The first thing Seattle Seahawks head coach Jim Mora did after sitting down at the podium for his Wednesday morning press conference at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center, was give an update on each of the players that would appear on the team's initial injury report of the week.
Without interruptions, and in Mora's fast-paced speaking style, the 12-player list took Mora nearly three minutes to get through.
Here's the update on the Seahawks' injury front:
QB, Matt Hasselbeck – Mora hasn't ruled Hasselbeck out for this week, but hasn't ruled him in, either. They'll see how the week goes before making a decision, but Hasselbeck did not practice on Wednesday and likely won't practice on Thursday or possibly even Friday. Mora has no hard-and-fast rule about players needing to practice in order to play, and mentioned that Hasselbeck has the ability to absorb the game-plan without getting the physical reps.
OT, Walter Jones – Recovering from off-season knee surgery, and a follow-up procedure in August, Jones participated fully in Wednesday's practice and could play on Sunday.
OT, Sean Locklear – Locklear has a high ankle sprain and has been ruled out for Sunday's game. If Jones is unable to play, Brandon Frye will start at left tackle.
C, Chris Spencer – Spencer injured his quadriceps during the second preseason game and participated fully in today's practice. Mora said that Spencer would split the reps with Steve Vallos on Wednesday, but could take the majority of the reps on Thursday. If healthy, Spencer will likely start on Sunday against Chicago.
WR, T.J. Houshmandzadeh – For the second week in a row, Houshmandzadeh was held out of Wednesday's practice with back spasms. He is expected to play on Sunday.
WR, Deion Branch – After coming close to playing against San Francisco, Branch participated fully in practice on Wednesday and—provided nothing happens between now and then—will play on Sunday.
FB, Justin Griffith – Griffith suffered a sprained MCL last Sunday against the 49ers. He did not participate in Wednesday's practice, but Mora expects him to be ready for Sunday. If Griffith can't play, Owen Schmitt will see more playing time.
DT, Brandon Mebane – The starting defensive tackle missed last week's game after straining his calf during practice last week. He was held out of practice on Wednesday and the team will monitor his progress throughout the week.
LB, Lofa Tatupu – Did not practice Wednesday and is not expected to practice for the rest of the week. Mora would not rule him out for Sunday, though.
LB, Leroy Hill – Mora disclosed that Hill underwent surgery on his groin last Friday, and doctors were encouraged by what they saw. Hill traveled back to Seattle on Saturday, but his timetable has not changed, and Hill is expected to be out until at least November 1.
CB, Josh Wilson – Mora ruled Wilson "Out" for Sunday's game with a high ankle sprain. Kelly Jennings will start at left cornerback opposite Ken Lucas, who was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday due to a groin injury.
CB, Travis Fisher – Fisher injured his hamstring during training camp and was a full participant in practice on Wednesday. He is expected to play on Sunday, though his role is presently undetermined.
An interesting aspect of the Seahawks' injury situation is that none are expected to last so long as to warrant moving that player to injured reserve.
"We're hamstrung because of the injury situation," Mora said. "We can't…there's really no where to go. There are no moves to make.
"So you know what we're going to do? We're going to weather the storm with the guys we've got. We're going to go play hard, we're going to fight and compete, and we're going to get through it...We're going to gradually start getting guys back, and we're going to get back to full strength. Until we do, we're just going to fight and go to battle with who we got."
The Seahawks did make one move on Wednesday, re-signing safety Jamar Adams to their practice squad, and releasing center/guard Brian De La Puente to make room for him on the 8-man squad.
Aside from that minor transaction, Mora is taking the long-view.
"There's a light at the end at the tunnel with some of these guys. You see Walt out there practicing, you get excited. You see Spence out there, you get excited. You hear that Matt, you know says "Hey, I'll play', you get excited. You see Mebane, a chance of him coming back, you get excited. You know Lofa's not too far away, you get excited. You know what kind of competitor Josh is. Remember, the times he's been hurt here, he's always beat the prediction in terms of coming back, so that gets you excited. Deion Branch is coming back this week, so that's gonna add a little spunk to our offense, so we'll be alright."
Limping Down Memory Lane
Here is the Seahawks' injury report from Friday, September 19, 2008:
OUT: WR Bobby Engram (shoulder), RB Maurice Morris (knee)
Doubtful: WR Deion Branch (knee), QB Seneca Wallace (calf)
Questionable: T Sean Locklear (knee), WR Koren Robinson (knee)
Probable: DT Rocky Bernard (hip), CB Kelly Jennings (rib), T Walter Jones (hip)
On IR: G Rob Sims (pectoral), WR Nate Burleson (knee), WR Logan Payne (knee), WR Ben Obomanu (shoulder), LS Tyler Schmitt (back)
On PUP: LB Will Herring
In addition to writing for NorthwestFootball.net, Brian McIntyre blogs daily at Mac's Football Blog and writes for FalconInsider.com on the Scout network. If you'd like to e-mail Brian, you may do so by clicking here.
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