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Injuries bombard Seahawks in untimely waves

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

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Posted Dec. 17, 2010 @ 9:38 a.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

The injury bug has bombarded every team in the league to varying degrees this season.

But few teams have been victimized like the Seahawks, with different areas getting thoroughly decimated at different points in the season.

"I don't think you could cite injuries as the main reason the team has been so up and down this year, but it certainly is a big reason," one daily team observer said. "The lack of consistency on both lines because of those injuries has been a particular concern."

At the beginning of the season, it was the offensive line that was dealt the biggest blow. The biggest buzz on that front was the first of two high ankle sprains suffered by first-round OLT Russell Okung midway through the preseason, which forced him to miss the first three regular-season games. But the season-ending injuries that took out starting ORG Max Unger in Week One and top reserve OT Ray Willis before the season began were equally painful losses.

Okung finally got back into the starting lineup, but he missed three more games with his second high ankle sprain, beginning with the Week Eight game at Oakland.

In that same game, the defensive line, which already had been forced to play the previous two games without starting DLT Brandon Mebane, lost both starting DRE Red Bryant (for the rest of the season) and starting DRT Colin Cole (for the next five games).

The latest position to be significantly weakened by injuries is wide receiver. In addition to Deon Butler, the team's second-leading receiver, going down for the count with a gruesome leg injury similar to the one that ended Leon Washington's 2009 season with the Jets, both Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu are dealing with lingering ankle and hand injuries, respectively.

"The two costliest injuries have been to Williams, who has become such a key to the offense, and Bryant, who was excelling at a new position and had become a real team leader," the observer said.

"It's interesting that neither of those guys were initially counted on to do much at all, with Williams having not played for two years, and Bryant being on the inactive list much of the time heading into the season. But the team has really missed both of them."

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