Biggs: Carroll has big decision with Walter Jones

One of the first big decisions for new Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll could revolve around what to do with Walter Jones.

Perhaps the greatest left tackle of his era, and Orlando Pace and Jonathan Ogden were dominating competitors at the same position, Jones is at a major crossroads in his career. He missed the entire 2009 season when he couldn’t return from microfracture knee surgery and had back issues. Jones has missed 20 consecutive games, and the offensive line was one of the biggest messes ousted coach Jim Mora has to deal with last season.

“One of the big issues is Walter Jones, and his ability to return or not return,” Carroll said last week according to the Tacoma News Tribune. “He has been a great player in this organization for years. And not having him available last year made a difference. And right now we don’t know how he’s going to be able to recuperate, with his injury and all.

“I talked to Walter and he’s doing everything he can and we’ll see in time where he stands. But that’s an issue. And there’s a little bit of a ripple effect, moving guys around to fill that left tackle spot. It’s a skill position in the NFL, and one that’s really critical. So we have to see what we can do there.”

Jones told reporters at the end of the season and that he felt good and hoped to return in 2010. But he said the decision of whether or not he returned was probably going to be up to the team. That would seemingly put the ball in the court of Carroll and new general manager John Schneider. Eric Williams of the Tribune speculates a decision could come later this month.

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