The Seattle Seahawks have been missing three starters along their offensive line for their last two games against the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts. At least one missing piece is expected to get back in the lineup this week.
Head coach Pete Carroll said the Seahawks are counting on Unger being able to play this Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. Unger fully participated in practice for Seattle on Wednesday for the first time since suffering a triceps strain against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3.
“It’s really good to have him back,” Carroll said. “Lemuel Jeanpierre doing a really fine job for us in filling in but Max Unger is really the guy that has the greatest command of what we’re doing up front and he’ll help other guys play well and make the right choices and decisions.”
Unger and right tackle Breno Giacomini have both missed the last two games for Seattle while left tackle Russell Okung has missed the last three games while on the short-term injured reserve list. It’s forced the Seahawks to move Paul McQuistan – a natural guard – to left tackle and insert backups into the lineup at left guard, center and right tackle. J.R. Sweezy at right guard is the only constant for Seattle from the line they opened the season with against Carolina in September.
The lack of continuity has been an issue for Seattle as Russell Wilson has frequently had to run for his life before being able to find open targets in the passing game.
“The combination of the new guys has made it challenging to be right all the time and that’s just to get the scheme right and calls right,” Carroll said. “Then physically, you’ve got to come through and get your blocks as well and your combinations and things have to be carried out well. Which, within experience, there’s some slippage in there.”
Unger’s return would help stabilize the group in the interim as Seattle hopes to weather the storm until Giacomini and Okung can return in the coming weeks.