The Seattle Seahawks have been missing pieces along their offensive line for most of the season.
The offensive line that started the season for Seattle against the Carolina Panthers in September hasn’t been on the field together since a Week 2 win over the San Francisco 49ers. They’ve been down as many as three starters along their line for several games over the last eight weeks causing them to delve into their depth to hold things together.
The Seahawks could finally have everyone back this Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.
Left tackle Russell Okung is eligible to return from the short-term injured reserve list Friday after missing the last eight games with a sprained toe. Right tackle Breno Giacomini has missed the last seven games after having surgery on his knee following an injury in Week 3 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Center Max Unger missed two games to a triceps injury and also sat out Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons due to a concussion.
All three were back on the practice field for Seattle Wednesday and appear to be on track to play against the Vikings.
“We’re really excited about the guys coming back,” head coach Pete Carroll said. “There are a number of guys that returned to the practice field today, and for those guys who want to play so much and want to contribute and be part of the team, it’s really exciting for them.”
The return of Okung would allow Paul McQuistan, a natural guard that has been forced to get by at left tackle, to move back to his left guard position as well.
Since Okung and Giacomini have missed so much time, Carroll said they would still likely rotate them out of the game in order to ease them back into action with their bye coming next week.
“When you think if Breno and Russell can play in the game, they will not have played the full game at all. So to think that they can go out there and just handle it is probably too much to expect and we have confidence in our guys,” Carroll said.
With the return of Percy Harvin also expected soon, the 9-1 Seahawks could still improve significantly heading into the final month of the regular season. That’s a scary thought for the rest of the NFC that hopes to keep Seattle from earning home field advantage in the playoffs.