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Seahawks cut veteran OL Pitts, who had knee surgery last year

The Seattle Seahawks released offensive lineman Chester Pitts on Thursday, one day after coach Pete Carroll sounded hopeful that the veteran might start this weekend against the St. Louis Rams.

Carroll said after Thursday's practice that it was apparent Pitts, who experienced soreness in his surgically repaired right knee following Wednesday's session, wouldn't be ready this week, leaving the Seahawks short on the offensive line if a move wasn't made. Carroll said the team hoped to bring back the ninth-year NFL veteran when he's healthier.

"In the situation we're in, we had to make a spot for a guy on the roster," Carroll said. "We're hoping Chester will get well. He's just got to get over the hump. He's close, but he's not able to go yet. ... We're hoping he'll get back here quickly."

Carroll said Mike Gibson, who was re-signed to the Seahawks' practice squad Thursday after he was released earlier this week, will take Pitts' spot on the active roster for Sunday's game. To make room for Gibson on the practice squad, the Seahawks released running back Chris Henry.

Pitts, a left guard, was attempting to work his way back from microfracture surgery he had on his right knee early last season while he played for the Houston Texans.

On Wednesday, Carroll was hopeful that Pitts and rookie offensive tackle Russell Okung, a first-round draft pick, could play this week against the Rams. Pitts was a full participant in Wednesday's practice.

"He's been a diligent worker to get right, and it just hasn't been enough time for him yet," Carroll said of Pitts.

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Pitts started 114 games for the Texans, first as a left tackle, then in 2006 as a left guard. A 2002 second-round pick by the Texans, Pitts came to Seattle to rejoin former Houston line coach Alex Gibbs, who suddenly retired before the season.

Pitts missed the final 14 weeks last season after the surgery.

Adding to Carroll's problems on the line, starting right guard Sean Locklear didn't participate in practice Thursday with an undisclosed knee injury. Locklear was limited Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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