John Schneider Updates Statuses of Seahawks RBs Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny

Corbin Smith

Though it remains unclear when, or if, the NFL will kick off its 2020 season, the Seahawks remain optimistic they will have starting running back Chris Carson available for Week 1. Backup Rashaad Penny, on the other hand, still faces a long road to recovery.

In an interview with Dave Mahler and Dick Fain on Sports Radio KJR on Thursday, Schneider provided updates on both players, indicating Carson was doing well recovering from a cracked hip suffered on December 22 against Arizona. He landed on injured reserve and missed Seattle's final three games, including both playoff contests.

“We’re expecting Chris to be ready, yeah,” Schneider said.

As for Penny, he still finds himself months away from potentially being able to return to the football field. Though Schneider indicated he's made substantial progress in his rehab, “it’s going to be really hard for him to make it” for the start of the season since he suffered the injury in December.

Recovery from knee reconstructive surgery typically takes at least nine months, if not longer, and that timeline makes it seem unlikely he'll be ready by September.

Schneider made it sound inevitable Penny would open the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list, which would create some roster flexibility at the start of training camp. He wouldn't count against the 90-man roster until activated, potentially allowing the Seahawks to bring in another back or add a player at another position.

If Penny is unable to return for the season opener and stays on the PUP list, however, he won't be able to return until after Week 6 at minimum.

Coming off a second straight 1,000-plus yard campaign, Carson will be entering the final year of his rookie contract looking to set himself up for a big pay day. Injuries have been an issue for him in three NFL seasons, but he did suit up for 15 games last year and 14 games in 2018, posting 2,381 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns in that span.

Preparing to open the year without Penny behind him, the team invested a fourth round pick in Miami running back DeeJay Dallas last week and he's expected to compete with Travis Homer for snaps as a third down back. Adam Choice and undrafted free agent Anthony Jones will also be on the roster heading towards camp.