Sports

Seahawks have new injury issues along offensive, defensive lines. Bad week for those

Bad week for the Seahawks to have more injury issues on their starting offensive line.

Especially at their thinnest, anchor position.

Center Joey Hunt did not practice Thursday, the first full on-field preparation day for Monday night’s NFC West showdown at undefeated San Francisco. He has a newly listed hip injury that sent him into the training room as he teammates began practicing.

Hunt is two weeks into starting because first-team center Justin Britt is on injured reserve. Britt tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in the win at Atlanta Oct. 27. He had season-ending reconstructive surgery this week in Florida.

The 49ers have the league’s top overall defense with a swarming defensive front featuring attackers Nick Bosa, DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead. Fully equipped offensive lines have had difficulty blocking those guys. A team with two hurting anchors at center figures to have particular issues against San Francisco.

But Hunt has practices Friday and Saturday and a prep day Sunday to get better for Monday night’s game.

The Seahawks’ needy pass rush was without its top sack man in practice Thursday. Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney missed drills with a new listing of “toe/knee.”

Clowney has played in every one of Seattle’s new games in his debut season with the team. The Seahawks acquired him in a trade from Houston Sept. 1. The three-time Pro Bowl end has just two sacks in nine games of this, a contract year for him.

Seattle has just 15 sacks this season, 25th in the 32-team NFL. Defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. was asked following Thursday’s practice what he’s seeing from his pass rush.

“About the same thing you are seeing,” Norton said.

“It’s an area we need to improve.”

Norton says the defense is working on it constantly.

The Seahawks’ other high-profile addition to its pass rush for this season was Ziggy Ansah. The 30-year-old end has just one sack in six games. He’s been inactive for the other three. Last month he sprained his ankle. He strained his groin in August. That was when he was finally getting back from missing all the offseason and preseason because of shoulder surgery in December that ended his time with the Detroit Lions.

“He is still battling. He is still battling, physically,” coach Pete Carroll said.

He said Ansah’s injuries and rehabilitation missing football and strength work all offseason has him down to about 258 pounds, from his listed 275. The coach said the 6-foot-5 Ansah’s most effective playing weight is around 270 pounds.

“It’s still a developmental campaign to get him back to full go,” performance-wise, Carroll said.

As for center if Hunt can’t play in four days, Carroll said last week Jordan Roos is the new backup cent

er with Hunt’s ascension to the starting lineup. Roos is a backup guard the team waived Oct. 23 then brought back onto the practice squad after he had cleared waivers. The team signed Roos back onto the active roster Oct. 29, the day Britt went on IR.

Roos has never started an NFL game at guard, let alone played in one at center.

As he has in mid-week practices recently, Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown sat out with his biceps and knee injuries he’s had.

Gregg Bell is the Seahawks and NFL writer for The News Tribune. In January 2019 he was named the Washington state sportswriter of the year by the National Sports Media Association. He started covering the NFL in 2002 as the Oakland Raiders beat writer for The Sacramento Bee. The Ohio native began covering the Seahawks in their first Super Bowl season of 2005. In a prior life he graduated from West Point and served as a tactical intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, so he may ask you to drop and give him 10.
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