RENTON – The Seattle Seahawks avoided a huge blow to the offensive line Monday when coach Pete Carroll said a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam revealed offensive tackle Russell Okung suffered just a bone bruise on his left knee.
Okung injured his knee at the end of the 20-16 loss to Arizona on Sunday, and had to be helped off the field. The Oklahoma State University product walked gingerly in the locker room afterward, and his availability for this week’s home opener against Dallas appeared to be in question.
But Carroll said Okung’s injury wasn’t as severe as it first looked, and that after a couple of days’ rest he thinks his starting left tackle should be ready to go against the Cowboys.
“We’ll see how he comes back Wednesday and Thursday,” Carroll said. “But we expect him to make it through the week and play.”
In his third season, Okung just can’t seem to stay healthy.
The No. 6 overall pick in 2010 missed games because of injuries in each of his first two seasons.
Okung suffered a torn pectoral muscle when Philadelphia defensive end Trent Cole flipped him on a cheap shot at the end of a game, and was placed on the season-ending injured reserve list after 12 starts last season.
In his rookie season, Okung suffered high ankle sprains on both legs and missed a total of six games.
Okung was part of a Seattle offensive line that struggled to protect rookie quarterback Russell Wilson on Sunday. The Cardinals sacked Wilson three times, and got to him another seven times on quarterback hits.
Okung also had three false start penalties called on him during the game.
“When we were in the silent count situation, he got antsy a couple of times and popped out of (his stance),” Carroll said. “He just has to hold his water. It’s not something that’s always happened; it just showed up in that game, unfortunately. He was just trying to get a jump on the pass rush. That’s totally self-inflicted and we could do that a lot better.”
Carroll also expects to get receiver Golden Tate back this week. The Notre Dame product sat out against Arizona with a sprained knee.
“He ran real well today,” Carroll said about Tate. “We think he’s got a chance. I’m not sure if Wednesday will be a full day for him. It depends on how he handles all the change of direction stuff (Monday and today). But he feels like he’s going to go.”
However, the news for receiver Charly Martin was not so good. Carroll confirmed Martin suffered a bruised lung and remains in Arizona. Carroll said that Martin could be in Arizona for a couple more days, and will be out at least a couple weeks.
With Martin out, the Seahawks have only five receivers. Carroll said the team could make a move this week to add depth.
And he did not rule out bringing back tight end Kellen Winslow, a surprise cut before the season.
PENALTIES AN ISSUE
Carroll said he thought his team moved in the right direction of limiting penalties. He said the Seahawks finished sixth in the league in fewest penalties during the exhibition season after finishing dead last during exhibition play in 2011.
However, penalties again plagued the Seahawks against Arizona. Seattle had 13 penalties for 90 yards.
Last year, the Seahawks had the second-most penalties in the league with 138.
“We can’t play football that way and expect to be as effective as we hope to be,” Carroll said. “We’ve addressed it, we’ve worked hard at it, and these guys have taken it hard. It’s just terrible that it has showed up again because that is something that we’re trying to put behind us and we didn’t get that done in the opener.”
After watching the game film, Carroll reiterated that Wilson had to deal with a lot of pressure from Arizona’s front seven, particularly defensive end Darnell Dockett. One of the people who had trouble with Dockett was rookie guard J.R. Sweezy, who made his first NFL start Sunday. Carroll said that although last year’s starting right guard John Moffitt was available, one of the reasons he was inactive was that the team didn’t think the University of Wisconsin product was fully healed from elbow surgery. However, Moffitt is ready to go this week, so there could be a change up front. … Carroll said running Marshawn Lynch, who’s been dealing with back spasms, came through the game OK.Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks/