Several Seahawks Progressing Back from Injury, Eye 2020 Return
The Seahawks season officially came to a close following a 28-23 defeat to the Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday.
While he won’t use it as an excuse, coach Pete Carroll admitted on Monday that if he had any regrets about the 2019 season, it was the laundry list of players who succumbed to injury. Roster attrition became a real factor for Seattle down the stretch, as they ended the season with 19 players on injured reserve, including three running backs.
“We couldn’t stay healthy. It was a big deal,” Carroll said. “We just couldn’t keep our guys. We were going so well late into the year. It was almost game 12 or 13. Somewhere in there. We had six guys on the inactives that were healthy. Then, all of the sudden, it just shifted. It was just one after the other. When the running backs went down, we just took a lot of hits. I regret that we weren’t able to just find a way through that.”
With attention already shifted to preparation for the 2020 season, Carroll provided updates on several injured players in his final press conference of the year.
Suffering a torn ACL and other significant knee damage in Week 14 against the Rams, Penny recently underwent knee reconstruction surgery and looks to be ahead of schedule. With that said, he’s very early in the rehabilitation process and Carroll speculated he has at least six or seven challenging months ahead of him before he’s able to make it back on the field.
“We’ll have to wait and see. He’s really determined, his attitude is great about it. He’s planning on making it back and getting ready to play. So, we’ll see how that goes.”
A return for the start of training camp isn’t out of the question, but it’s still likely Penny will open the 2020 season on the PUP list. Seattle won’t rush him back and the goal is to have him ready for the regular season if possible.
Already without Penny, Carson suffered a cracked hip during Seattle’s Week 16 loss to Arizona. He didn’t realize the severity of the injury when it happened, checking back into the game for a few more snaps before exiting for the locker room and being ruled out at halftime. He was still sporting crutches in the locker room on Monday, but he won’t need surgery and Carroll doesn’t have any reservations about him making it back to 100 percent health.
“We’re optimistic…” Carroll said, “He’s not having surgery and all that. He’s just got to get through it and stay off it for a while. He’s a fantastic workout warrior. He’ll come roaring back.”
Given the nature of the injury, it’s unlikely Carson will do much, if anything, during Seattle’s offseason program. But he’s expected to be fully recovered in time for training camp.
Engaged in a rigorous rehab from a severe injury for the second straight offseason, Carroll said Dissly is “killing it” working his way back from a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered in Week 6.
“Will is doing great. He’s spending some time down in LA to get right, and he’s really fired up about the people that he’s working with and the progress he’s making. He’s been around a lot. He’ll get it done. Will will get it done. There’s no question he will. But, it’s a long process, it’s going to be some tough work for him.”
Before going down, Dissly ranked among league leaders in tight ends for receptions, receiving yardage, and touchdowns. There’s still a long way to go before he’s back on the field, but his prognosis is encouraging heading into the offseason and Seattle hopes he’ll be ready for camp.
Rehabbing from a torn ACL suffered in Week 8 at Atlanta, Carroll indicated Britt has been at the facility frequently and appears to be making excellent strides working his way back from the injury.
“I saw him the other day, he said he is making really good progress. He’s been around a lot. He’s very active in here, so we know that he’s working hard at it. He should be able to get back on normal schedule.”
While Britt could be in position to do some work on the field later this spring, his contract status will be one worth watching over the next few months. Carrying a cap hit north of $11 million in 2020, there’s a chance the team may try to restructure his deal after a significant injury.
Though the team kept quiet about it aside from listing him on the weekly injury report, Hunt has been battling through a fibula stress fracture for nearly two months filling in as Britt’s replacement at center. He also dislocated a finger during Sunday’s loss in Green Bay.
“He’s had a stress fracture for weeks and weeks that he just endured. These guys are amazing. It means so much to them. They’ll go to such extents and lengths to give themselves a chance to play."
Hunt will be a restricted free agent, but considering Britt's own injury and contract situation, he should be expected to return in 2020 as either a backup or a potential starter.
The All-Pro linebacker managed to play all 16 regular season games and both playoff games for the Seahawks, but Wagner sounds like his offseason plans could include recovering from at least one minor surgery. He’s undecided on whether or not he’ll play in the Pro Bowl in two weeks and he’s weighing his options with knee and ankle injuries.
When asked about his status, Carroll downplayed the possibility of surgery, saying, ““He found out today that there was something that he didn’t know about, we didn’t even know it was there. He had a little test done, I don’t think it is going to require surgery or anything like that. He didn’t even know he was hurt. Sometimes that happens.”
Wagner himself didn’t sound overly concerned about the injuries when speaking with reporters in the locker room on Monday and even if he does need a cleanup repair of some kind, he shouldn’t face a lengthy rehab.
There’s no surprise here, but Carroll confirmed Clowney is expected to undergo surgery next week to repair a core injury that has bothered him for the past two months. He gutted it out to play in Seattle’s final three games and produced 1.5 sacks in the playoffs.
“It’s short,” Carroll said of Clowney’s expected rehab. “Guys can make that back in six, seven weeks. Five, six weeks. It shouldn’t be a lasting recovery at all.”
Entering free agency, the 27-year old Clowney will be one of the most sought-after players on the market and this injury shouldn't deter potential suitors. While Seattle has expressed interest in re-signing him and Clowney hasn’t ruled out returning, it remains to be seen if the team will enter the bidding war to bring him back.
Clowney isn’t the only defensive lineman who will be going under the knife now that the season is officially over, as Carroll told reporters Jefferson will need foot surgery. The injury occurred during Sunday’s loss and the veteran defensive tackle was seen on a crutches coming out of the locker room.
“I think it’s the bone on the outside of his foot,” Carroll elaborated. “He’s going to have to have surgery on that.”
Jefferson will also become an unrestricted free agent in March and his status coming back from surgery will be of interest for teams considering signing him. If he returns to Seattle, his injury shouldn't keep him out too long once the offseason program kicks off in April.