Russell Okung #76 of the Seattle Seahawks looks to make a block during a game against the New England Patriots at CenturyLink Field on October 14, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks beat the Patriots 24-23. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
by Curtis Crabtree
RENTON - The Seattle Seahawks have placed T Russell Okung on injured reserve with a designation to return.
Okung injured the big toe of his left foot blocking San Francisco 49ers DE Justin Smith on the final play of the first quarter last week.
He went to get a second opinion from Dr. Robert Anderson in North Carolina this week. Head coach Pete Carroll said Okung suffered a torn ligament in his toe and the injury is expected to keep him sidelined for six to eight weeks.
"It gives him a chance to come back," Carroll said. "It's a six to eight week injury and we'll hope that that will all work out right for us. He's determined, he's kind of excited about the fact that he has a chance to get back this season as well. So we will just ride it out, see what happens, and take good care of him and hopefully we'll be able to make it."
Under the injured reserve rules, Okung will be ineligible for the next eight weeks of the season. He can return to practice six weeks after being placed on the list. The first game he will be eligible to play in will be against the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 17.
T Paul McQuistan will move out from left guard to replace Okung this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. McQuistan started the first two games of the season at guard. G James Carpenter will start in place of McQuistan at left guard.
Carpenter hasn't played a full game yet this season as he has been rotating with McQuistan at left guard. His conditioning was set back by a foot injury that kept him out for a few weeks during training camp but Carroll says Carpenter is ready to handle the load.
"Heck yeah he can," Carroll said. "He’s ready to go. He’s had a great week as well. I think the process to get him back to full go and conditioning and all of that stuff has worked out great for us."
Brandon Browner, Chris Clemons set for return
The Seahawks will get an added boost for Sunday's game against the Jaguars with CB Brandon Browner and DE Chris Clemons expected to make their season debuts.
Browner has been sidelined with a strained hamstring suffered in practice two weeks ago. Carroll had been hopeful to get Browner back last week but he wasn't able to practice and was ultimately held out. He's been able to practice all week and is ready to play. He is expected to start.
Clemons has been sidelined since tearing his ACL in the Seahawks' playoff victory over the Washington Redskins in January. Clemons has practiced each of the last two weeks and is finally ready to get back on the field.
"We're really, really thrilled for him," Carroll said. "It means the world to Chris of course, as he gets back. He had great preparation, he had a fantastic recovery process, the rehab, everything. So he has a chance to play for us this week and I'm really fired up that he gets to join us. We missed that."
Clemons has led the Seahawks in sacks each of the last three seasons. He recorded 11 sacks in both 2010 and 2011 and had 11.5 sacks last year before going down in the playoffs.
Even without Browner and Clemons the first two games, the Seahawks defense has looked like the league's best. They have allowed just 10 points and only 230 yards a game, both are league bests.
DE Red Bryant says the return of Clemons will be a huge boost for an already imposing unit.
"He's a big part of what we do on defense. He's one of our leaders. We're excited for him to contribute with how hard he's worked to get back," Bryant said. "It's going to be big, man. We really can't put into words how excited we really are that he's back."
CB Dwayne Gratz (ankle) - DNP
QB Blaine Gabbert (right hand) - Limited
TE Marcedes Lewis (calf) - Limited
WR Mike Brown (back) - DNP
CB Alan Ball (groin) - DNP
RB Maurice Jones-Drew (ankle) - Limited
G Uche Nwaneri (knee) - DNP
WR Stephen Burton (hip) - Limited
DT Roy Miller (knee) - Limited
G Will Rackley (knee) - Limited
TE Allen Reisner (toe) - Limited
WR Ace Sanders (ribs) - Limited
LB J.T. Thomas (hamstring) - Limited
T Russell Okung (toe) - DNP
DT Jordan Hill (biceps) - DNP
RB Spencer Ware (ankle) - DNP
S Jeron Johnson (hamstring) - DNP
LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring) - Limiteds
DE Chris Clemons (knee) - Full
T Breno Giacomini (knee) - Full
CB Brandon Browner (hamstring) - Full
G J.R. Sweezy (back) - Full