Tatupu out after having surgery

Updated: October 29, 2009, 7:42 PM ET
Associated Press

RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle's fourth fallen star had his season end Thursday.

A team spokesman said three-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu went on the injured reserve list while he was having surgery to repair a torn left pectoral muscle in Alabama. Tatupu traveled there to consult with noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews.

The defensive captain was injured in the first half of Seattle's loss to Arizona on Oct. 18. He was hit high by teammate Deon Grant as both tried to make a tackle.

Wednesday, six-time All-Pro left tackle Walter Jones went on injured reserve. The 35-year-old said he will attempt to play in 2010, though no one knows if he will ever play again following microfracture knee surgery in December and then an arthroscopic procedure on the same left knee in August.

At least quarterback Matt Hasselbeck practiced after missing two consecutive workout days. The ribs he broke on Sept. 20 at San Francisco still aren't healed, but he and coach Jim Mora said the three-time Pro Bowl passer will start Sunday at Dallas.

Hasselbeck said he feels "tight and sticky" in his torso as his ribs enter the final phase of healing.

"So, those are three pretty big topics," Mora said.

The 26-year-old Tatupu did not miss a game in his first 3½ seasons in the NFL. He's played following concussions, a swollen knee, a strained groin, a broken thumb and, earlier this season, a strained hamstring that cost him a start.

Sunday's game will be his third absence in less than 12 months.

Tatupu will be replaced Sunday by David Hawthorne, an undrafted free agent making only his second career start.

Seattle expects to use the roster spot vacated by Tatupu to add cornerback Marcus Trufant off the physically-unable-to-perform list Saturday. Of course, that's if no one else goes down before then. Seattle has had 12 starters miss at least one game due to injury this season.

Trufant, a Pro Bowl selection in 2007, hasn't played since Dec. 28 because of a disk issue in his back. Mora said Trufant will likely play only in nickel defensive alignments against the Cowboys as he works his way back into game shape.

Jones is slowly working his way back to being able to merely walk and sit without pain in his knee.

"Oh man, it's tough," Jones said. "I've always been there, I've always been that guy. When it was time to play football, I've always been there."

He hinted he might not be there any more, if doctors decide a third knee surgery is needed.

Jones has two non-guaranteed years at $7.3 million each remaining on a seven-year contract. An eighth season at $1 million for 2012 is voidable.

Mora said the team will reevaluate Jones in the early months of 2010. Because his signing bonus has already been prorated over five years for salary cap purposes, Seattle could release Jones with negligible impact on its cap. And that's if the league has a cap next year, pending labor negotiations with the players' union.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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