RENTON — The end of the Seattle Seahawks’ mandatory three-day minicamp Thursday meant it’s the last time they will see many veteran players until training camp begins July 26.
Many of the younger players will stick around for three more OTAs (organized team activities) next week, which coach Pete Carroll described as akin to a passing camp, many veterans were free to leave once Thursday’s practice and meetings concluded.
As the team breaks for the summer, one big question remains: Will safety Jamal Adams be ready for the start of the regular season?
Carroll reiterated Thursday what he’s said throughout the offseason — the team hopes so, but it remains unclear.
Adams, rehabbing from a torn quadriceps muscle, and linebacker Jordyn Brooks, recovering from an ACL injury, attended the minicamp, the first time they were in town during the offseason. Each will return to the Dallas area to continue their rehab.
“Both those guys are competing and racing for camp,” Carroll said. “We’ll see what happens.”
Carroll said seeing each in person allowed the team to get a better idea of where each is in their recovery.
Asked if he had any concerns that Adams wouldn’t be ready for the start of the season, Carroll said, “No, not yet. We’ll see. Let’s get to camp and see what happens. It may be too much to ask. I don’t know. We’ll see.”
Adams was injured in the regular-season opener last September against Denver. Brooks was injured against the Jets on Jan. 1.
The timing of those injuries indicates Adams is closer to returning. But Adams’ injury has been described as a particularly tricky one from which to recover.
That’s one reason the team has been OK with him staying in Dallas to rehab where he can work with his own trainers and stay on his workout plan, as well as being with his doctors.
Each has attended meetings virtually throughout the offseason.
“Only get so much out of the Zoom thing,” Carroll said. “So them being here has been really valuable.”
Without going into detail, Carroll said there are some specific benchmarks Adams will have to pass before getting the OK to return to the field.
He said Adams appears to have good range of motion, but the task now is getting all of his strength back in the leg.
“It’s just time (that Adams needs),” Carroll said.
Adams has the highest salary-cap hit on the team in 2023 at $18.11 million, part of a four-year contract worth up to $72 million that he signed before the 2021 season. He was coming off his first year with the Seahawks in which he had 9.5 sacks to help lead them to the NFC West title.
He has played in just 13 games since.
The Seahawks got some insurance in case Adams doesn’t make it back by signing free agent safety Julian Love. Love worked alongside Quandre Diggs as the starting safeties throughout the minicamp and the offseason program.
The Seahawks hope for a full return by Adams to work him into a three-safety scheme they hoped to deploy last year before he was injured. It would typically put Adams in positions to make the best use of his pass-rush ability.
“He’s going to do everything he can to get it right,” Carroll said. “As soon as he can be right, he’s going to be right.”
Here’s more of what Carroll said following the last day of minicamp.
Coby Bryant battling toe injury
Carroll revealed that second-year cornerback Coby Bryant, the team’s primary starting nickel corner last season, has been battling a sore toe, which is why he has been sitting out.
Carroll said the injury will not require surgery and was “not a bad injury,” but that it was bothering him enough that the team decided to rest him after he had taken part in many of the early practices and walk-throughs.
“He’ll need the break to get back,” Carroll said.
Bryant being out compelled the team to try rookie Devon Witherspoon, the fifth overall pick, as a slot corner during minicamp.
“It gave us an opportunity to take a look at ‘Spoon inside,” Carroll said.
Witherspoon played some inside at Illinois, and Carroll said he seems to take to it naturally — “we’ve seen him pretty much in charge of the position.”
The move isn’t permanent — Witherspoon played some at left corner and some inside during Thursday’s practice — as Carroll said the team just wanted to use the chance to get some film of Witherspoon at the slot corner spot heading into the offseason.
Michael Jackson has best camp, Carroll says
Carroll said there was an obvious MVP of minicamp — cornerback Michael Jackson.
Jackson started last season at left cornerback. But as noted, the team has also had plans to play Witherspoon there, with the thought he would team with Tariq Woolen as the starting boundary corners.
Woolen suffered a knee injury the week before OTAs that required arthroscopic surgery, which opened the door for Jackson to take over as the primary starter on the right side during minicamp.
“Michael Jackson had the best camp of anybody,” Carroll said. “Had a great camp. He stepped up to the challenge of it. Just had a really productive camp, almost a dominant camp for us. That was great to see that. We need it.”
Woolen was present for camp and in a brief conversation with reporters said he’ll be good to go for training camp, which Carroll confirmed.
Other personnel notes
— Carroll said it remains unclear when nose tackle Bryan Mone or edge Alton Robinson will be ready. Each is rehabbing knee injuries suffered last year. “Both those guys aren’t right yet,” Carroll said, adding “they are not able to do any running yet.” Mone would be ticketed for a key role as potentially the starting nose tackle if healthy. In his absence, rookie Cameron Young worked with the starting defense.
— Carroll said rookie guard Anthony Bradford, a fourth-round pick out of LSU, had a “fender-bender” recently in which he “just bonked his head a little,” so the team held him out of minicamp.
— Second-year linebacker Vi Jones was held out of minicamp after recently suffering a hyperextension of his knee. Carroll indicated it was not serious, saying he had “a little soreness in his knee.”
— Outside linebacker Darrell Taylor was held out the last two days with what Carroll said was “tightness.”
— The team got its first look during minicamp at veteran free agent defensive end Mario Edwards Jr., who missed OTAs while dealing with some family issues. Carroll said Edwards “made a really good impression,” weighing in at 287 pounds and showing he can potentially play inside and outside on the line. “He’s going to be a factor,” Carroll said. “There ain’t no question in my mind.”
— Asked to name any undrafted free agent rookies who stood out, Carroll mentioned safety Jonathan Sutherland of Penn State and receiver Jake Bobo of UCLA.
— Carroll said Austin Faoliu, a free agent nose tackle the team signed last month after he had a solid season with the SeaDragons, had a knee injury that required surgery which is why he did not take part in minicamp.