sunday when Leon Washington returned a punt 81 yards for a score, but it was called back because of a block-in-the-back penalty on Kennard Cox. After reviewing the game tape, Carroll wasn’t any happier about the call than he was when it happened, and perhaps rightfully so. Cox appeared to make little, if any, contact with Cleveland’s James Dockery, and Dockery was already going to the ground before Cox made any contact.
“I didn’t think that was a call that should have been made,” Carroll said. “That was unfortunate. There are a lot of calls happening at light speed out there that are challenging to call and that was one that unfortunately, it was the play of the game for us. It was our touchdown in this game and it got away from us.”
Herald Writer John Boyle: email@example.com. For more Seahawks coverage, check out the Seahawks blog at heraldnet.com/seahawksblog