RENTON, Wash. (AP) Paul Richardson felt ready to start catching passes and running routes a month ago.
Because he started the season on the physically unable to perform list, Richardson wasn't able to do that on the Seattle Seahawks' practice field until the team activated him to begin practicing on Monday.
''I've been itching to get here since my surgery,'' Richardson said. ''They've been doing a good job of monitoring me and making sure I've been getting ready in progression. I appreciate them looking out for me like that.''
Richardson returned to the practice field for the first time since tearing the ACL in his left knee in the NFC divisional playoff game against Carolina last January. It was a crushing conclusion to what had become a promising close to the year for Seattle's second-round draft pick in 2014, suffering the same injury that cost him a season in college.
Richardson's return would be another boost for Seattle's offense, giving the Seahawks additional speed in the passing game. The Seahawks have 21 days from Monday to activate Richardson to the 53-man roster or he would have to remain on the PUP list for the remainder of the season.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said it would be a daily evaluation to see where Richardson is at in handling the workload, but he wouldn't rule out activating him in time for Sunday's game at Dallas.
''The guys have been raving about him in the training workouts. He's been at top speed for some time now. They've worked him really hard, so they think he's going to be able to withstand the practice mode,'' Carroll said. ''Just got to see how he takes to it and see where he is. He's really anxious to contribute and play right now. Would love to help, but we'll just go at it making sure that we don't overdo it for him right now. That's the main thing.''
Richardson improved throughout his rookie season. Through the first 12 games, Richardson had 14 catches. Over the final four games, he had 15 receptions and a touchdown. Richardson said he believes it was a matter of gaining trust from quarterback Russell Wilson that allowed for his production to increase late in the year.
''Once he knew I was a dependable target, that I could get open, I could catch the ball, he was encouraged more to find me,'' Richardson said. ''Hopefully I can build that confidence back in our relationship whenever I'm back on the field so we can pick up where we left off.''
Richardson underwent surgery for his ACL the week Seattle played in the Super Bowl and watched the loss to the Patriots from his home. He worked out in the offseason in Los Angeles and understood the challenges he would face in the recovery having gone through the same process while in college at Colorado.
While he wouldn't divulge his updated 40-yard dash time, Richardson said his speed has improved since the surgery and through the work he's done in his rehab.
''I felt like it was easier mentally because I've been through it before. But I feel good and I'm blessed to say I feel good,'' he said.
NOTES: Carroll said a number of players have a chance to return this week including DT Jordan Hill, DT DeMarcus Dobbs, CB Marcus Burley, C Patrick Lewis and RB Thomas Rawls. ... CB Jeremy Lane, also on the PUP list with arm and knee injuries suffered in the Super Bowl, could start practicing again after Seattle's bye week. ... FB Derrick Coleman has cleared concussion protocol and returned to practice on Monday. Coleman suffered a concussion in a two-car accident on Oct. 14. He was arrested but has not been charged in the case.
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