News & Notes: Is Walter Done?

News & Notes: Is Walter Done?

Seattle Seahawks cornerstone offensive tackle Walter Jones may have played his last game for the franchise in 2008. Head coach Jim Mora announced during his press conference on Wednesday that he had a long conversation with his veteran offensive tackle on Monday, and the team decided to give Jones a few days off this week because he has been experiencing pain in his surgically repaired knee again

Jones, a 12-year veteran, had returned to practice two weeks ago after having arthroscopic surgery on his knee in August - his second surgery in nine months - to remove loose bodies and scar tissue left over from microfracture surgery in December. Jones said he experienced no pain in his knee after the surgery, now over a month ago, and the team had been slowly working him into game shape with anticipation of the 35-year-old, nine-time Pro Bowler returning to the roster sooner rather than later.

However, Mora said the pain had returned to Jones' knee. "Frankly, when he gets to that part of the practice he starts to experience some pain that is difficult for him to overcome right now," Mora said. "We know Walt has some medical limitations that we have to try to overcome, but we feel it is in the best interests of Walter to give him a little rest here because he's been working real hard."

Asked if Jones would ever play in games this season, Mora sounded uncertain. "I hope so. I hope so. I don't know," he said. "I mean, I can't tell you that the thought doesn't cross your mind.

"I think we have to give him some time. I think he's earned that. He's had a distinguished career. He's exhibited toughness his entire career. No one can question his commitment to this game. It's really beyond reproach.

"So we just have to be patient and let him work through this and then make the best decision for the team when we feel it's necessary. Right now, we feel the best thing to do is just work, keep pushing, push a little, back off a little, push a little, back off a little ... and listen to Walter. Because nobody knows how he feels except for him. And that's what we're doing."

So is Jones feeling discouraged about the latest development? "He was only discouraged in the fact that Walter wants to help this team," Mora said. "But in terms of being discouraged about how he felt physically? Maybe a little, but not where he was in the tank.

"(It was) more concerned like, 'I want to get right because I want to be on the field with my teammates helping them win.' That was the attitude he had."

SERIES HISTORY: 10th regular-season meeting. The Colts lead the series 5-4, although the Seahawks have won three of their last four against Indianapolis.

NOTES, QUOTES

--Apparently, cornerback Josh Wilson is a quick healer. Wilson suffered a high ankle sprain and was expected to be out at least a month. However, Wilson returned to practice as a limited participant on Wednesday, and could be ready to play on Sunday in Indianapolis. The Seahawks certainly could use Wilson, who had been starting at cornerback with Marcus Trufant, against the Colts' high-powered offense. "Every day you go out there and see what you can do, and every day it's gotten better," Wilson said about his ankle.

--With Walter Jones uncertain when or if he will return this season, and Sean Locklear still nursing a high ankle sprain, Brandon Frye is the team's starting left tackle. You know Frye don't you? The same guy the team picked up off the waiver wire three weeks ago when the Miami Dolphins cut him to trim down to the 53-man limit. Frye has been a pleasant surprise as a fill-in at left tackle, even playing through a strained groin against Chicago last week.

"We pretty much didn't have anybody else to go to," said Frye, who sat out Wednesday's practice to rest his injured groin. "It's not a situation where I can say, 'How bad is it? Should I sit out or should I not?' It's more a thing like, 'Let's try to get this win,' you know?"

--Mora said quarterback Matt Hasselbeck probably will not play against Indianapolis, which means backup Seneca Wallace will get his second start of the season.
Mora said Hasselbeck feels better and is making progress, but there is one small problem - it hurts when he takes a deep breath. "The holdup quite simply with Matt is that he can't run yet," Mora said. "When he takes deep breaths, there is pain. When you're a quarterback you have to run a little bit and when you're in a game you have to take deep breaths, so that's the holdup there. As soon as he moves through that, we'll start moving working him back in there."

BY THE NUMBERS: 21 -- The Colts rank 21st in the league in run defense, giving up an average of 125.7 yards a contest.

95.1 -- Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning's career passer rating, second all-time in the league behind Steve Young (96.8).

82.2 -- Seahawks' backup quarterback Seneca Wallace's career passer rating.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "What do we do? We go play our tails off and we try to make plays on the football. We try to stop the run so we can try to harass the quarterback. It's a formidable challenge, but we'll be ready for it." -- Seahawks head coach Jim Mora when asked what his team will do to stop Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

The Seahawks still are hamstrung in terms of making a move with the active roster because none of their injured players is on the season-ending, injured reserve list.
However, the team did make some moves to the practice squad roster. They released running back Devin Moore, wide receiver Logan Payne and linebacker Thomas Williams. They added running back Louis Rankin after Oakland waived him from the team's active roster and brought back offensive linemen Brian De La Puente and Na'Shan Goddard. .

PLAYER PERSONNEL NOTES

--C Chris Spencer played well in his first game back after suffering a quad injury during the second preseason game against Denver, according to coach Jim Mora. Spencer's stamina was a little down on Sunday, but Mora thinks he'll make a big step this week.

--CB Ken Lucas was limited in practice on Wednesday, but Mora said his groin is actually better than it was last week. Lucas is expected to play on Sunday.

--LB Lofa Tatupu was a full participant in practice this week after missing last week's game with an injured hamstring. Tatupu is expected to play on Sunday.

--FB Justin Griffith missed last week with an MCL sprain and did not practice on Wednesday. Backup Owen Schmitt did a decent job in place of Griffith.

--OL Rob Sims missed practice on Wednesday with a strained oblique muscle, but may play on Sunday depending on his ability to practice the rest of the week.

GAME PLAN: The Seahawks will try and use an improved running game to grind out the ball offensively and play keep away with the Colts' explosive offense. On defense, Seattle will show Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning several looks to keep him guessing, but ultimately will have to rely on the front four to get pressure on the quarterback in order to protect an injured secondary.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Colts defensive line vs. Seahawks OT Brandon Frye. It's uncertain who will line up opposite of Frye, with Indianapolis defensive end Dwight Freeney expected to miss the game with a injured quad. But you can be sure the Colts will put someone in front of the 26-year-old left tackle to try and put pressure on Seattle's quarterback.
Colts WR Reggie Wayne vs. Seahawks CB Ken Lucas. With a strained groin, Lucas is not running as good as he usually does, but he's the team's most physical defender on the outside, and had the bulk to bump Wayne off the line. Seattle will likely provide some type of help over the top against Wayne.

INJURY IMPACT: With projected starters Walter Jones, Sean Locklear and Rob Sims all injured, Seattle once again will start a makeshift offensive line and hope for the best in protecting backup quarterback Seneca Wallace.

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