Seahawks Lose Tatupu -- Is Season Next?


Posted Oct 19, 2009


The Seattle Seahawks get a much-needed bye this week after a 27-3 manhandling by NFC West division rival Arizona at Qwest Field.

Heading into the season, Seahawks head coach Jim Mora believed that his first year in Seattle would be more of a retooling instead of a rebuilding effort. Mora, who had spent two years in Seattle as the team's secondary coach under Mike Holmgren, said the Seahawks had enough talent on the roster to win now. However, at 2-4 and in third place in the NFC West, exactly the same place the Seahawks finished last season at 4-12, Mora might be changing his tune.

In particular, the schedule doesn't get any easier for Seattle, with the team facing four of five games on the road in November, including games at Dallas, Arizona, Minnesota and St. Louis. "We're going to not focus on the playoffs right now," Mora said. "We're going to focus on getting better and more consistent as a football team. That's our No. 1 goal, which is how we can get better every day we go to work."

Injuries and inconsistent play on both sides of the ball have led to Seattle's bad record at the break. The Seahawks played without five starters Sunday, including offensive tackles Sean Locklear and Walter Jones, offensive guard Rob Sims, linebacker Leroy Hill and cornerback Marcus Trufant.

Mora hopes to get a couple of those players back after the bye week for the team's Nov. 1 game at Dallas. However, the Seahawks lost one of their best players against Arizona, when linebacker Lofa Tatupu suffered a torn pectoral muscle at the end of the first half. Mora said Tatupu will have surgery to repair the injury this week, and will miss the rest of the season.

The 26-year-old linebacker suffered a hamstring injury earlier this season that forced him to miss the Chicago game. Heading into this season, Tatupu had missed only one game in his five-year NFL career. He played most of 2008 with a cast on a broken right thumb that required surgery in the offseason. Backup linebacker David Hawthorne played impressively in Tatupu's absence, finishing with 16 tackles and an interception against the Bears.

Tatupu had led the team in tackles for four consecutive years, the first player in Seahawks history to accomplish that feat. With the defensive captain down, it will be up to the team's other defensive captain, safety Deon Grant, to take over some of the leadership responsibilities.

"We'll be all right," Grant said. "But we're going to miss Lofa big time because he's more than just a leader on this defense. He brings a lot of passion and everything. But Hawthorne has to step up, and I have to step up my role as a leader."

TRENDING: Seattle gained a franchise-worst 14 yards on the ground, eclipsing the previous mark of 20 yards set against New England on Dec. 4, 1988. The Seahawks now have the 27th-ranked rushing offense in the league.

LINEUP WATCH: Patrick Kerney re-aggravated a groin strain against Arizona on Sunday. Darryl Tapp and Nick Reed played right defensive end with Kerney out. Before the injury, Kerney totaled two sacks in the first half against Arizona, the Seahawks only sacks of the game.

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

-- CB Kelly Jennings suffered injuries to his hip and ribs in the second half and did not play the rest of the way. He will be further evaluated Monday.
-- RB Edgerrin James finished with just 3 yards on three carries, and remains 15 yards away from passing Marcus Allen into the top 10 all-time rushing list.
-- QB Matt Hasselbeck, who came into the game nursing cracked ribs, was sacked five times by Arizona's aggressive defensive front, but made it through the game OK.
-- P Seattle punter Jon Ryan is now 2-2 in fake-punt passes. The Cardinals may not have scouted Ryan's last pass, back when he was with the Green Bay Packers. Sunday, he accounted for the best offensive play for the Seahawks of the day, connecting with tight end John Carlson for a 42-yard pass.


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