Everyone has been careful how they have worded it, but Marcus Trufant is out with a intervertebral disc "not unlike" the one suffered by Matt Hasselbeck. Hasselbeck missed most of the season with a spinal disc herniation.
Trufant may be the single most indispensable player on Seattle's defense. A use of zone coverage will somewhat hide his absence, but by pushing Josh Wilson into the starting lineup, Seattle weakens its starting cornerback tandem and especially its nickel defense. Kelly Jennings could sub for Wilson at right cornerback on nickel downs, allowing Wilson to slot into nickelback. At right cornerback, Jennings would cover or team to cover its opponent's number one receiver. Kelly Jennings could play in half of Seattle's downs and most of its highest leverage downs against its opponent's best recceiver. Receivers like Reggie Wayne, Larry Fitzgerald, Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson.
Doom-speak demagoguery done, a slipped disc or the bleaker sounding spinal disc herniation is not a serious condition. Hasselbeck is not a logical model for Trufant's recovery. It's possible Trufant's pain can be treated with anti-inflammatories. He's much younger and more athletic than Hasselbeck and does not have Hasselbeck's injury history. Though Jim Mora said the team is planning to start the season without Trufant, it was with the qualfier:
"I think you absolutely have to think in those terms," Mora said after practice Wednesday. "I think you make a mistake if you don't. Plan for the worst, and hope for the best.