RENTON — Seahawks rookie right tackle James Carpenter will miss the remainder of the season because of a knee injury, which is bad news for the team’s present.
Carpenter’s injury, as well as the season-ending injury suffered by right tackle John Moffitt, could be even worse news for the Seahawks’ future, however.
Back in April, the Seahawks made a commitment to rebuilding their line by using their first two picks on Carpenter and Moffitt. Both have had their growing pains this year, but during the past two weeks, Seattle’s young line finally seemed to be coming together.
Then Moffitt went down with torn medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments in Sunday’s win over Baltimore. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Carpenter tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a blocking drill during Wednesday’s practice.
Now Seattle’s two promising rookie linemen will miss out not just on the experience of seven more games, but likely some of the team’s offseason workouts. And Carpenter and Moffitt, like all other rookies in the league, were already behind coming into the season when they missed out on offseason workouts thanks to the NFL lockout.
These injuries will only further stunt the growth of two players the Seahawks expect to be a big part of their future.
“It’s tough on them, because every day they do something that is part of their development,” offensive line coach Tom Cable said. “They didn’t have the offseason, so the offseason would be valuable for them, as would the second half of the season, so we’re going to lose all that.”
Center Max Unger knows firsthand the kind of setback Carpenter and Moffitt face. Unger played his entire rookie season, then missed almost all of last season with a foot injury.
“It’s seven more games experience, and your rookie year is pretty is pretty critical in that you get to play a whole 16-game schedule, plus the preseason, so it’s just the experience,” Unger said.
While the loss of Carpenter and Moffitt could hinder the 2012 Seahawks, the offensive linemen who will get the call against the Rams on Sunday are confident they can keep building off the momentum gained the past two games.
“We move forward,” Cable said. “We don’t change who we’re trying to become or what we’re trying to accomplish for our offense and for this football team. We don’t back down, we just go forward. … We’ll be fine.
“Listen, it’s a shame. Injuries are part of the game, but we’re going to be fine. We’re all confident in that and I have no worries. We’re just going to move forward and continue to get better. That’s what we have to do.”
The good news for the Seahawks is that they have players they trust filling in for the injured rookies.
Paul McQuistan, who will play right guard, started three games at left guard earlier this season when Robert Gallery was injured. McQuistan was solid enough in relief that some questioned recently if he should be starting over Gallery.
Breno Giacomi, who will play right tackle, started the season opener at that position when Carpenter played left guard for a game. Giacomi also has seen limited playing time as a sixth lineman when Seattle is in short-yardage situations.
“You’ve just got to put that behind you and move on and continue doing what we’ve been doing as a line,” Giacomini said. “… We’ve got something going here, so me and Paul will just try to keep doing what we’ve been doing.”
All three players who suffered concussions Sunday—receiver Sidney Rice, receiver Doug Baldwin and safety Kam Chancellor—practiced without limitation Thursday, which would indicate that all have been cleared to play. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral) also practiced fully after being limited Wednesday. Safety Atari Bigby and defensive end Anthony Hargrove, who both have hamstring injuries, did not practice for the second straight day.
Herald Writer John Boyle: email@example.com. For more Seahawks coverage, check out the Seahawks blog at heraldnet.com/seahawksblog