Most people probably don’t think twice about the importance of their big toe until it isn’t working correctly. Or, until they’re told that the Pro Bowl left tackle on their favorite team has a torn ligament in his big toe. Then, all of the sudden that little piggy seems to make all the difference.
Yes, it seems more than likely that Russell Okung will miss some time due to an injury he sustained in the first quarter of the Seahawks game against the 49ers last Sunday. And yes, it is another blow to a team that has serious postseason aspirations. However, in the wake of this latest significant injury, it is important to note how well the Seahawks have handled early season adversity so far.
On the offensive side of the ball, Seattle spent a hefty amount of money and a first round draft pick to acquire Percy Harvin. Many viewed the addition of Harvin as a potential “final piece” to Seattle’s championship puzzle. That was until hip surgery delayed his Seahawks debut until Week 7 at the earliest.
So how have the Seahawks dealt with the absence of a big play threat like Harvin? By allowing Russell Wilson to spread the ball around.
In Seattle’s first game against Carolina, Wilson connected with eight different players through the air. And while his performance against the 49ers wasn’t pretty, he managed to get the ball to five different players. If Seattle can get Harvin back healthy by the middle of the season he could be an instant difference maker. Until then, it’s good to know Russell Wilson has the ability to find a variety of receivers on the field.
On defense, injuries and suspensions really started to pile up entering the season. Playing the first two games without two of their best pass rushers in Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin seemed like an impossible burden. Having Brandon Browner out with a hamstring injury only made things worse.
In spite of those injuries, the Seahawks have managed to surrender a total of ten points in its first two games this season while limiting Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick to under 130 yards passing. If this unit can have this kind of success without being at 1oo percent, it’s scary to think what will happen once the Seahawks defense is back at full strength.
Having said that, it’s still terrifying to imagine the Seattle Seahawks going into Houston to face the Texans and J.J. Watt in a couple weeks without Russell Okung able to play. But overcoming big injuries is a reoccurring theme among championship teams. Recent examples of this trend include the Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants, who both battled injury plagued seasons to come out on top in the end.
There is still a lot of football to be played, but this season is already shaping up to be a major test for the Seahawks in terms of injuries. Hopefully they can come out on the other side with a Lombardi trophy in their hands.