The Seahawks wrapped up their seventh set of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) last Friday, and after a weekend off the team was back at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center on Tuesday for the start of its mandatory minicamp, a three-day period of on-field workouts, meetings, and weight room sessions.
"We have a little bit more time allowed, so we take advantage of that — a little more meeting time, extended walk thru and stuff like that — but basically it's the same format [as OTAs]," Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said after Day 1 of minicamp. "So really we're just continuing on. We picked up right where we left off last week and we continue to make good progress. There's a lot of really good work happening."
Carroll said this period of the club's offseason program offers a practice tempo favorable for Seahawks players who are coming back from injury, with contact prohibited and player safety at a high priority.
"These Phase 2 and Phase 3 things are really good for those guys because they can participate and they never have to go beyond what they're capable of doing and they can still fit in," said Carroll. "So for those guys this is kind of an injured-guy tempo and it helps those guys. We've benefited from that and certainly the individuals have, so it's worked out quite well."
Speaking of individuals with injuries, Carroll went on to give several personnel updates during his post-minicamp press conference:
FS Earl Thomas
Free safety Earl Thomas said he feels 80 percent of the way back from the leg injury that ended his 2017 season early and Carroll added that he anticipates Thomas being able to work every day at the start of training camp, however, the team will not rush his return.
"We'll make sure and work our way into it," Carroll said of Thomas' return. "But there's nothing showing that he can't, so we'll just make sure that he's in really good shape and not press it early because there's no reason to. But I can't imagine he won't be in really great physical condition and mental condition to really take this on."
WR Tyler Lockett
Receiver Tyler Lockett, who's recovering from a significant leg injury of his own, "made a big jump from last week to this week," Carroll said.
"He had a great day today," said Carroll. "He was really excited about it."
Carroll said Thomas and Lockett are not on the same level right now in terms of their recovery — more of a testament to how far ahead Thomas is than how far behind Lockett is, Carroll clarified — but the hope is that Lockett will return to full speed by training camp.
Said Carroll: "Tyler looks like and I think he's aiming for camp and we'll see how he does there and I wouldn't be surprised if he's really running at top speed by then."
SS Kam Chancellor
Kam Chancellor had surgery on both ankles this offseason to clean up bone spurs that never had him feeling 100 percent last season. Carroll said the strong safety has made a great recovery so far.
"You can tell right now he's got great burst, he's changing direction, he's really hitting it, so he's made a great recovery," Carroll said. "Back when he did it I can't imagine somebody having both ankles operated on. That was totally his choice at the same time. But he did it and now he's getting the benefits of that."
DE Dion Jordan
Defensive end Dion Jordan, a free-agent signee this past April from the Miami Dolphins, came to the Seahawks with "loose bodies" in his knee that Carroll said had to be operated on this offseason.
"He had surgery, he's done some other things, some other procedures to really try to really accelerate the process, so we haven't had a chance to really see him," Carroll said of the former first-round pick. "We were fixing what had happened before. He didn't get hurt here. He came to us needing a clean up on his knee. He didn't know that at the time. We uncovered it and then we've gone to work at it. He's done everything he's supposed to do and done a really good job, but he hasn't been able to get on the field yet."
Carroll did not provide a timeline for Jordan's return.
"I don't know," he said. "We haven't had a chance to do much because he's just coming out of surgery now. I do know that it's probably been three weeks or something since surgery — maybe four weeks already — he's made really good progress. Noticeably feels better, can tell that the discomfort and irritation is out, and so that's a really good sign and we'll see how far he can come and how soon he can come back. We don't know."
RB Eddie Lacy
Eddie Lacy continues to recover from the ankle injury that limited him to five games last season with the Green Bay Packers. Carroll said he likes what he's seen from the running back who is also working to improve his diet and cut weight this offseason.
"He's really joined in," Carroll said. "He's been a really good addition. He's been competing the whole time he's been here more so than anybody because he's had a lot to overcome and some habits and lifestyle and all of that to do what he's done. He's done a beautiful job. We know he's a good football player. We know he's hard to play against. He's got a nature about him that kind of sets the tone because he is so physical and is so tough when he runs. We can't wait to see him when he's at top speed, full speed, and back in camp and all that. But he's really bought in and he's been a joy to work with throughout all of this stuff, the football parts have gone great, the off-the-field stuff has been fantastic and communicating with a lot of people and to get him in line with the way he's going and he's done a terrific job on every count, so he's off to a great start with us."
Carroll said he expects to see Lacy full-go by training camp.
"I can't see how he wouldn't be," Carroll said. "I think he's at a really good tempo already."
LB Michael Wilhoite
Michael Wilhoite, the veteran linebacker who signed with the Seahawks this offseason after spending the past five seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, recently pulled his quad in the weight room.
"He just has to come back from that," Carroll said. "So we're just taking care of him."
DE Quinton Jefferson
Quinton Jefferson, a fifth-round pick by Seattle in last year's draft who was placed on injured reserve last October, is "still working his way back" from a knee injury he suffered in practice during his rookie year.
"Has not been able to get on the field yet full-go," Carroll said of Jefferson. "He's at like seven or eight months right now, it's a nine-month recovery usually. So we'll see how he goes when we get back to camp. We're aiming for camp time to see how he fits in."
- Wideout Jermaine Kearse was not at Tuesday's minicamp practice because he and his wife Marisa are expecting a baby. "Family's having a baby, they're doing it right now," Carroll said of Kearse's absence from the mandatory camp. "As a matter of fact, they might already have one."
- Cliff Avril tweeted this past February that he had undergone a successful surgery. The defensive end was back on the field Tuesday. "He's fine," Carroll said of Avril, who led the Seahawks with 11.5 sacks last season. "He's back and ready to go. He's doing fine."
Check out photos from Day 1 of the Seahawks' mandatory minicamp at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center.