Walter Jones, formerly considered one of the best offensive lineman in the NFL, has been placed on the injured reserve by the Seattle Seahawks, a move that means his season is over, and could very well mean the end of his career. From The Associated Press:
Walter Jones has gone on the Seahawks' injured reserve list, ending the nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle's season and perhaps his illustrious career.
Coach Jim Mora said Wednesday the 35-year-old Jones still has pain that is "not bearable" in his surgically repaired left knee. The anchor to Seattle's offensive line for the last decade has had two knee surgeries since he last played, last Thanksgiving.
Mora is not ruling out a third surgery for the former All-Pro. The coach has no idea whether Jones can or will want to return in 2010.
Seattle coach Jim Mora announced the move today with a heavy heart. From the Seattle Times:
"After much deliberation and evaluation and soul searching between the team, the medical staff and Walter Jones," coach Jim Mora said. "It has been determined that the best thing to do for Walter, for this football team and for his future is to put him on injured reserve. So we're going to do that today. We're going to shut him down. We're going to let him heal up, have whatever procedures our medical staff feels is necessary and then re-evaluate early next year.
"I will say this, Walter has done everything that is humanly possible to try and get back and help this football team. He has been amazing in his attitude and his approach to this. His determination to get back on the football field has never been in question, but it's just not happening. It's just not happening."
SBN's Seahawks blog, Field Gulls, remarked on the news, saying, "Not a surprise, but still sad." Jones' decline was swift and emphatic, but that shouldn't obscure what was otherwise a long and distinguished career for the Seahawks, as he was considered the premier left tackle in football for most of his 14-year career. Today, yes, he's hobbled and likely to be forced into retirement. But the man made nine Pro Bowls, was an All-Pro seven times, and generally, was just an all-around American ass kicker in his day:
That photo's courtesy of Sports Illustrated, who visited with Jones a few years ago to get an inside look at his workout routine. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, he'd do an exercise called "Truck Pushing."
2. Put both hands on the back bumper and bend your knees at an angle of about 90 degrees. As you lean into the truck, keep your back straight and your arms nearly extended (elbows slightly bent). Put one foot forward -- whichever one feels most comfortable to you -- and the other back.
3. Yell "Go!" After the driver releases the brakes, start pushing immediately and continue for 25 yards.
4. Rest for 90 seconds. Do it 10 times in all.
Walter Jones was like Steven Seagal and Chuck Norris combined, and in retrospect, was probably one of the main reasons we all considered Shaun Alexander such a great running back. But remember, kids: if you're going to go truck pushing, you MUST use a driver to put the car in neutral. As long as you do that, it's a perfectly sane, safe exercise, and a wonderful way to commemorate one of the finer offensive lineman of our era.