Seahawks’ Tubbs returns to practice

KIRKLAND – Marcus Tubbs was sporting a new look on Tuesday, and it wasn’t just the Mohawk hairdo that had been shorn down from his mini-dreads.

Tubbs, a fourth-year defensive tackle for the Seattle Seahawks, was actually wearing a football uniform. And he was participating in a practice.

For the first time since being placed on injured reserve last November, Tubbs was back in action on Tuesday. He saw limited practice time before watching team drills with an ice pack on his surgically-repaired knee.

“To have to be on IR last year and have to sit at home and watch the teams go to the playoffs, it hurts inside,” Tubbs said. “It makes me appreciate this day.”

After suffering through knee problems last fall, Tubbs had what he called a “risky” procedure known as microfracture surgery. The surgery was such a success that he came back earlier than expected, and now there’s a good chance he won’t miss any of the regular season.

Coach Mike Holmgren is targeting the Aug. 25 preseason home opener against Minnesota for Tubbs’ debut in a game.

“If he could practice this week and then next week, and then play a little against the Vikings, that would be good,” Holmgren said. “That’s kind of the program right now.”

Microfracture surgery is more common for basketball players because it is meant to regenerate cartilage that is often worn down by constant jumping. NBA players like Jason Kidd and Amare Stoudemire have had productive careers following microfracture surgeries, while others like Jamal Mashburn and Terrell Brandon could not come back.

NFL players who have had the surgery include Kellen Winslow Jr., Marcus Stroud and former Seahawk John Randle.

“I have full confidence in our doctors, and I think up to this point they’ve done a great job,” Tubbs said. “My knee is feeling good, and I think it’s going to be a good year.”

As for the haircut, Tubbs joked that he was inspired by teammate Marcus Trufant, who cut off his braids last week.

@5. Sports notes:”He looked so young,” Tubbs said. “I wanted to get that young look again.”

@5. Sports notes lead:Jones shut down: A few Seahawks were sidelined by injuries Tuesday. The most notable was left tackle Walter Jones, who has been dealing with right shoulder pain but saw limited time in Sunday’s preseason opener.

@5. Sports notes:Holmgren said Jones might not play in any more preseason games.

“His shoulder is sore, so I am just going to rest it,” Holmgren said. “He’ll do a lot of cardiovascular (and) some light lifting to make sure he maintains that and maybe help his shoulder.

“He might not play any more in the preseason. We’ll have to wait and see.”

Seattle’s other starting tackle, Sean Locklear, could also sit the rest of the preseason. He has a sore knee that Holmgren said “flared up” in the win over San Diego.

“If we were playing a regular season game, he’d probably be ready to go,” Holmgren said of Locklear. “But that’s how we’re doing it now with him”

Rookie cornerback Josh Wilson sat out Tuesday’s practices because of a sore foot.

@5. Sports notes lead:Let them be healed: Meanwhile, Tubbs was one of several injured players who returned to the practice field on Tuesday.

@5. Sports notes:Offensive lineman Floyd Womack was back after missing two weeks with a hamstring injury. Fullback David Kirtman returned from surgery on a broken right hand. Defensive tackle Craig Terrill (knee) and linebacker Niko Koutouvides (chest) were also back.

@5. Sports notes lead:Sprinting mad: Angered by a practice that included a botched snap and a player (Marcus Pollard) accidentally blindsiding an assistant coach (Jim Zorn), Holmgren ended Tuesday’s morning session by making the players run sprints.

@5. Sports notes:”I hadn’t run sprints after a practice since about my freshman year in college,” said second-year receiver Ben Obomanu. “It’s been a long time.”

Holmgren said that the tempo of the practice was not to his liking, so he picked up the pace with a few rounds of sprints.

“It was to get their attention as much as anything else,” he said. “I was not happy with the way the practice went.”

Apparently, the message was received.

“We’re all grown men out here, so we’ve got to perform each day in practice,” defensive lineman Darryl Tapp said. “We weren’t executing the way we need to execute. We need to be a lot sharper.”

@5. Sports notes lead:Veteran CB added: The Seahawks signed cornerback DeJuan Groce, who spent three of his first four NFL seasons with the rival St. Louis Rams. Groce was with the New Orleans Saints last season but was released in June.

@5. Sports notes:The 27-year-old Groce has played in 54 NFL games, including 20 starts. He will compete with Pete Hunter and Jordan Babineaux for the fourth cornerback spot.

To make room for Groce, the Seahawks released rookie punter Kyle Stringer.

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