Sunday, October 18, 2009

Seahawks Injuries

Seattle Seahawks Coach Jim Mora spoke to reporters last week, and the topic right off the top was injuries.  Just as it has been through most of the last two seasons.  Mora began his press conference with a nearly five minute long monologue outlining the injuries and likeliness of each player to be available for today’s game with the Cardinals.  It was a mildly humorous opening for a press conference, but for Seahawks fans, players, coaches and management, it is bitter humor.  The injury situation had become so bad that Mora called it the worst he’s seen in his twenty-six years in football.  At times in recent weeks Mora has had eight, nine, even ten starters injured and possibly unable to play.  He’s commented more than once that the Seahawks might not be able to field 45 players due to injuries. 

All of this follows on a situation last year which saw entire positions on the depth chart virtually wiped out.  In 2008 Matt Hasselbeck was forced to throw to a group of receivers, not a one of whom had been on the roster in training camp.  Injuries hit many other positions as well, and most of us probably thought that we were seeing the sort of once-in-a-blue-moon kind of event, one we wouldn’t expect to have to face again for many years of Seahawks play.  And then this season began, and almost immediately it felt familiar and unwelcome.  This year, instead of a receiver corps (though nearly all of the receivers have had some injury that has kept them out of practice or a game to this point in the season), the entire left side of the offensive line has been wracked.  Not only has perpetual Pro-Bowler Walter Jones been injured, but for this week’s game the left guard and tackle protecting Hasselbeck’s broken ribs on the blind side included a player signed two weeks ago and another brought in off the Seahawk practice squad.  In today’s loss to the Cardinals, the Hawks lost the defensive quarterback, All-Pro Lofa Tatupu.  The defense’s signal caller will not be able to return in a couple of weeks to play through the pain, as Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has done.  Tatupu is lost for the season.  Below is a list of players who have missed time this season (off the top of my head, so I am betting there are even more football quarters lost to injury than those listed here):

1. Lofa Tatupu

2. Matt Hasselbeck

3. Leon Hill

4. Sean Locklear

5. Walter Jones

6. Chris Spenser

7. Marcus Trufant

8. Deon Branch

9. Brandon Mebane

10. Ken Lucas

11. Kelly Jennings

12. Rob Sims

13. Mansfield Wrotto

14. C.J. Wallace

15. Josh Wilson

16. Patrick Kearney

17. Brandon Frye

18. Jordan Babineaux

19. T.J. Houshmandzadeh

20. Derek Walker

It is a tough task to turn a team around from a season like last year.  How much more difficult is it when trying to make the turnaround with half the starting players missing from week to week?  It is amazing to hear an NFL coach muse about the possibility of not being able to find 45 healthy players for a game.  I suppose I’d have to say that a 2-4 record is disappointing, but I am not sure how disappointing it is.  In some ways I have a feeling that Mora is doing a pretty fine job at ad-libbing through a nearly crippling set of injuries.  The real question that keeps coming to my mind is why does Mora find himself having to manage through another year of catastrophic injuries?  Why are the ‘Hawks getting hurt so much, and so often?  Why is the moon blue yet again? 

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Sunshine on Discovery Bay

Sunshine on Discovery Bay
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