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King finds his realm in Seattle

The Sports Xchange
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With scouting finds like receiver Doug Baldwin, quarterback Josh Portis and cornerback Brandon Browner already showing promise this season, the Seahawks hope they secured another diamond in the rough in offensive lineman Jarriel King.

Signed as an undrafted rookie free agent out of South Carolina by the Giants heading into training camp, King was released during final roster cut-downs and claimed off waivers by Seattle.

At 6-foot-5, 324 pounds with some quickness and athleticism, King was considered a mid-round talent by some draft analysts, but he fell down the draft boards because of his raw skill set as a lineman.

He did not practice the first four weeks of the regular season with the Seahawks because of an ankle issue, but since taking the field has seen time at both right and left tackle.

This week, the Seahawks have used him with the scout squad at left guard, with Paul McQuistan working with the first unit. Projected starting left guard Robert Gallery is expected back at practice soon after missing a month because of a groin injury.

Coach Pete Carroll said he considers King part of this year's draft class, along with rookie first-round draft choice James Carpenter, an offensive tackle, and third-round pick John Moffitt, an offensive guard.

The Seahawks have the youngest starting offensive line in the league.

"We're moving him around," Carroll said of King. "He's played on the left side as well as the right side. He's played more in college at left tackle. He played for the Giants at right tackle. He played a couple games at guard in his background, so we're just moving him around and trying to figure it out.

"He's a really good-looking prospect. We're really excited about him. Obviously he's miles behind us in learning the development of what we're trying to do, but physically he looks very capable, and we're real excited about him adding into it. It feels like we picked up a draft pick in him, so hopefully we'll be able to see that and keep moving ahead."

--Two weeks after being diagnosed with a bruised sacrum, the Seahawks placed cornerback Marcus Trufant on injured reserve with a back issue.

Team doctors initially diagnosed Trufant with a bruised sacrum leading up to the team's impressive road win against the New York Giants. He was replaced in the starting lineup by second-year pro Walter Thurmond.

However, Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said the team's medical staff took a closer look at Trufant's injury and realized that he was suffering from the same back disk issue that forced him to miss the first six weeks of the 2009 season.

"We're just really disappointed for him," Carroll said. "He's the captain on our team, and just a beautiful kid, in our program and in the community and all of that. He's going to miss this season that means so much to him and all of us, but it's the right thing to do.

"We've got to take care of him. This is a reoccurring back situation. We didn't realize this is really what happened before, so we've got to take care of them."

Thurmond we'll get the starting nod again cornerback opposite Brandon Browner.

"It's very unfortunate because he was a big part of the team," Thurmond said. "He was a captain. A lot of the DBs, especially the young guys, we looked up to him. And hopefully he's still around to keep giving us knowledge."

Carroll said that Trufant is trying to avoid surgery, as he did two years ago when he elected to rehab the same back issue that kept him out of the early portion of the season.

And Carroll said that Trufant is approaching the injury as if he will be ready for the beginning of training camp in 2012.

"We haven't even talked about that yet," Carroll said. "We're just trying to get through the shock of what this is. But I would think that's definitely on his mind."

The Seahawks replaced Trufant on the active roster with defensive tackle Jason Shirley, a 6-5, 345 pounder cut by Cincinnati, who the Bengals tried to the convert to an offensive lineman. Shirley is the older brother of University of Washington defensive end Josh Shirley. The stout defensive tackle played his college ball at Fresno State.

With Trufant out, linebacker Leroy Hill is now the only player on Seattle's current roster that played on the 2005 Super Bowl team.

"I'm the last man standing," joked Hill. "And I'm going to try and keep standing, too. But I feel good and everything. And losing another veteran, the other veterans have to step up."

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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