RENTON -- With Luke Joeckel set to miss at least a month while recovering from knee surgery last week, the Seahawks will turn to Mark Glowinski and Ethan Pocic at left guard for this week's matchup against the New York Giants.
Joeckel had surgery last Thursday to clean up some issues he was experiencing in his surgically repaired knee. He had ACL reconstruction surgery last year after being injured with the Jacksonville Jaguars. While the Seahawks took his recovery process slow this offseason, the knee was becoming increasingly problematic after five games and needed to be addressed.
"We're going to be optimistic that he can make it back in 4-5 weeks. We'll see what happens. Maybe that's possible, maybe it isn't. We've got to see how he heals and how he comes back around," head coach Pete Carroll said on Tuesday. "He definitely needed to get some things cleaned up and that was taken care of and everything went beautifully. He's very optimistic as well so we need to see what happens here."
Carroll said Joeckel wasn't limited in what he could do directionally during games but that it would just take him several days to recover after each game played.
"It just got to the point where it wasn't getting any better and we needed to do something for the long haul," Carroll said.
It will take about three weeks before the Seahawks can get a better sense for Joeckel's progress. He is expected to be back to full strength once he recovers and able to complete the season without further issue.
In his place, Glowinski and Pocic will both get a chance to play this week against the Giants.
"It's a great opportunity," Pocic said. "I'm looking forward to it, looking forward to the challenge and just going to have some fun."
Glowinski started all 16 games at left guard for Seattle last season before being shifted to the right side this offseason. He started the first two games of the year at right guard before being replaced by Oday Aboushi.
Pocic has been active for all five games as a reserve but hasn't played on the offensive line. He's played at right tackle, center and both guard spots since the start of training camp.
"Neither one of them have played enough reps here lately so conditioning would be an issue," offensive line coach Tom Cable said. "A little bit different styles of play which together, I think, would be really good. Let's tag-team it and as we go through this off time with Luke we'll figure out what's best."
While the hope is to eventually settle on just one guy in the coming weeks, Cable wants to see both play and get a sense for what they can do in games.
"I'm going to play them both. Regardless of who goes out first you should plan on seeing both of them in the game," Cable said.
"You have kind of a bull; real, quick, sudden, explosive guy in Mark and then a guy who’s a do-right, really good technically and fundamentally in Ethan. One guy is stronger than the other, and all of those things.
The Seahawks brought in free agent tackle Branden Albert for a workout last week and he remained in contact with the team through the weekend. However, the Seahawks have not reached any agreement with him about joining the team.
"We talked to him and spent a good while with him, but came to no agreement on anything," Carroll said.
According to NFLPA records, Seattle has just under $1.9 million in salary cap space so they are hamstrung in the level of contract they can offer Albert, who has been unemployed since he was released by Jacksonville in August.Albert wouldn't be a direct fix to the loss of Joeckel because he's primarily a left tackle. However, he would give Seattle a veteran option at left tackle if the team wanted to make a change from Rees Odhiambo, who has started all five games this season at the position.
Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 14: Guard Mark Glowinski #63 of the Seattle Seahawks blocks against defensive end Vance Walker #96 of the Denver Broncos at CenturyLink Field on August 14, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)