The Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears spent their respective 2011 first round picks on offensive tackles James Carpenter and Gabe Carimi in large part due to their durability. Both men, after all, had started four consecutive seasons of college football. As if they needed to prove something about their toughness, both men also elected to participate in an extra game -- the Senior Bowl -- following their long and distinguished collegiate careers.
It is therefore all the more disappointing that both men, as well as Seattle's 3rd round pick offensive guard John Moffitt (another four-year starter who coincidentally played alongside Carimi at Wisconsin) went down to season-ending knee injuries this week. Like Carimi and Carpenter, Moffitt, too, played in Mobile.
Carimi, the Bears' starting right tackle the first two games of the season, was injured in the second quarter of their September 18 loss to the Saints. Chicago had hoped the 2011 Outland Trophy winner would return this season, but after suffering a setback in his recovery from the initial injury, Carimi underwent arthroscopic surgery last week. The Bears placed him on Injured Reserve Friday.
The news has been twice as troubling for the Seahawks. Seattle lost Moffitt to a torn MCL in their surprising November 13 home victory over the Baltimore Ravens. The team then saw former Carpenter tear his ACL during practice only four days later. The two rookies had started every game this season, making up the right side of Seattle's offensive line.
The injuries prove what a crap shoot the draft ultimately is. The durability shown by each player throughout college had made them some of the "safer" prospects at their respective positions available last April.
That, unfortunately, doesn't mean much now.