Today was a bad, bad day for the Seattle Seahawks offensive line.
First it was learned that right tackle Michael Bowie would need surgery to repair his injured shoulder and miss four to six months. The team waived him later in the day, according to ESPN 710:
#Seahawks have waived/injured RT Michael Bowie.
— Danny 710ESPNSeattle (@DDMon710) August 2, 2014
Then the man who he’s been battling with for the starting spot also got hurt. Rookie right tackle Justin Britt left halfway through Saturday’s mock game and did not return:
Rookie OT Justin Britt out with wrap on shoulder.
— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) August 2, 2014
Britt’s injury does not appear to be serious, but it’s disturbing to think how the offensive line would look if he were to go down for an extended period of time. Last season Seattle’s offensive line was unquestionably its Achilles heel, and Bowie was one of the few bright spots. Britt has had trouble picking up Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett on blitzes so far in training camp, but so do alot of linemen.
For now it sounds like the recently signed veteran Eric Winston will take over first team reps, at least until Britt is healthy and ready to start:
Eric Winston will probably win starting RT job, and Garry Gilliam and Justin Britt will be depth (if healthy). That'd be my guess.
— Danny Kelly (@FieldGulls) August 2, 2014
Justin Britt also had a shoulder issue surface today. Eric Winston was running with the first-team line from the 2nd series on today.
— Curtis Crabtree (@Curtis_Crabtree) August 2, 2014
Now’s a good time to learn more about Winston. He has played seven seasons in the NFL with the Texans, Chiefs and Cardinals. During that time period he has not missed a single game, so durability is not an issue. He also had extensive experience in Houston’s zone blocking scheme so that should mean a seamless transition to Tom Cable’s gameplan.
As recently as 2012 Pro Football Focus graded Winston one of the best right tackles in the league, giving him consistent high grades for pass protection.
Winston will turn 31 years old during the middle of this coming season so he’s probably not a long-term solution at right tackle but he should hold the fort down well enough while Britt learns the ropes.
Even still, the Seahawks offensive line was awful last year in large part due to injuries. They need all the depth they can get and losing Bowie should not be overlooked.