Following 'Incredible Offseason,' Seahawks TE Will Dissly Primed for Week 1 Return
When he's been available and healthy in his first two seasons with the Seahawks, Will Dissly has made a strong case for being one of the best young tight ends in the NFL. He's caught six touchdowns in 10 games, been a reliable run blocker, and shown an unexpected ability to stretch the field with multiple receptions of 30 or more yards.
However, the former fourth-round pick also hasn't been able to stay on the field, having suffered season-ending injuries before the midway point in each of the past two seasons. First, he tore the patellar tendon in his knee after just four games as a rookie. Then last October, he ruptured his Achilles tendon in Week 6.
As a result, the Seahawks added quite the insurance policy by signing three-time Pro Bowler Greg Olsen in February. The team also placed a second-round tender on Jacob Hollister and used a fourth-round pick on Colby Parkinson, further bolstering depth as the former Washington standout rehabbed from his latest surgery.
But with strength and conditioning kicking off on Monday in the first phase of training camp, coach Pete Carroll provided an outstanding update on Dissly's condition, providing optimism he will be ready to play in Week 1.
“Will had an incredible offseason,” Carroll said in a Zoom press conference. “He worked out down in Los Angeles. The group he worked out with told me he spent nine months with them – nine months working out on a rigid schedule, and he didn’t miss one minute of one day. They said they’ve never seen anybody do that before.”
Since joining the Seahawks, there's never been any question about Dissly's tireless work ethic. Coming off a severe knee injury, he returned early in training camp last year as if he hadn't missed a beat, immediately rekindling his strong chemistry with quarterback Russell Wilson.
Showing no ill-effects from a devastating injury that has ruined many careers, Dissly caught two touchdowns in a road victory over the Steelers in Week 2. He followed up with a touchdown in each of the next two games against the Saints and Cardinals and an 81-yard performance against the Rams, helping the Seahawks race out to a fast 4-1 start.
After rupturing his Achilles in Week 6 against Cleveland and spending another long offseason rehabbing, Dissly hopes to accomplish a similar feat in 2020. And this time, hopefully he will be able to avoid the injury bug that has nipped him twice during the first half of his rookie contract in Seattle and play the entire season.
In a strong start towards achieving that goal, Carroll indicated on Monday that Dissly passed his physical. While the Seahawks plan to be careful with him and won't work him back to full action too fast, it's great news for an offense that could be far more dynamic with him back in the lineup alongside Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, and Olsen.
"Will's a really great product of learning the system and all that. He knows what he's doing and he'll be a factor as soon as we cut him loose, but in the meantime, we want to make sure and take care of him... He did everything a guy could possibly do and so we're thrilled about his process."