Jeremy Lane pulled a sleeve over his left arm before taking the field for practice Wednesday. The Seahawks cornerback has mixed emotions about the scar on his forearm, which represents both the most memorable play of his NFL career, as well as the injuries that cost him the chance to finish Super Bowl XLIX and play in the first half of the 2015 season.
"It makes me mad and happy at the same time, because it was such a big play, but such a sad moment just like that," Lane said. "I cover it up too every day. It brings back bad memories."
Lane, who tore his ACL and broke his arm while returning the Tom Brady pass he intercepted, returned to practice this week, a return to football he calls "a long time coming."
"Oh man, I'm very excited," Lane said. "It's been so long. I think this is the longest I've ever gone without playing football since I started. This has been a long time coming."
Lane broke his arm while crashing to the ground, and that injury was serious enough to require immediate surgery—he didn't watch the rest of the Super Bowl other than having the misfortune of waking up from surgery just before the Patriots intercepted Russell Wilson at the goal line. The initial concern over that injury meant that Lane's knee injury wasn't even discovered until later when, as he tells it, his knee buckled while walking through a grocery store. The delay in having that surgery, as well as a setback with his arm injury that required a second surgery, meant Lane missed more of this season than he had hoped, but he is taking a positive outlook on things now that he is back to full strength and preparing for his return to game action, which could come as soon as this weekend, or possibly in another week or two.
"That was tough," Lane said of suffering multiple injuries. "That was a tough break for me, but I made it through, so it is what it is… It's all good. I made it through it, I'm back on the football field, I can't complain now."
And while some athletes refuse to watch replays of their own injuries, Lane said he watch his interception return, gruesome arm injury at all, "20 times… all the way to the end. I had to see.
"I just wanted to know what happened, plus I wanted to see the interception."
With Lane officially returning to practice Monday, the Seahawks now have until November 30 to either activate him to the 53-man roster or leave him on the Physically Unable to Perform List for the rest of the season. The way the Seahawks handled receiver Paul Richardson, returning him to practice before the Dallas game but not activating him off PUP, suggests they could wait another week or two before bringing Lane back. Carroll said Lane is in great shape, but that they will do the right thing by Lane in terms of not rushing him back if he isn't 100 percent ready, but Lane says he's ready whenever he is called upon to play in a game.
"I think I was ready two weeks ago," Lane said. "If they need me to play this week, I'll be ready."
Whenever Lane is back, he'll likely step back into the nickel corner role he filled for parts of the last two seasons, becoming a big part of Seattle's defensive success.
"He's a really active football player, he's really quick, he's aggressive," Carroll said. "He's an attack guy, a good blitzer, playmaker too. He can match up with anybody. He's long enough that he can match up with the bigger guys, he's quick enough to match up with the smaller guys and he's a really good nickel fit for us. Catching him on highlights in preparation for this game, you can see the things that he can do. He's running around making some plays and stuff. It'll be exciting to get him back in the competition of it."
The Seahawks took to the practice field on Competition Wednesday to prepare the first of a three-week home stand starting with the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field this Sunday.