Not exactly the news that Seahawks fans were hoping for: the Hawks will start their 2011 season without a couple of their most exciting pickups in the offseason, left guard Robert Gallery and wide receiver Sidney Rice. Both players are nursing injuries that will likely force them to miss the game on Sunday but neither injury is considered serious.
Gallery has a banged up knee that he's not quite ready to return from yet, and Sidney Rice has a shoulder injury he sustained in practice. Rice has been practicing a little bit but Pete Carroll mentioned that they don't want to rush him back and exacerbate the problem. Said Carroll, "He ran around today and caught balls and all that stuff, but we need to protect him."
If Rice can't go, and it's not looking like he'll be able to, WR Ben Obomanu will start in his place.
With Gallery likely out, the Hawks line figures to look like this: LT Russell Okung, LG James Carpenter, C Max Unger, RG John Moffitt, and RT Breno Giacomini. A left tackle coming off an injury, a left guard making his first NFL start at a spot that he has never played before, a center making his first start in a year, a right guard making his first NFL start, and a right tackle making his first NFL start. Yeesh. At least the 49ers don't have a good pass rush. Oh wait...
Anyway, on the other side of the ball, Carroll noted that both defensive end Chris Clemons and middle linebacker David Hawthorne are expected to play on Sunday, which comes as a big relief to Seahawks fans. Clemons tweaked his ankle in walk-through on Thursday but it looks like it was only a minor thing. David Hawthorne has been limited in practice all week but will apparently give it a go against the 49ers. Pete Carroll wouldn't commit on whether or not Hawthorne would start so rookie KJ Wright figures to start and get a lot of snaps if Hawthorne can't get up to speed in time.
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