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Seahawks likely without CB Trufant for playoff run

12/27/2006 - NFL Marcus Trufant Seattle Seahawks + more

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- The Seahawks' skittish pass defense just
got shakier.

Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said Wednesday that starting right
cornerback Marcus Trufant may be out for a while with a high ankle
sprain. The Seahawks' best cover man injured his ankle Sunday when
teammate Lofa Tatupu rolled over the bottom his leg at the end of a
play in the 20-17 loss to San Diego.

Trufant was on crutches after the game and said he feared a high
ankle sprain, which can linger. Further tests subsequently
confirmed Trufant's fears. The same type of sprain sidelined
starting right tackle Sean Locklear for six weeks earlier this
season.

"I think it's every bit a Sean Locklear," Holmgren said of
Trufant's injury.

Trufant has played in 62 of the Seahawks' 63 games since Seattle
selected him 11th overall in the 2003 draft. The only game he
missed was the meaningless regular season finale last Jan. 1 at
Green Bay, after Seattle had already clinched the top seed in the
NFC playoffs.

The Seahawks, who will enter the upcoming playoffs as the fourth
seed, are listing Trufant as doubtful for this season's final
regular season game at Tampa Bay. But Holmgren acknowledged Trufant
is essentially out, perhaps deep into January.

"The 'doubtful' part? I guess [we're] hoping for some sort of
medical miracle more than anything else there," Holmgren said.

"On those things, you don't know for sure. But it's not looking
real great."

Rookie Kelly Jennings will start in Trufant's absence. Last
spring's 31st overall pick from Miami has made one other start this
spring, Dec. 10 at Arizona as an extra defensive back. He has
otherwise been the fifth defensive back in Seattle's "nickel"
defense.

Holmgren, undoubtedly wanting to keep the Buccaneers and
whomever Seattle hosts in the playoffs on Jan. 6 or 7 guessing,
said he is not sure whether Jennings will play Trufant's right side
or whether veteran left cornerback Kelly Herndon will move over.