Seattle Seahawks head coach Jim Mora announced during his Wednesday press conference that future Hall of Fame left tackle Walter Jones will be placed on injured reserve today, ending his 2009 season.
Jones, who turns 36 in January, had microfracture surgery on his left knee last December, and had the same knee scoped at the end of training camp. Jones returned to practice, but pain in that knee returned and the Seahawks had essentially shut him down for the last month.
Mora would not speculate on whether or not Jones' career was over, adding that Jones will be re-evaluated after the season and that "it's too early for a career eulogy".
Sean Locklear, the heir apparent to Jones at left tackle, will return to practice this week, but will not play in next Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys. That leaves Damion McIntosh, who was signed on October 13 when offensive tackle Brandon Frye was placed on injured reserve, as the starting left tackle for Sunday.
McIntosh, a ten-year veteran with over 100 starts on his resume, has primarily been a right tackle during his career. He will be matched up against Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware, who posted 20 quarterback sacks a season ago, has four sacks in his last two games, and this week signed a six-year, $78 million dollar contract extension that contains nearly $40 million dollars in guarantees.
Ware had three sacks in the Cowboys' 34-9 win over the Seahawks last Thanksgiving, which was the last time Walter Jones played in an NFL game, and it was also the last game Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck would play during Seattle's disastrous 4-12 2008 season.
In lieu of adding a third active offensive tackle on Sunday, if something were to happen to McIntosh, Mora said the plan will be to move one of the inside guys, namely Steve Vallos, to left tackle.
News and Notes
Middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu is in Birmingham, Alabama being evaluated by famed orthopedist Dr. James Andrews. His status for the remainder of the season should be known later on Wednesday.
Left guard Rob Sims, defensive end Patrick Kerney, outside linebacker Leroy Hill and cornerback Marcus Trufant will play this week, Mora said. Hill is expected to play on first and second downs, while Trufant will see action at left cornerback in nickel packages. Seattle currently has a roster exemption for Trufant, who began the year on the "Reserve/PUP" list. For him to play on Sunday, the Seahawks will need to clear a spot on the 53-man roster.
To take Jones' spot on the 53-man roster, the Seahawks have elevated running back Louis Rankin off the practice squad, with undrafted rookie linebacker Anthony Heygood (Carolina) signed to fill out the practice squad.
In addition to writing for NorthwestFootball.net, Brian McIntyre blogs daily at Mac's Football Blog. You can follow Brian on Twittah, and if you'd like to e-mail him, you can always do so by clicking here.
Seahawks Place Walter Jones on IR
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