Kam Chancellor has an itch, and the only cure is hitting somebody on the football field. Fortunately for both the Seahawks and their hard-hitting strong safety, Chancellor should get a chance to scratch that itch sometime soon.
"I've got to have it," Chancellor said. "It's itching. Man, you're getting me pumped up right now just talking about it. I just love contact, I love this sport and love being physical, that's just my nature. So just not being out there man, it's hard. And it can hurt me sometimes, because I can be over anxious trying to search for contact, but I think I've grown past that part, being a young Kam who was overanxious, so I just can't wait to get out there and get some contact."
Chancellor is itching because he went more than two weeks without practicing because of a groin injury suffered in the first week of training camp, but he returned to practice Monday and has a chance to play in Thursday's preseason game against Dallas, according to defensive coordinator Kris Richard.
"Hopefully he will be (playing), but it's still up in the air," Richard said. "He's had a couple of really good days of practice, so we'll see."
A player heading into his seventh season like Chancellor probably doesn't need a ton of preseason work to be ready for Seattle's Sept. 11 regular-season opener, but whether he plays Thursday or not, Chancellor is excited just to be back on the practice field this week.
"It feels great just to be back out there with my guys," he said. "It feels good… The hardest part is just not doing it. Being on the field, I have a lot of fun out there with my guys. Showing yourself, showing what you can do, making contact, just competing, it's fun out there with the guys. So not being out there performing, it's hard to just watch, but you get a lot of good things from it as well like teaching the other guys and learning as you teach."
That teaching part of his role as a veteran leader has been one of the ways Chancellor has stayed busy while sidelined by his injury.
"It's a lot of time for me to watch those guys and also to teach them," he said. "I want to make sure the backups are ready as well, because this is football, anything can happen. And as I'm teaching, I'm still learning, so that's the cool thing about it."
And one of the young players Chancellor is teaching right now is his half-brother Keenan Lambert, who re-signed with Seattle this month after spending camp with the Seahawks last year.
"It's amazing man, it's a dream come true having your little brother out there," Chancellor said, noting that on his second go-around with the Seahawks, Lambert is "a lot more loose now. He can show his personality, he's making some plays out here, and he's retaining information and doing well on the field."
And even with Chancellor unable to practice for nearly three weeks, his presence has been felt throughout camp and the preseason a year after he was absent during this time of year due to a contract dispute.
"It's huge," Richard said. "It's huge for our team chemistry. We know he's an integral part. He's a leader on this football team and it's always good to have him around."
Photos from Tuesday's practice at Virginia Mason Athletic Center before the Seahawks play the Dallas Cowboys in the third preseason game of 2016.