How is Joeckel and how long is he out?
Who plays LG if he misses time?
Any news on Albert or other OL?
Any changes to Dion & Shead status?
— Coach Dover✊🏾 (@Shane_Dover) October 16, 2017
While confirming last week that Joeckel was going to have arthroscopic surgery on his knee, coach Pete Carroll said the recovery would likely keep Joeckel from playing in Seattle's Week 7 game against the New York Giants. Joeckel's status beyond that is uncertain. Carroll will speak with the media on Tuesday -- the team's schedule is different this week coming off the bye -- but he might not be able to say with any certainty when Joeckel is expected back.
Joeckel is coming off a serious knee injury from October of last year, his final season with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The injury required an ACL reconstruction, an MCL repair and a lateral meniscus repair. ESPN injury analyst Stephania Bell, who provided some insight into the situation, said that generally speaking it's not uncommon for a player who has experienced significant knee trauma followed by a complex surgery to have some debris in the joint that requires cleaning up, which is how Carroll described the issue with Joeckel last week.
If that's all the surgery entails -- a cleanup as opposed to something more substantial -- Bell said a player's return to the field typically requires waiting for residual swelling to subside and a player proving he can perform without compensating. If Joeckel's knee scope was of that relatively minor variety, Bell said it's reasonable to think he could -- emphasis on could -- return in Week 8 after missing the Giants game. Seattle hosts the Houston Texans on Oct. 29.
As for who will play left guard in the meantime, there's really no clear-cut choice. I could see it being any one of three of the backup offensive linemen: Mark Glowinski, Matt Tobin or rookie second-round pick Ethan Pocic. Undrafted rookie Jordan Roos could be another possibility, though he seems less likely than the others.
Glowinski and Tobin are the more experienced options. Glowinski started all last season at left guard. He was moved to right guard over the offseason and made two starts before he was replaced by Oday Aboushi. Tobin has been the Seahawks' swing tackle since he was acquired in an August trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, but he made 20 starts at guard over his four seasons in the NFL. Five of those starts came at left guard in 2014.
Pocic got some run at right tackle over the summer but has mostly worked as a backup at center and guard since then.
He's the least experienced but most intriguing of the three because of his profile as an early pick. The Seahawks thought highly enough of him to strongly consider trading up in the second round, but instead decided to "sweat it out" -- in the words of general manager John Schneider -- and wait until pick No. 58 to take him. At the time, Schneider said the Seahawks felt like they were getting "two and a half players" because of Pocic's versatility. He made 37 starts over his career at LSU -- 27 at center, nine at right guard and one at one at right tackle, according to the school's website.
With that versatility and Pocic's experience in a zone-blocking scheme similar to what Seattle runs, it's a bit surprising that he has yet to play anything other than special teams despite two openings in the starting lineup. George Fant's torn ACL in the preseason created one at left tackle. Glowinski's struggles over the first two games created another at right guard. The Seahawks' decision to turn elsewhere in each case was understandable, but if they do it a third time, you'd have to wonder what it's going to take for Pocic to see the field.