Groin surgery diminishes Gallery's signing

The Seattle Seahawks had good reasons for signing veteran guard Robert Gallery in free agency.

Their new assistant head coach/offensive line, Tom Cable, coached Gallery in Oakland and wanted him to provide stability and mentoring for a young offensive line.

There were injury risks, however, and those risks are threatening to make this signing a wash for Seattle. Gallery missed the regular-season opener with a knee injury, then suffered a groin injury against Pittsburgh in Week 2. The severity of that injury became known Monday when coach Pete Carroll said Gallery would require surgery that would sideline him for at least a month, possibly longer.

Rookie James Carpenter filled in for Gallery at left guard in the opener, then moved back to right tackle Sunday. He'll stay at right tackle now, with Paul McQuistan, another former Raider, taking over at left guard.

Gallery, 31, missed four games last season and 10 in 2009. Can he stay healthy once he returns from this surgery? The recent history makes it tough for the Seahawks to bet that he will. And with a team looking to rebuild with youth just about everywhere, what value will Gallery have for the long term if he cannot help the team as anticipated this season?

Signing older linemen with ties to Carroll's coaching staff has not produced desired results over the past two seasons. Ben Hamilton and Chester Pitts, signed before the 2010 season because then-line coach Alex Gibbs had worked with them, battled injuries and are no longer with the team. Neither is on an NFL roster.