BY SPNW Staff 02:25PM 12/02/2011

Torn chest muscle ends Okung’s season

Injury came after the whistle ended play during the win over Philadelphia Thursday; Carroll called it a “bad play . . . way out of line.”

Seahawks tackle Russell Okung will miss the rest of the season. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

Victim of a controversial maneuver after a fourth-quarter play was over, left tackle Russell Okung suffered a torn pectoral muscle in Thursday’s win over Philadelphia and becomes the Seahawks‘ third starting offensive lineman lost for the season in the last four weeks.

After receiving results of an MRI exam, the club didn’t describe the extent of the injury, but reported that the tear will require surgery and six months of rehabilitation.

Earlier in the day at a press briefing, coach Pete Carroll foreshadowed the bad news by saying the third-year player had “extensive damage.”

Carroll was clearly irked with the play by Eagles defensive end Trent Cole who, late in the Seahawks’31-14 win over Philadelphia, pulled down Okung’s right arm and hip-tossed him to the ground after the whistle had blown. Okung had let up on the play.

After the game, Okung went after Cole, but was restrained by a teammate. In the locker room, Okung’s immobility was sufficient that his uniform had to be cut off him.

“He got thrown down after the whistle really blatantly,” Carroll said. “It was really late, and really out of line,” Carroll said. “It was a bad play.”

Carroll said he expects the NFL office “will take care of it — they can’t miss it,” meaning a review and probable fine for Trent.

The Seahawks have four games left, but don’t play until the Monday night game Dec. 12. Okung’s absence may require the Seahawks to pursue temporary help because Carroll admitted “we don’t know” who would play left tackle, although guard Paul McQuistan shifted over Thursday night.

The Seahawks  lost to injury two other linemen for the season, tackle James Carpenter and guard John Moffitt, as well as tight end John Carlson. Despite the absences, the Seahawks have rushed for 100 yards in five consecutive games for the first time since 2005.

“It’s what we’ve talked about about since I got here,” Carroll said. “I’m thrilled. I’m thrilled.”

Of the loss of Okung, a No. 1 draft choice, Carroll said, “It’s really unfortunate that we can’t maintain continuity, but — I don’t want to say this crassly — it’s not about the guys you lose, it’s about who’s coming up and who’s stepping in. McQuistan and (Breno) Giacomini (replacements for Carpenter and Moffitt) have done a great job the last couple of weeks on the right side. I think it’s a statement about our depth.

“Russell played a fantastic game Thursday. His game is so much better this year than it was last year at any time. He’s looked great, really.”

Regarding Marshawn Lynch, the running back who smashed the Eagles with 148 rushing yards, Carroll said “talks are ongoing” to give him a contract extension.  Lynch, 25, is a free agent after the season, but has become one of the game’s most reliable rushers. He scored two touchdowns Thursday, making for eight games in a row he has had a TD.


  • Tian Biao

    The timing of the fences announcement is curious; it’s like Ms brass is trying to upstage the As or something. The As win the pennant, the Tigers produce a triple crown winner, and the Mariners? they fuss with the fences. But it is typical Ms: a cheap, phony feel-good move that will do nothing whatsoever to help the team win.

    • art thiel

      It’s going to help a little, players are always the answer.

  • RadioGuy

    I’m still trying to reconcile how artificially altering the dimensions of Safeco Field is going to equate with better (i.e., “winning”) baseball. Is losing a 6-5 games better than losing 2-1 games? How is bringing the fences in going to help Jason Vargas put his pet gopher on a Nutrisystem diet?

    I don’t mind seeing the fences brought in, but the team is only addressing the symptom, not the cause.

  • jafabian

    Since Pat Gillick left the club the M’s have been going after the wrong kind of players to succeed at Safeco Field. I thought Jack Z. had the right idea by saying he believes in Sabermetrics but his work hasn’t translated into that kind of success. Still think as a GM he’s a great scout. Just like Dick Balderson.

    Also, IMO ownership keeps thinking they can duplicate 2001’s success and find another Bret Boone for cheap or get a John Olerund or Aaron Sele to take their offer over other teams. They need to realize those were exceptions and not the norm.

    A lot of the current club should follow Michael Saunders example. He figured out how to use the field to his strengths. The power will come later as pitchers pitch to you more honestly. Still see players swinging for the fences when they have no business doing so. A lot of times just moving the runner over is just as good.

  • Big

    We all know what the problem is the Mariners don’t have a hammer. A good one cost money. Mariner’s get a hammer.

    I love the A’s and how they succeed in the Bay Area with a dump of a ball park, low attendance, and a thin wallet.

    • art thiel

      The A’s have become the anti-M’s.

  • effzee

    I think its funny that some people think this will make them more willing to go sign a bat. Did they increase payroll or get rid of Howie and Chuckles or something? No, moving in the fences is going to provide them with the perfect excuse to NOT sign a big bat for the middle of the lineup. Can’t you just hear it now? “We didn’t feel the need to make any major off-season moves this year because we feel that the changes to the dimensions at Safeco Field are going to help the fans have a more entertaining exper…. Oops… Errr… Was I speaking into a mic again? Really? What I meant, of course, was that we strongly believe the changes to the dimensions at Safeco Field are going to help the players we are committed to reach their full potential. Yeah, that’s the ticket.”