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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

September 9, 2009 at 10:38 AM

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Justin Griffith to start; Walter Jones and Chris Spencer out

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Justin Griffith is the starting fullback, and Walter Jones and Chris Spencer are out. Coach Jim Mora said there's no one else who has been ruled out.

"There is a chance that both of those guys could be ready to come back next week," Mora said of Jones and Spencer. "So we'll just see where we are next week."

Will Jones practice this week? "The best thing for Walt is still rehab, some running on the side," Mora said.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh is expected to practice and Deion Branch's repetitions will be limited in practice Wednesday.

Mora also addressed the change Seattle made in secondary personnel, releasing Brian Russell and signing Lawyer Milloy.

"We just felt as an organization -- and it was a consensus -- that Jordan Babineaux was a guy that we wanted to have on the field on an every-down basis. Because we believe that he can make plays on the football. And I think we all recognize the fact that we need to have more plays made by our safeties. That is a position we haven't had a lot of play-making production out of. They've made tackles and they've made the plays they're supposed to, but we feel like Babs gives us a chance to maybe make some special plays."

Mora said the team opted to release Russell rather than ask him to take a pay-cut and accept a reserve role.

"I don't know that that works with veterans," Mora said. "That's certainly not a knock against Brian because he is a team player, but my experience tells me that it's usually better to let that guy move on and go somewhere else."

As for the addition of Milloy: "He adds toughness to this football team. He's a great competitor. I have a background with him. He's got Super Bowl rings, he's been to Pro Bowls and he's the backup. He understands that. When I spoke to him before we decided to bring him in, I asked a number of questions and a couple of them were, 'Can you accept the role of a backup?' And his answer was, 'Yes, I can. I'll do whatever I can.'

"Are you willing to play special teams because a back-up safety has to play safety teams? 'Absolutely. I'll do whatever it takes. I'll do my best.' "

  • Mora said that of the three rookie defensive linemen -- Michael Bennett, Nick Reed and Derek Walker -- it's likely only one will be on the 45-man active roster this week.

    Marcus Trufant is on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, which means he won't be eligible to play until at least Nov. 1 against the Cowboys. Are the Seahawks sure he'll be ready then.

    "I can't say that because I'd be lying to you," Mora said. "Just the way this thing has played out, initially it seemed to be very minor and it wasn't. So I don't want to put a time limit on it."

    Mora said he's been told Trufant's injury is similar in nature to the back injury quarterback Matt Hasselbeck suffered last year.

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