Injuries thin the ranks today
The Seahawks go into today's annual intrasquad scrimmage expecting to be without the services of 14 injured or sore players, including Pro Bowlers Lofa Tatupu and Patrick Kerney. The scrimmage is at Qwest Field.
Seattle Times staff reporter
11 a.m. at Qwest Field
KIRKLAND — The solitude of two-a-days at team headquarters in front of a handful of guests and members of the media gives way to today's scrimmage before thousands at Qwest Field.
But the Seahawks have a list of injured and sore players that is 14 deep, and most of those won't see action.
Middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu and defensive end Patrick Kerney, a pair of Pro Bowlers, were held out of the team portion of practice Friday. Tatupu is healthy but was held out to keep him rested and might not play today; D.D. Lewis would be his replacement.
Kerney is working his way back from a calf injury.
Two additions to the walking wounded Friday were defensive end Chris Cooper with a leg injury and defensive tackle Larry Tripplett with a knee problem. Both will miss the scrimmage and are expected back next week. And rookie defensive tackle Red Bryant, the team's fourth-round draft pick, had knee surgery Friday and will be out four to five weeks.
Among the starters, center Chris Spencer has a back problem that will keep him out until at least Monday, and wide receiver Deion Branch won't be back from surgery rehabilitation until at least the first week of the regular season.
Other big names missing: wide receiver Courtney Taylor has a hamstring injury that is improving. Backup center Chris Gray went home to Alabama for the weekend to rest a sore back and could be cleared to practice Monday. Tight end Jeb Putzier missed a third day of practice Friday with a sore hip. Punter Ryan Plackemeier's torn pectoral muscle will keep him out today, and defensive tackle Marcus Tubbs will be back to practice next week at the earliest as he comes back from knee surgery.
Plackemeier and Tubbs are on the physically unable-to-perform list and cannot practice until they pass physicals. Plackemeier might start kicking next week.
Reserve linebackers Wesly Mallard and Will Herring didn't practice Friday and aren't expected to play today.
While coach Mike Holmgren won't be able to see those players in action, he will be taking a long look at a handful of players in competition for roster spots.
"I think in fairness, you have to let those guys show," Holmgren said. "And the scrimmage is actually the best place ... it's like a game, and we see how they've processed what we've done so far without help. And so when we decide who's going to play and how many snaps and all that kind of stuff, it's never quite fair, but we try to pinpoint certain areas, certain players, that we need to have more information on."
The players are ready for something new. Practice has gone uninterrupted for eight days, and following the scrimmage there is the start of the four-game exhibition schedule. The week ahead will be short, with the team headed to Minnesota next Thursday for a Friday night game against the Vikings.
"It's a business trip," defensive end Lawrence Jackson, Seattle's first-round pick this year, said of the scrimmage. "I can't take my eyes off the prize. I know that I have to keep improving my technique and getting better at the little things."
Veteran cornerback Marcus Trufant called the scrimmage "real, live bullets," as in, full-contact hitting and tackling.
Today also marks running back Julius Jones' first appearance before Seahawks fans.
"I can't wait," Jones said. "I love playing over there [at Qwest]. It's a live situation, full tackling. It'll be good to really get into it."
• Today's scrimmage starts at 11 a.m. Tickets are available at the stadium, $12 for adults, $5 for ages 6 to 17 and free for children 5 and under. Seating is open.
• Jackson reunited with a former coach from the Los Angeles area's Inglewood High School, James Durk, after Friday morning's practice. Durk and his wife stopped by practice on their way to a vacation cruise.
José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or email@example.com
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