Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Quarterbacks, left tackles, pass-rushers and left cornerbacks.
They tend to be the building blocks for NFL organizations. For the Seahawks, they are players at increased risk for debilitating injuries.
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck could play a few more seasons without incident, or his back could seize up during his next extended plane flight. Nobody knows. Such is the nature of an injury that never heals.
Left tackle Walter Jones is scheduled for arthroscopic knee surgery Thursday, roughly nine months after undergoing microfracture surgery on the same left knee. He is 35 years old and has also battled back spasms this month.
Patrick Kerney, the team's most accomplished pass-rusher, will try to finish a season strong for the first time since 2005 (he started 16 games during the 2007 season, but a shoulder injury severely limited him during the playoffs).
At left cornerback, Marcus Trufant is battling a disc problem in his back and hoping for the best. He may or may not be available for the regular-season opener, or after the sixth game of the season if he remains on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
Hasselbeck and Kerney are practicing and playing. Even if we assume both will be fine this season, how many games might Jones and Trufant miss? And how well will they play?
Trufant's salary average -- $8.36 million per year -- is the highest on the team. Hasselbeck ($8.0 million), Jones ($7.5 million) and Kerney ($6.5 million) rank among the seven highest-paid players on the team by that standard. Another one of the top seven, receiver Deion Branch ($7.5 million), hasn't made it through a season healthy since joining the Seahawks in 2006.
Might these players heal well enough to lead a Seattle resurgence? Sure. Is that a reasonable expectation? Not really.