With the Seahawks wrapping up their three-day minicamp, and with it the last mandatory part of their offseason workout program, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll met with the media following Thursday's practice, providing updates on, among many other topics, the health of his team heading into a prolonged break prior to the start of training camp.
Most significantly, Carroll addressed the future of running back Chris Carson, who is trying to come back from a neck injury that required surgery, but who so far has not been medically cleared to return to action.
"We're waiting for—there's kind of a big assessment to be done about two weeks from now," Carroll said. "The docs and the surgeon, they'll reconvene and see where he is and let us know."
When Carroll talked to reporters last month, he said the hope was there would be an update soon, but that possibility of Carson being cleared to return didn't occur as hoped.
"So now we're into the next phase of it, we'll see what happens here," Carroll said. "Just hold out good hope, because he's worked really hard, and he really wants to come back and all of that. But I can't tell you anything for certain now at this point. So the fact that we could have known, been given us the green light, that didn't happen."
Carroll and Carson talked about the running back's future recently and Carroll said Carson is concerned "because he wants to play and he loves the game" and is facing the possibility that this neck injury could end his career, but as Carroll said, "we're trying to fight that off." Carroll also went on to call Carson "one of my favorite Seahawks ever."
As for other players either sidelined or absent from practice, here's the rundown from Carroll:
- Safety Ryan Neal had an excused absence due to a personal matter.
- Guard Gabe Jackson was present at minicamp but not practicing, the result of offseason knee surgery.
- Receiver Dee Eskridge took part in some of the offseason workouts this week was dealing with, "a hamstring thing that just kind of nagged him and he just couldn't get through it. He did fantastic when he was out here, but unfortunately he has accumulated a lot of days where he wasn't out here. I'm just feeling for him because he's dying to get out. He does stuff every day, he's explosive, he's learned the offense, he's flexible in the things he can do, and we've just got to get him out here. It's been hard, and I feel for him, because I know it's killing him."
- Rookie receivers Dareke Young and Bo Melton were dealing with hamstring tightness, but Carroll said, "those guys should both be fine," for training camp.
- Rookie running back Kenneth Walker III was also sidelined by hamstring tightness, but Carroll raved about what they've seen out of the second-round pick when he is on the field, saying, "He looked great, he looked really fast. He's got an attituded about him, he's nasty and physical and wants to show that and be that. A beautiful addition to our backfield."
- Asked about players who could potentially not be ready for the start of camp, Carroll mentioned safety Marquise Blair, cornerback Tre Brown and linebackers Ben Burr-Kirven and Jon Rhattigan, all of whom suffered season-ending knee injuries last year.