Max Unger’s concussion is another hit to Seahawks’ offensive line
Unger, a Pro Bowl center, left Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers with a concussion and his status for next Sunday’s game is unknown.
Seattle Times staff reporters
The offensive line, already Seattle’s most volatile unit, took another blow Sunday against Tampa Bay.
Pro Bowl center Max Unger left the game with a concussion. His status for next week’s game at Atlanta is unknown.
The Seahawks are already without offensive tackles Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini, who are still a couple weeks from returning. Okung, though, returned to practice Friday and Giacomini is scheduled to return this week. Both worked out with offensive line coach Tom Cable on the field before the game.
In addition to losing Unger, the Seahawks shuffled the line around by making an in-game change. Seattle took out guard James Carpenter and slid over Paul McQuistan from tackle to fill the guard position. The Seahawks then inserted undrafted rookie Alvin Bailey at tackle, although that only lasted temporarily.
Quarterback Russell Wilson once again took some big hits and came up slowly a couple times — he insisted he was fine after the game — but the Seahawks also rushed for 198 yards and averaged 5.7 yards per carry.
Carroll said the offensive line did some “really good work” in the run game.
Defensive line struggles
One of the biggest concerns to emerge this game also was a concern the previous week against St. Louis: Seattle struggled to stop the run.
The Seahawks gave up 200 yards rushing to the Rams last week and gave up 205 to Tampa Bay. Carroll cited tackling as the biggest issue right now. He said the Seahawks are trying too hard to force turnovers.
That has led to long drives. The Rams had at least eight plays on their final three drives, and Tampa Bay had three drives of at least 10 plays.
• Tampa Bay’s first touchdown drive was aided greatly by a penalty that the Seahawks protested loudly — a pass interference call on safety Earl Thomas.
Thomas jousted with Tampa Bay receiver Skye Dawson down the sideline, and appeared at first to have picked off the pass at the 22. Instead, he was called for interference, giving Tampa Bay the ball at that spot, leading to a touchdown three plays later.
“I really disagreed with that call,” Carroll said. “A guy running for a ball, with a guy up the sidelines, he’s going to turn back and play the football and he has as much right as the other guy.
“They said he had his hand on him or something, but Earl played the play perfectly. ... that should have been a great play for us; that’s the way I saw it but they didn’t see it that way.”
• Bruce Irvin had a stinger in his shoulder, Carroll said, but he returned to the field. Michael Bowie had a knee injury that forced him to go to the locker room before halftime, but he also returned.