Already hamstrung by the 80-man roster, the Seahawks have been further handicapped by injuries to several starters, including defensive end Patrick Kerney (calf), second in the NFL in sacks last year, as well as center Chris Spencer (back), wide receiver Courtney Taylor (hamstring) and punter Ryan Plackemeier (pectoral). Backup tight end Jeb Putzier is out, as is defensive tackle Larry Tripplett.
The Seahawks also lost rookie defensive tackle Red Bryant for the preseason when he tore some cartilage in his left knee that will sideline him for four to five weeks. Wide receiver Logan Payne, fighting for one of the top four spots, cracked a rib in Saturday's scrimmage, and nickel back Jordan Babineaux suffered a knee injury, the extent of which is not yet known.
Backup center Chris Gray injured his back the second day of camp and has since retired, meaning the Seahawks have been forced to use guards Steve Vallos and Mansfield Wrotto as their emergency centers.
It has been an issue because there have been a number of fumbled snaps and miscues between the center and quarterback, including Matt Hasselbeck and Seneca Wallace being tripped in the backfield on several occasions.
"It is big," offensive coordinator Gil Haskell said. "What hurts is in the preseason game in the third quarter and I am calling the plays, and all of a sudden you don't have your full complement of guys."
Haskell said there is not the silver lining of players learning other positions they may not have had the opportunity to learn. He said John Robinson taught him that a player needs to learn every aspect of their own position before moving on to another position so as to avoid confusion.
The Seahawks held a scrimmage last Saturday and suffered even more injuries, with cornerback DeMichael Dizer having his season ended with a torn ACL; backup tackle Floyd Womack injuring a knee, meaning that veteran tackle Walter Jones can't rest as much as the team would like; backup tackle Kyle Williams suffering a knee injury that may keep him out for a week; and longshots Nu'u Tafisi, Eric Wicks and Matt Castelo being sidelined for three or four days with various injuries.
The residual effect is that Holmgren must now figure out how to play Friday night's preseason opener against Minnesota with a reduced roster, balancing how long his starters will play against so many players already being banged up.
"It always is (dictated by injuries and the number of guys on the roster)," Holmgren said. "Not so much the lower number of guys on the roster, but we have had a formula over the years and if I can stick with the formula, I will. The only reason I wouldn't do that is if we got a little thin at a certain position. Otherwise we'll stick with what we do."
QUOTABLE: "We were traveling one time, I get all the way to my hotel room. I find I have a 10-pound weight in my book bag. I thought my book bag was kind of heavy. And I was like, ‘What is this weight doing in here?' They made me carry it all the way back to the weight room. I was going to get fined if I didn't bring it back." Second-year cornerback Josh Wilson, recalling what it was like to get hazed as a rookie.