Groin injury idles Gallery

  • By John Boyle Herald Writer
  • Tuesday, September 20, 2011 12:01am
  • Sports

RENTON — The Seattle Seahawks’ offense, fresh off a shutout loss in Pittsburgh on Sunday, hardly needed more bad news on Monday.

Particularly when the news is in regards to Seattle’s struggling offensive line, which was dominated in the 24-0 loss to the Steelers.

Left guard Robert Ga

llery, one of Seattle’s big free agency acquisitions, suffered a groin injury in the first quarter of Sunday’s loss and will need surgery. Head coach Pete Carroll said Gallery won’t be placed on season-ending injured reserve, and that he will likely be out four-to-six weeks.

“Robert Gallery’s got a groin injury that he played with throughout the game, but it’s one where he’s going to be out for a while,” Carroll said. “He’s going to have to get it fixed.”

Gallery already missed the season opener after spraining his knee in the final preseason game. The groin problem actually is not a new one, according to Carroll, but was made worse by Gallery favoring his injured knee, and then the injury became more serious in Sunday’s loss.

Gallery’s injury is just the latest at a position that has been a revolving door for the Seahawks ever since Steve Hutchinson left after the 2005 season. The job was held by, among others, Floyd Womack and Rob Sims in the first two years after Hutchinson’s departure, then in 2008, the Seahawks signed former Pro Bowler Mike Wahle. After 10 games, however Wahle went on injured reserve, then was released prior to the 2009 season after failing a physical. Sims ended up the starter that year, but was not in the team’s 2010 plans after the Seahawks instead signed veterans Chester Pitts and Ben Hamilton. Pitts, who was coming off of knee surgery, started only five games, while Hamilton started six before suffering a season-ending concussion.

Backup guard Paul McQuistan is expected to take over for Gallery rather than rookie right tackle James Carpenter, who moved positions prior to the opener to fill in for Gallery.

“Right now we’ll stay with James at right tackle,” Carroll said. “Paul McQuistan would be the next guy up (at left guard). … (Carpenter) played very well at right tackle in this game, one of his best games probably of the six. That’s where we are right now.”

The loss of Gallery leaves Seattle again with an incredibly inexperienced line. Center Max Unger is the most experience having 19 career starts under his belt. McQuistan has started 12 games, though the last of those starts was in 2007. Second-year left tackle Russell Okung also has 12 starts to his name, while Carpenter and right guard John Moffitt are both rookies preparing for their third regular season game.

“He’s an important guy to us,” Carroll said of Gallery. “We’ve loved having him. He’s a fantastic character on your team, personality and all. The experience he’s been through, the knowledge that he has helps other guys, so you miss that. There’s no replacing that. It was good to have him out this week working with us, but it is what it is and Paul and Breno (Giacomini) and those guys have to step up and be ready to play for us.”

Rice to practice this week

Receiver Sidney Rice, who has a tear in his labrum and has missed the first two games, will practice this week with the hope being that he can make his Seahawks debut in Sunday’s home opener.

“Sidney is working out hard,” Carroll said. “He’ll practice all week, and we’ll see as we go day-to-day what that means. He’s encouraged and wants to get back out.”

Asked if the injury could heal on its own and not require surgery after the season, Carroll said, “We don’t know that yet. I don’t know that. . . Sometimes they do, they become where they’re not a factor and guys play with them for a long time. So it just depends.”

Tight end John Carlson is out for the season after tearing a labrum, but Carroll said this injury is not as severe. Carroll said this injury appears to be closer to one suffered by receiver Ben Obomanu late last season. Obomanu suffered a labrum tear in the playoff win over New Orleans, but was able to return the next week to catch four passes for 68 yards in the season-ending loss to Chicago.

“He went out, they put his shoulder back in, he came back in the game and finished the season with a labrum tear that was repaired at the end of the season,” Carroll said of Obomanu. “… So that’s a similar situation that may arise. We don’t know.”

Herald Writer John Boyle: jboyle@heraldnet.com. For more Seahawks coverage, check out the Seahawks blog at heraldnet.com/seahawksblog

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