The Seahawks improved to 4-3 with Sunday's win in Los Angeles, moving into first place in the NFC West. A day later, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll met with the media to discuss that game, provide a few health updates and more. Here are five takeaways from Carroll's Monday presser:
1. DK Metcalf wants to try to play this week and Carroll isn't ruling that out just yet.
Receiver DK Metcalf left Sunday's game in the first quarter with a knee injury and was quickly ruled out, a seemingly ominous sign, but on Monday morning Carroll said on his radio show that MRI results showed good news, namely that Metcalf will not need surgery for his patellar tendon injury.
Carroll didn't have any more specifics on Metcalf in terms of a timeline, but said the Pro Bowl receiver, despite being sore a day after the game, wants to try to make it back for this week's game against the Giants.
"I don't know that about when he can get back, I don't really even have a clue on that one," Carroll said. "But I know he's really anxious to try to make his way back. In his mind he wants to try to practice Wednesday, I don't even know if that's even possible. He's still pretty sore today, but because there's no immediate process to go to as far as surgery and stuff like that, they've got to see how he responds to the treatment and see what happens.
When Carroll was asked if it was unlikely that Metcalf plays, Carroll said, "I don't know that. I'm going to leave it wide open. I know what he wants to do, so I'm going to kind of follow him a little bit on this one. I can't call it. Give us a couple of days to let it cool down and see what's going on. He won't get extensive work on Wednesday, regardless. We're going got take care of him and make sure we're doing the right thing, and we'll just see. Unfortunately we don't know.
2. Ryan Neal "was sick as a dog" while playing one of his best games.
Safety Ryan Neal moved back into the starting lineup earlier this season, and on Sunday he played his best game of the year and perhaps the best of his career, recording seven tackles, four passes defensed, and a first-quarter interception that gave the offense a short field it was able to turn into a touchdown. It was a great performance under any circumstances, but one that is even more impressive considering he was, as Carroll described it, "sick as a dog" on Sunday.
"He had seven tackles and four pass breakups, and he was all over the football," Carroll said. "He's been playing really well, and I'm really fired up. And he was sick as a dog yesterday. He got the IVs and the whole thing, he was really sick as he woke up in the morning, and just made it through it anyway. Sometimes there's some famous stories about terrific performers getting the best on the days when they're sick, it's one of them. He had a great day. He just continues to be really active, his confidence is growing. We're putting him in some good spots for him to really produce, and he's taking to it He's doing great."
3. Offensive coordinator Shane Waldron "has been on the money" this season.
Seattle's offense has been one of the best in the NFL by just about any measure, and a lot of players have deservedly received a lot of credit for that success, most notably Geno Smith, who has been one of the league's best quarterbacks this season. But also deserving of recognition for the offense's fast start is second-year coordinator Shane Waldron, who is designing and calling a lot of successful plays this season.
"I think he has really been on the money with our guys and utilizing all of the personnel," Carroll said. "The process of our preparation has been sharp, and we have been on it. You can see that our gameplans early in games have been pretty effective, we've been pretty good in the first quarter. We have been through a bunch of lives already, remember when we couldn't score in the second half? We've had all kinds of things that have happened this year, but he's kept it together and has kept really good balance. Obviously, he really relates well and understands what Geno (Smith) is capable of doing and what his strengths are. I think he has really utilized the whole thing well so far, and we know that we have a lot of room to get better, but he's doing a great job."
4. The Seahawks' speed keeps showing up.
Carroll made what at the time seemed like a bold statement in June when, during OTAs, he said, "I'm going to tell you, this might be the fastest team we've ever had, this team can fly."
Carroll doubled down on that sentiment before the start of the season, and so far this year it's playing out on the field. Whether it has been Tariq Woolen on an interception return or Rashaad Penny or Kenneth Walker III on a long run, the Seahawks have had some of the fastest ball carriers in the NFL this season, per NFL Next Gen Stats. On Sunday, Walker hit 22.09 miles per hour on his 74-yard touchdown run, making him the fastest ball carrier in the league this year, and on kick coverage, both Xavier Crawford and Joey Blount went over 22 miles per hour, with Crawford hitting 22.97, the fastest speed reached this season.
"I think all of the guys that you mentioned (Woolen, Crawford, Blount, Walker) have made plays for us and have stood out," Carroll said. "It's pretty obvious that these guys are fast, and they can make stuff happen and they can chase things down. They're explosive, have suddenness. All of them have shown up. Joey Blount in particular, the guy who came here as a free agent, has had a really good start even though he missed a game. As soon as he jumped back out there, he made a bunch of tackles and he's a factor for us. He's working to get some playing time too. It's great that the guys are doing a good job. They are on the roster for gameday, so we have to make sure those guys are available if we need them. It just helps in terms of production and the elusiveness and stuff like that. Everybody is running and everybody is going. It's a defensive coach's best friend. They can run and those guys make up for stuff and miscues and things like that with their speed."
5. Travis Homer, and perhaps other players, should return to practice this week.
When the Seahawks kick off their week of practice Wednesday, running back Travis Homer is eligible to return from injured reserve, and Carroll said that is the plan for Homer. That doesn't necessarily mean he would play this weekend, but it's a good sign he's on his way back from the rib injury that kept him out of four games. Carroll said several other players could be making it back this week as well.
"We are going to get some guys back this week," Carroll said. "This is going to be an interesting week to see who can make it through the week and take the workload coming off the rehab stuff and see if they can help us this weekend. But we are going to get some guys back."
Check out some of the best action shots from Seahawks vs. Chargers at SoFi Stadium on October 23, 2022. Game action photos are presented by Washington's Lottery.