RENTON, Wash. – A big toe turned out to be a big problem for the Seahawks.
Right guard Max Unger, who injured his toe in Sunday’s season opener, was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, meaning the second-year player will be out for the rest of the year.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday that Unger injured it early in the win over San Francisco, but was able to tough it out and finish the game. Unger was wearing a walking boot on his left foot Monday, and whatever the injury is, it will keep him sidelined long enough that the team decided to place him on IR.
Unger, a second-round pick out of the University of Oregon, was one of just two linemen to start all 16 games last season – the other was tackle Ray Willis, who is also on injured reserve – playing the first 13 games at right guard before moving to center for the final three.
Now the Seahawks, who are already without left tackle Russell Okung, as well as his backup, Willis, will have to replace another starting lineman. One person who could compete for the job this week is Mansfield Wrotto, who the team re-signed Tuesday. Wrotto has started five games over the past two seasons at guard, but played left tackle in Okung’s absence, starting two preseason games. He was released on Sept. 5, but is back now and should figure into the mix at guard.
Carroll said Monday the team doesn’t yet know who will start at right guard this week.
“We’re going to wait and check that out,” he said. “We’ve got to do some switching and changing here to move some stuff around so we’ll figure that out in the next day or so.”
The Seahawks could also use one of their two left guards, Mike Gibson or Ben Hamilton, in Unger’s place. Another possibility could be to move either Stacy Andrews or Sean Locklear from right tackle to right guard.
The Seahawks also added linebacker Leroy Hill to the roster Tuesday, releasing cornerback Kennard Cox to make room. Hill was suspended for the season opener for a 2009 marijuana charge, which he pled guilty to in April, receiving 12 months of probation.
There was a possibility that the NFL could have added a longer suspension for a domestic violence arrest, which occurred less than two weeks after he entered the guilty plea. Hill avoided trial in the domestic violence case, and if he stays out of trouble and meets court-ordered stipulations over the next 18 months, the charge will be dismissed, but the league has shown in the past that it will suspend players without a conviction. Hill was reinstated by the league Tuesday, however, and Carroll said the outside linebacker will play against Denver on Sunday, though he won’t start.
A change was also made to the practice squad. Cornerback Cord Parks, who spent training camp with the Seahawks, was added to the practice squad, replacing cornerback Ross Weaver, who was released.
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