Carpenter re-injures left knee, likely out

Staff writerDecember 4, 2012 

RENTON — James Carpenter’s topsy-turvy season has been put on hold once again.

For a second straight week, Seattle’s first-round pick from the 2011 draft suffered a knee injury and had to leave the game.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll told reporters Monday that Carpenter re-injured his surgically repaired left knee during the opening series against the Bears and was replaced by the team’s third-round pick in the 2011 draft, John Moffitt, at left guard.

But unlike the weeks before at Miami, Carpenter did not return to the game.

“He actually felt something different in the game,” Carroll said. “He felt a little, sharp pain in the game that didn’t go away. He’s overcome so much, and he’s done such a tremendous job to get to this point, that he’s been busting through it. But something did pop here that bothered him enough that he couldn’t finish the game.”

Carroll did not provide any other specifics on Carpenter’s condition, only saying that the team does not think he suffered a major injury.

“Early indications are that there’s nothing major wrong,” Carroll said. “It’s just that it’s still uncomfortable for him.”

Carroll said he feels OK with Moffitt at left guard for the foreseeable future if Carpenter can’t make it back onto the field. And rookie J.R. Sweezy also will get a chance to compete for playing time at both guard spots.

Sweezy, a seventh-round pick in this year’s draft, started the season opener against Arizona at right guard.

“If Carp has a problem getting back, then we’ll go back to getting Sweezy going, too,” Carroll said. “J.R.’s been banging away at it for some time now. And he’s grown tremendously through the time. So we feel fortunate that he would be available and ready to go, should we need him.”

Carpenter’s injury is another bump in the road for the University of Alabama product. He made an impressive recovery from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery on his knee last December. But he missed games against Minnesota and the New York Jets because he suffered a concussion against Detroit on Oct. 28 that went undetected for a few days.

Carpenter started six games this season at left guard but has never seemed to get into a rhythm.

“He’s shown us enough at this time that we know what he’s capable of doing,” Carroll said. “We’re excited about his future and all. If we can’t get him back right away, we still have gained some. It was a major and miraculous recovery that he made, and he’s to be complimented for that.”

Carroll said that veteran cornerback Marcus Trufant, who missed the Chicago game with a hamstring injury suffered at practice last week, might struggle to make it back on the practice field this week.

“He had a pretty legit hamstring pull,” Carroll said. “And so I don’t know where he’ll be by the end of the week. But I know he’s still in rehab right now and all that kind of stuff. It’s going to be a challenge to get him back for the game. We’ll see what happens.”

The news is better for linebacker Leroy Hill. Carroll said Hill (ankle) should make it back on the field by Thursday.

“He should have a chance to be better,” Carroll said. “He was close.”

Although Carroll would not say if receiver Sidney Rice suffered a concussion on the final play of the game, the Seattle receiver is going through concussion protocol this week. Rice did suffer two concussions last season, which led to the team to put him on the injured reserve list.

“Probably we will determine on Wednesday where he is for Thursday’s practice,” Carroll said.

SHERMAN’S APPEAL SET

ESPN reported Monday that Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman’s appeal of a four-game suspension for alleged use of amphetamines is scheduled for Dec. 14, which means he will be eligible to play in Sunday’s game against Arizona.

According to the report, cornerback Brandon Browner, who received a similar four-game suspension for alleged used of amphetamines, has not had his appeal scheduled.

Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@ thenewstribune.com @eric_d_williams blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks

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