Germain Ifedi did not practice three days before the Seahawks’ opener against Miami.
And Seattle’s rookie starting right guard and first-round draft pick likely won’t practice for multiple weeks, either.
The league’s media outlet NFL Network first reported Thursday morning what became apparent throughout the day: Ifedi won’t play in Seattle’s opening game Sunday at home against Miami. He is likely to miss multiple games into late September with a high-ankle sprain he got in practice on Wednesday.
This brings the Seahawks to J’Marcus Webb — brings them back to Webb, in fact.
Last season’s Oakland Raiders right guard and right tackle is so excited at the prospect of playing guard again he’s been posting on social media about it.
Before he went to sleep Wednesday.
Then on Twitter again when he awoke Thursday.
The Seahawks pride themselves on acquiring and developing athletic linemen who can play multiple positions. No matter whom they decide to move into Ifedi’s spot, that approach will get a first 2016 test Sunday against the Dolphins’ Ndamukong Suh and Miami’s stacked defensive line.
“They’re loaded. They’ve got terrific personnel,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “It’s going to be a great challenge for us.”
Even more of one now.
Ifedi had been the starter at right guard since his first rookie minicamp in May. That was one week after Seattle made him the 31st overall pick out of Texas A&M.
Webb has been a right tackle since signing with the Seahawks from Oakland as a free agent in March. He was starting at tackle at the beginning of training camp, then he sprained his right knee and missed about half of August. When he returned, Webb was backing up starting right tackle Garry Gilliam, who played all last season there for the Seahawks.
That was going to be the arrangement up front against the Dolphins until Ifedi got hurt. His injury further jumbles an already in-flux, scrutinized line that has new starters at four of its five spots.
Webb said playing guard — he made it sound more of a certainty than a possibility — inside next to debuting center Justin Britt is a hoot. Of course, the possibility of playing any position in your first game with a new team would be fun — compared, that is, to being on the bench.
“Oh, hell yeah!” Webb said. “I get to play next to Justin and Garry. It’s going to be a great week.”
The seventh-year veteran started the first 13 games last year at right guard for Oakland. His last start there was Dec. 13 for the Raiders’ upset win at eventual Super Bowl-champion Denver.
Webb started the final three games of Oakland’s 2015 season at right tackle. He made one start in 2013 at right tackle, 32 starts at left tackle for Chicago in 2011 and ’12 and a dozen starts for the Bears at right tackle in 2010 as a rookie.
“Things happen a lot faster (at guard),” he said, “and you’ve just got to be in tune with using your hands and your feet — and being aggressive.”
Webb got a two-year contract in March worth $2.45 million guaranteed from Seattle. It’s the richest deal on the lowest-paid offensive line in the NFL.
This week, the Seahawks may end up getting a previously unexpected chance to see how wise that investment in Webb was and is.
With Ifedi out, Webb thinks his versatility will prove to be an unexpected plus.
“I think so,” he said. “I just get to continue to come out here and work hard and be the best me.”