Seattle Seahawks: Mixed news for o-line, one step up, two steps back

Seattle Seahawks right guard D.J. Fluker is back this week. Unfortunately, left guard Ethan Pocic and center Justin Britt may be out.

Bruce Springsteen didn’t head back to the studio after his hugely successful Born in the U.S.A. For three years. Finally, in 1987 he released “Tunnel of Love.” One of the singles from that album is One Step Up, Two Steps Back.” Aside from a good song, it’s also the story of the 2018 Seattle Seahawks offensive line. Here are some appropriate lyrics:

We’ve given each other some hard lessons lately
But we ain’t learnin’
We’re the same sad story that’s a fact
One step up and two steps back

The Seahawks offensive line got some good news today. Unfortunately, that good news was offset by some lingering bad news.

Good News

D.J. Fluker is back. The right guard was signed in the offseason, by Seattle, after a highly successful 2017 with the New York Football Giants. He sustained a hamstring injury in the third preseason game and hasn’t played since. Actually, he hadn’t practiced either since then, until Wednesday.

That’s when the sixth year pro returned to the practice field with his teammates. He was a full participant Wednesday and again Thursday. Head coach Pete Carroll has said players returning from more serious injuries must go through a week of practice which includes back to back days. Fluker jumped through that hoop so it looks like he’ll be in the starting lineup for Sunday’s home opener against Dallas.

They are going to need him because…

Bad News

When Fluker got back to practice Wednesday the Seahawks starting offensive line looked much different than he remembered. Starting center Justin Britt, and starting left guard Ethan Pocic were missing in action.

Pocic has an ankle injury that will most likely keep him out of Sunday’s game. It’s one reason why Fluker’s return is more important than him just taking the field. J.R. Sweezy who was filling in for Fluker, can now move from right guard to left and keep some minimal continuity.

Britt is listed as questionable for the Dallas game with a shoulder injury. He hasn’t practiced at all this week and the team has said the center’s status is day-to-day. Should the Seahawks need to replace Britt, 2016 sixth round pick Joey Hunt will start.

Seattle has gone from 80 percent of their starting offensive line being healthy the past two weeks to only 60 percent healthy heading into their meeting with Dallas. To add insult to injury, backup tackle George Fant missed practice with an undisclosed illness.

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