Seahawks shuffle O-line

KIRKLAND [—] While the Seattle Seahawks were looking forward to some stability on the offensive line this season, training camp hasn’t afforded them with that opportunity.

Thanks in part to nagging injuries that have limited both starting tackles, the Seahawks have been forced to shuffle things around.

“You’d like to have all five (starters) all the time, but that’s not the real world,” offensive line coach Bill Laveroni said. “And so we have to adjust. It happened last year during the (regular) season.

“You can’t worry about it, you just have to go on to the next snap.”

While Walter Jones (shoulder) and Sean Locklear (knee) nurse sore extremities, Ray Willis and Tom Ashworth have been working at tackle on the No. 1 offense. Willis was originally supposed to challenge Chris Gray as the starting right guard, while Ashworth struggled inside last season and is now used primarily as a backup tackle.

“Those guys have worked hard,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. “Tom Ashworth, he’s not really a young guy. He’s been around. He’s played a lot of football; he knows what he’s doing.

“Ray Willis has worked very hard to try to get on the field, crack the lineup. This is just another opportunity for him to get experience.”

The Seahawks are so thin at the position that two players who were signed off the street in June are now working as the second-string tackles: Washington Redskins castoff Jon Alston and rookie Kyle Williams.

Help is on the way, as multi-positional lineman Floyd Womack returned to practice this week and was in full pads for Wednesday’s morning session.

Coach Mike Holmgren said earlier this week that he expects both Jones and Locklear to be available for the regular season opener. Holmgren added that he’s considering not using either of them in the final three preseason games.

“It’s a long season,” Laveroni said. “It’s important to keep guys as healthy as you can.”

Sports notes lead:Enough rest: While Jones has missed plenty of training camp practices before [—] he was in a contract dispute that kept him from attending the 2002-04 sessions [—] some teammates have to fight through the dog days of camp.

Sports notes:Among those is Hasselbeck, who initially thought he might get some time off following January surgery but has not been limited at all this month. He said Wednesday that he looks forward to any preseason action he can get.

“I’m doing what (team trainers) say,” said Hasselbeck, who had surgery on his non-throwing shoulder. “I realize that I am just one guy on this team and that they have to take a look at other guys and find out some things about different positions.

“I would love to play as much as they put me in there, and if they don’t, they don’t.”

Sports notes lead:Pushing for a job: As is often the case this time of year, plenty of wide receivers have been opening eyes at training camp.

Sports notes:There just won’t be roster spots for all of them.

That means draft picks Courtney Taylor and Jordan Kent, undrafted rookies Logan Payne and Joe Fernandez and first-year players Chris Jones and Robert Ortiz are probably battling for no more than a spot on the practice squad.

Kent, Payne, Fernandez and Jones have been the most impressive. Kent and Jones have good size, while Fernandez’s football smarts remind some of a young Bobby Engram.

With Engram, Deion Branch, D.J. Hackett, Nate Burleson and Ben Obomanu all but locked into the likely five roster spots, there just isn’t much room for anyone else.

“It’s a great learning experience for them,” receivers coach Nolan Cromwell said. “It’s a credit to all those young guys. They’re working hard. They know their assignments, and it’s been good for them.”

Sports notes lead:Quick slants: Cornerback Josh Wilson returned to practice Wednesday after missing the previous day with a foot injury. … Tight end Bennie Joppru, who suffered a hip injury in the intrasquad scrimmage 12 days ago, was back on the practice field Wednesday afternoon.

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