Walter Jones will miss the final three games
Seahawks left tackle Walter Jones is out for the rest of the season after having delicate knee surgery Thursday.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Seahawks @ St. Louis, 10 a.m. Ch. 13
RENTON — Walter Jones is approaching 35 years old and, until last week, hadn't missed a game due to injury in more than 11 years.
Now he'll miss the Seahawks' last three of the season, having undergone microfracture knee surgery Thursday.
The eight-time Pro Bowler isn't expected to be ready to do football drills until training camp 2009.
"They just did not feel that there's any way that he's going to get any better," Holmgren said after Friday's practice, referring to team doctors' diagnosis of Jones. "He could not do what he needed to do to play."
Jones played the entire Dallas game on Thanksgiving, in which he gave up two sacks but played hurt. It's not known when exactly he got injured. Holmgren had hoped that Jones would need 10 to 12 weeks of recovery and rehabilitation, but that period was extended because microfracture surgery typically takes at least four to six months from which to come back, and in many cases longer.
"Bless his heart," Holmgren said. "I've had the privilege of coaching one of the great linemen of all time in Walter Jones. He always gave the team and me everything he had, so I appreciate that."
Jones turns 35 next month and has been in the NFL for 12 seasons.
Holmgren said the way he understands, the operation was not done on a weight-bearing surface inside Jones' knee. So he expects Jones to not miss more time.
"It really is going to be fine, I think," Holmgren said.
Jones has yet to be placed on injured reserve, which would officially end his season. Assuming he is designated at some point, Jones would become the fourth starter on the Seahawks' offensive line to be lost for the season due to injury, joining right guard Rob Sims, center Chris Spencer and left guard Mike Wahle.
Sean Locklear, who missed the first two games of the season but started nine at right tackle before moving to the left side in place of Jones last week, will continue at left tackle.
"Sean, this is kind of his audition, I suppose," Holmgren said. "He's got three games, four games now [counting last week], to play there."
Wallace playing with confidence
Seneca Wallace will start at quarterback Sunday at St. Louis, and after playing arguably his best all-around game in his career last week, his confidence is high.
"It's about how you go about it and take advantage of the opportunity to go out there and play," Wallace said.
Wallace will step in for the injured Matt Hasselbeck, whose ailing back kept him from practicing this week. Hasselbeck will dress for the game and serve as the third quarterback, as he did last week against New England.
Wallace faces the NFL's 29th-ranked defense and expects the Rams to change some defensive calls to try to confuse him, but doesn't think the crowd at the Edward Jones Dome will be a factor.
"It's all about playing with confidence and having fun, and the players around you making a lot of plays, and the offensive line ... you know, it's a team effort," Wallace said.
Holmgren said he hopes to see Wallace keep playing well. One major difference for Wallace was that he wasn't dealing with any calf or groin problems that affected him in his starts earlier this season.
"Last week he was the player I believe he is," Holmgren said. "I say that with no reservations."
• Holmgren said he thinks Hasselbeck will play again before the season ends.
José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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