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Seahawks lose Jones for season, if not career
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Updated Oct 28, 2009 3:42 PM ET
RENTON, Wash. (AP)
has gone on the
' injured reserve list, ending the six-time All-Pro left tackle's season and perhaps his illustrious career. Coach Jim Mora said Wednesday the 35-year-old Jones still has pain that is "not bearable" in his surgically repaired left knee. The anchor to Seattle's offensive line for the last decade has had two knee surgeries since he last played last Thanksgiving.
Mora is not ruling out a third surgery for the nine-time Pro Bowl selection, and he has no idea whether Jones can or will want to return in 2010. "We are going to let him heal up, have whatever procedures our medical staff feels is necessary and then we'll evaluate early next year," the coach said. "I'll say this: Walter has done everything that is humanly possible to get back and help this football team. He's been amazing in his attitude and his approach to this. But it's just not happening." Though all signs point toward retirement for the man former
coach Mike Holmgren last year called the best offensive player he's ever coached, Mora is not ready to say goodbye. "It is too early for a career eulogy, but the excellence of Walter is probably unparalleled at that position in the history of the game," Mora said. "His level of consistency, his level of excellence, is unmatched. ... In a world where there is so much boastfulness now and self promotion, Walter has just gone about his business in a very respectful, dignified way, and it's earned him a lot of respect not only in the way he's played on the field, but the way he's carried himself as a man." In 2008, Jones missed his first games due to injury since his rookie season of 1997. In that span, he was widely considered to be the pre-eminent player at the most important position on the offensive line, a brick wall who protects the right-handed quarterback's blind side from the league's fastest pass rushers. And the stars keep falling in Seattle. Three-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker
was in Alabama on Wednesday having specialist Dr. James Andrews assess his torn pectoral muscle. Andrews will help the
determine whether Tatupu will join Jones on injured reserve. Quarterback
missed his second consecutive practice. The three-time Pro Bowl passer's broken ribs still aren't healed, though Mora emphasized Hasselbeck will start Sunday at Dallas "at full strength." Hasselbeck missed 2 1/2 games after fracturing ribs high in his back Sept. 20 at San Francisco. "He's what, about five weeks out? And they say it's about a six-week healing process to get it all the way back," Mora said. "It's not a big deal." The quiet, understated Jones has declined to talk publicly since he couldn't get through a training-camp practice in August. Soon after, he had a second knee surgery in nine months, following major microfracture surgery in December to regenerate cartilage in the knee. The general recovery time for that operation calls for running to begin by six months and a return to competition by nine months, a span that would have ended two days before the season opener. But few if any have had that surgery while in their mid-30s while needing to support about 350 pounds on a knee so extensively repaired. "He's very disappointed, because he's been very committed to getting back on the football field this year," Mora said. "But ... he understands the life of a pro football player and the ups and downs. This is probably the biggest hurdle he's had in his career, and he's handled it very well."
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