By John Boyle
As expected, Marshawn Lynch was the only absence from the start of Seahawks training camp, but several other players sat out with various injuries, mostly the players recovering from offseason surgeries.
Defensive end Bruce Irvin, who is recovering from hip surgery, was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list, which if he were to remain on by the start of the season would mean he would have to miss at least six games. But before you panic, players on the PUP list in preseason can come off it at any time, so theoretically he could come off of it and practice tomorrow (though that isn’t happening). The idea is to put players on PUP now if there’s any doubt about their Week 1 availability so the team can protect that roster spot if the players is still hurt then.
“As always at this time we’ll really be patient,” Carroll said. “With Bruce in particular coming off the surgery—he looks fantastic, he thinks he can do everything—but we’re going to take our time. We’ll probably work it all the way through camp to see how the progress goes. We want to make sure we’re right so that once he comes back he’s good and ready to go.”
On other players recovering from surgery—Russell Okung (foot), Kam Chancellor (hip) and Malcolm Smith (ankle)—Carroll seemed optimistic all would be back soon.
“Russell Okung got a little bit of work today in the walkthroughs,” Carroll said. “He’s just days away from kind of proving it. If we’re conservative it might take him a couple of weeks, we’ll take our time there. Kam Chancellor’s really close and ready to go. He’s chomping at the bit to go. Both those guys are running right now and getting their conditioning work done. Both went through walkthroughs, so they’re close, we expect them back soon.
“Malcolm’s close. He’s running and working out. We’re just making sure once he gets back he can stay back. He has to show he can tolerate the work day after day after day. Until that happens we’ll take it easy on him and we’ll get him when we get him. Might be a couple of weeks at most.”
Also placed on the PUP list was linebacker Korey Toomer, one of the stars of offseason workouts, who has a hamstring injury.
“Korey’s got a nagging hamstring,” Carroll said. “I just saw him running. He’s not ready yet, it’s going to be maybe a couple more weeks before he’s ready to. That’s unfortunate because he had such a great offseason and we were so excited about him and he’s excited about this chance, but he’s just going to have to wait it out.”
In addition to those players, rookie defensive back Eric Pinkins is sidelined with a Lisfranc injury that will keep him out 4-6 weeks, Carroll said. Pinkins was placed on the non-football injury list, which just means the injury didn’t happen while he was doing official team workouts.
“Eric’s got a little Lisfranc injury,” Carroll said. “He was running two days ago and running with it, but it did show up through the physicals we did. It’s going to take four to six weeks before he gets back.”
Second-round pick Justin Britt saw significant time with the first-team offensive line. He’s expected to compete for the starting job with Michael Bowie, but with Bowie suffering a shoulder injury in practice, the starting job was Britt’s on this day.
“The competition’s on,” Carroll said. “Michael Bowie kind of tweaked his shoulder a little bit today, so he opened up the door. Remember that Wally Pipp story, you know.”
A few non-injury notes from the day:
—Rookie receiver Kevin Norwood, was the most consistent rookie throughout offseason workouts, stood out again, making several impressive catches. Fellow rookie receiver Paul Richardson also looked good, and seeing him and Percy Harvin on the field was a good reminder of just how scary-fast this offense could be with those two playing together.
—Speaking of Harvin, he is going full speed, which is a big change from this time last year when he began camp with a hip injury and the big topic of conversation was whether or not he would need surgery. Harvin said that now he’s healthy, he’s looking forward to “being the monster I know I can be.”
—Cornerback Richard Sherman played like, well, Richard Sherman. Russell Wilson made the curious decision of testing Sherman twice down the sideline, once on a deep ball to 6-5 receiver Chris Matthews, and once to Ricardo Lockette, and both times Sherman was in perfect position to bat the ball away.
—Receiver Doug Baldwin got the better of Byron Maxwell on a long touchdown pass for the one of the day’s highlights. Undrafted rookie and former Husky receiver Kevin Smith had a long touchdown catch of his own a few plays later, winning a ball in traffic on a pass from Terrelle Pryor. Smith added another touchdown catch later in the session.
—It will probably take a while for veteran Kevin Williams, who signed before minicamp, to settle into a role, so things can change, but for now the base defensive line was Michael Bennett, Brandon Mebane, Tony McDaniel and Cliff Avril. When the nickel defense was on the field, the first group was Avril, Bennett, Jordan Hill and O’Brien Schofield (the assumption is a healthy Bruce Irvin takes that last spot over Schofield). Hill, who was injured much of last year and failed to make much of an impact as a rookie, is trying to take over the interior pass-rusher role held by Clinton McDonald last year.
—Rookie defensive linemen Cassius Marsh was impressive once again. That’s significant because in the last two instances in which he shined, we had to take it somewhat with a grain of salt. In rookie minicamp, he was going against fellow rookies, many of whom won’t end up on this roster or any other this season. Then after missing all of OTAs because of graduation rules (long story, but basically depending on when a player’s class graduates, he can be ineligible to participate in voluntary workouts) Marsh looked great again in the final minicamp when he had the advantage of fresh legs over players who had been grinding through offseason workouts.
On Friday, Marsh was on equal footing with everyone else and going against legit NFL players, and he still looked very quick and disruptive.