Okung’s out, offense on alert

Pro Bowl left tackle’s toe injury forces shuffling on the offensive line; defense likely to get Clemons back

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.comSeptember 19, 2013 

Paul McQuistan (67), trying to keep Minnesota’s Jared Allen away from Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson last season, will start at left tackle for the Seahawks after Russell Okung suffered a toe injury Sunday night against San Francisco.

ELAINE THOMPSON/AP FILE, 2012

RENTON — Driven off the field with his left foot naked, save for a looping ankle wrap, Russell Okung didn’t look happy last Sunday.

The news isn’t getting better.

Okung was officially ruled out of the Seattle Seahawks’ game Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) because of a toe injury.

Okung, voted a Pro Bowl starter after last season, is seeking a second opinion on the injury. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll did not commit to the severity of Okung’s injury or even his whereabouts.

“Let me tell you this, he’s in the country,” Carroll said.

Carroll said the Seahawks are working quickly for an answer on Okung, and he does not want to speculate on a time line until the team has more information.

“Let’s wait until everybody zeros in and the doctors are all figured out on the right thing to do,” Carroll said. “(Okung) had to travel to get his next opinion. So we will just wait.”

Multipositional Paul McQuistan, who can play tackle and guard, will start at left tackle

in Okung’s place. He lined up against San Francisco 49ers menace Aldon Smith last Sunday after Okung was hurt. James Carpenter will be next to him at guard.

McQuistan is comfortable moving into the mix at left tackle. He was the swing guy last weekend if a tackle went down, so he was already mentally prepared for the position. He gets a full week of practice reps this time.

During his time at guard, McQuistan got to know Okung’s tendencies. He and Carpenter will spend the week trying to find synchronicity.

Two rookies, tackles Alvin Bailey and Michael Bowie, are moving along, too.

“I think Bowie is definitely ready to play,” offensive line coach Tom Cable said. “I think Alvin is right there, so we’ll try to see if we can press him over the hump here this week.”

There is also a question about guard J.R. Sweezy’s availability. He did not practice Wednesday because of a back problem. Neither did linebacker Malcolm Smith, who has a hamstring injury.

Okung being out dings the offensive side of things, but the defense gets another boost.

The league’s No. 1 defense added Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett last week. This week, it appears defensive end Chris Clemons will join the mix.

Clemons was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice. Clemons tore his ACL in last season’s wild-card game against the Washington Redskins. His 11.5 sacks led the team in 2012.

“He looked great, and I’d expect that he’s going to have a really good week this week, too, and then we would have a decision to go ahead and play him,” Carroll said. “The tough part would be to hold him out at this point. I think that he will be that close to ready.”

The return of cornerback Brandon Browner is less sure. He was limited in practice Wednesday because of his hamstring injury. Carroll said the team is being cautious with Browner because this is his first hamstring injury and they want to be sure of what he’s feeling.

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @Todd_Dybas

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