Seahawks guard Moffitt out for season with knee injury

RENTON — Just when it looked like Seattle’s young offensive line had found its groove, the Seahawks will now have to go forward without starting right guard John Moffitt.

Moffitt, a rookie whom Seattle drafted in the third round last spring, suffered a torn medial collateral ligament and posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the first quarter of Sunday’s win over Baltimore. Moffitt will need surgery, ending his rookie season after nine games.

“John Moffitt hurt his knee badly,” head coach Pete Carroll said. “He’ll have to get worked on, so he’ll be lost for the season.”

Carroll did say it was encouraging that Moffitt, who started all nine games, did not tear his anterior cruciate ligament, which should make for a shorter rehabilitation period. That hardly qualifies as good news, however, for a line that spent the first half of the season finding its way.

As recently as two weeks ago, the Seahawks ranked 31st in the league in rushing, and had given up more sacks than any team in the NFL. In the last two games, however, quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has only been sacked twice, and running back Marshawn Lynch has gone over 100 yards rushing in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. Prior to Lynch’s 135-yard performance in Dallas, the Seahawks hadn’t had a 100-yard rusher in the regular season since 2009.

“He’s been working so hard at it and has been such a big part of it,” Carroll said of Moffitt. “… Right at the cusp of when we were starting to improve, he would have loved to have been part of this as we finish the season. We’re going to miss him.”

With Moffitt out, the Seahawks will either use Lemuel Jeanpierre or Paul McQuistan at right guard. Jeanpierre took over for Moffitt in Sunday’s game, while McQuistan has started three games at left guard when Robert Gallery was out with an injury.

“Lem did good job for us, and we know Paul can play, so we don’t feel like we’re going to fall off much,” Carroll said.

Other injuries

Safety Kam Chancellor, receiver Doug Baldwin and receiver Sidney Rice, are all responding well after suffering concussions Sunday, Carroll said.

“The three guys that had the concussions all had very good days today and look to have an opportunity to play, but we won’t know that until we get through the process and all,” he said.

That doesn’t mean anyone has been cleared to play, however.

“We’re not going to know until Thursday or Friday on these guys whether they’ll be able to play or not because of the process that they have to go through,” Carroll said.

Safety Atari Bigby and defensive end Anthony Hargrove both aggravated existing hamstring injuries, Carroll said. The status of both players will be determined later in the week.

Tough, but not so smart

The Seahawks won Sunday, but not because they played a mistake-free game. For the third week in a row, Seattle committed 10 or more penalties (13 for 100 yards), and that simply can’t continue, Carroll said.

“The smarts didn’t work out; toughness did and the grit did and finish did,” Carroll said. “It saved us. … That’s not always going to be the case, so we’ve got to get rid of it and we’re just going to work on it until it goes away.”

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

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