RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks finally have some good injury news.
Lofa Tatupu has a bone bruise in his right knee, and coach Mike Holmgren said Wednesday the Pro Bowl linebacker will be fine for the season opener Sept. 7 at Buffalo.
Tatupu, a Pro Bowler for each of his first three seasons, reportedly had crutches near his locker in San Diego on Monday night after injuring his knee in the second quarter of a preseason game against the Chargers.
That raised fears of a more serious injury for the leader of a defense that is returning all 11 starters.
When asked if he was relieved Tatupu isn't hurt more seriously, coach Mike Holmgren said, "Yeah. How about you?"
Tatupu waved off reporters in the locker room after practice.
"He's very important to this football team," Holmgren said. "In preseason, they have to play and get ready to go, but you just kind of hold your breath all the time. Last week, there were some really good players that got hurt (around the NFL) and you just hope it doesn't happen to you."
Except it's already been happening for months to Seattle.
Tatupu didn't practice Wednesday. He joined Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (tight back), top wide receivers Bobby Engram (broken shoulder) and Deion Branch (reconstructive knee surgery), starting right tackle Sean Locklear (sprained knee) and No. 3 quarterback Charlie Frye (bruised knee) in the training room.
All except Frye will miss Friday's preseason finale against Oakland. Frye may be available, but backup quarterback Seneca Wallace will start and No. 4 quarterback Dalton Bell will also play. The Seahawks didn't want to play Wallace in San Diego because he was coming off a groin injury, but had to put him in once Frye got hurt late.
"Oh, I was surprised. I didn't know what was going on," said Wallace, who threw an interception while trying to rally Seattle from an eventual 18-17 loss to the Chargers.
The Seahawks don't want to risk Wallace to injury in the final preseason game. They are trying to get him to play receiver more this season, provided Frye is fully healthy next month.
Seattle may need Wallace at receiver. Engram, who set a team record with 94 catches last season, may not be back until October and Branch will not test his knee in a practice until just before the opener. Branch could begin the season on an inactive list. When the Seahawks fly to Buffalo late next week, the former Super Bowl MVP will be seven months into a rehabilitation that often takes a year or more.