Jim Mora promised changes on the offensive line after Sunday’s loss to the Texans, and again on Monday. Today, he announced them:
Rookie Max Unger will start at center in Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Qwest Field. Unger has started the first 13 games at right guard.
To replace Unger, Chris Spencer and Mike Gibson will split time at right guard. Spencer has been starting at center, but doing it with a cast on his right hand the past five games, forcing him to snap with his left hand. Gibson was signed off the Philadelphia Eagles’ practice squad in October, but has been inactive for the six games since coming to the Seahawks.
In another move, Deion Branch will start at split end for Nate Burleson, who got a high ankle sprain in Sunday’s loss and will not play this week. Rookie Deon Butler becomes the No. 3 receivers, with Ben Obomanu stepping up to the fourth spot.
The Seahawks drafted Unger out of Oregon to play center. Mora and his staff decided it was time to see him do it now rather than waiting until the preseason next August. Unger did play center in the second halves of preseason games this summer.
Mora said Unger was “excited” about the move and spent Tuesday working with line coach Mike Solari on making line calls and watching video.