‘Denying’ He’s Hurt, Seahawks LB Cody Barton Aiming to Build Off First NFL Start

CorbinSmithNFL

Following an inconsistent first NFL start, Seahawks rookie linebacker Cody Barton will return to practice on Wednesday after suffering minor knee and ankle injuries in Sunday’s 28-12 loss to the Rams.

After helping make a tackle on Rams receiver Robert Woods early in the fourth quarter, Barton laid on the ground for several minutes as trainers looked at him. He eventually jogged gingerly off the field and spent time in the blue medical tent before checking back into the game.

According to coach Pete Carroll, Barton isn’t even acknowledging he has an injury and Seattle will evaluate his status throughout the week with expectations he’ll suit up against Carolina in Week 15.

“Cody’s going today. He got a little banged up in the game, but he came back and got back in. He is just kinda like denying being hurt, it’s not there, so we’ll see how he does during the week.”

With veteran Mychal Kendricks still unable to return from a hamstring injury on Wednesday, the positive update on Barton’s status provides some good news for the Seahawks as they prepare to face one of the NFL’s best running backs in Christian McCaffrey.

While the Panthers have been mired in a slump and lost five consecutive games, McCaffrey has remained dominant as a runner and receiver. In 13 games, he’s already rushed for 1,220 yards and 12 touchdowns while also amassing 86 receptions for over 700 yards and four additional scores.

Looking back at his first start, Carroll saw some expected rookie errors from Barton that will need to be cleaned up to successfully contain McCaffrey, but he applauded the former Utah standout for his effort and hard-nosed play on the field.

“He played really hard. He had some kinda classic first-time shots where he misjudged a couple blocks being on the edge and a couple routes in the flats that he could’ve jumped a little bit better.”

Playing a season-high 58 defensive snaps, Barton finished with four tackles and allowed one completion in coverage for 19 yards on two targets. He also blitzed three times, generating one pressure and swatting away a pass attempt by Rams quarterback Jared Goff.

Assuming Kendricks, who started running again on Tuesday, isn’t quite able to make it back this week, Barton should earn his second straight start. Carroll expects as he plays more, the game will start to slow down for him and he’ll quickly learn from his mistakes.

“It’s just getting to the game speed thing,” Carroll commented. “He’ll be better this week and he’s gonna pick up on every little tip that he can get to improve and help us out. I’m anxious to see him play again.”

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