Injuries aren’t an excuse for Seahawks’ offensive-line issues


RENTON — There is, of course, one obvious reason for Seattle’s offensive line issues the past few weeks — the absence due to injury of starting tackles Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini.

Offensive line coach Tom Cable, though, said Thursday that’s not enough to explain what happened Monday night, when the Seahawks gave up seven sacks and managed just 135 yards in a 14-9 win over the St. Louis Rams.

“We have to execute better,” he said. “No excuses. We just got our tails kicked, and we’ll learn from it and we’ll be better this week. At the end of the day, we have to play better.”

Cable said that same unflinching message has been passed along in team meetings this week as Seattle prepares for Sunday’s 1:05 p.m. game at CenturyLink Field against Tampa Bay.

“You have to be real to it,” he said. “We have a saying about telling the truth. So don’t shy away from it. We got our tails kicked. So own it and learn from it and be better all week in preparation for the next one.”

Okung, Seattle’s starting left tackle, is out until at least the Nov. 17 game against Minnesota, and Giacomini, a right tackle, might also be out a few more weeks.

Rookie Michael Bowie is starting in place of Giacomini. Paul McQuistan moved from guard to tackle to take over for Okung. Coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday no lineup changes are being considered, and Cable reiterated that Thursday.

“That’s the cool thing about the NFL,” he said. “You have what you have, so you’ve got to find your way to make it work.”

Six of the Rams’ seven sacks came from their starting defensive ends — Robert Quinn and Chris Long, who had three apiece.

“We are getting run by (on the edge),” Cable said. “It’s just a matter of that depth in the pocket is just closing in from the outside.”

Cable said the Seahawks will continue to look for ways to aid the tackles in pass protection, such as assigning tight ends or running backs to help out.

Carroll didn’t meet with local media Thursday. But in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio, Carroll said receiver Percy Harvin won’t play Sunday.

“He’s getting close, but not close enough,” Carroll said.

Wednesday, Carroll had said Harvin wouldn’t practice on Wednesday and characterized his status as day-to-day. At that time, he said the team would continue to be patient with Harvin.

“With the workload that he’s had to endure to get back and get in shape, there is going to be some stuff,” Carroll said. “And he’s been a little bit sore from last week, so we just want to make sure that we don’t go too far too fast.

“We’re looking for the long-haul thinking here in his recovery, so we just want to make sure that we can manage our way through that. We’re being very careful, and he didn’t do a whole lot last week, he did very little. It seems like it’s best to keep him in that mode for a little bit longer. We’ll see.”

Returning to practice Thursday were defensive tackle Michael Bennett, who was out Wednesday with an illness, and guard J.R. Sweezy, out Wednesday with an elbow injury.