Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham, who was placed on injured reserve earlier this week after tearing his patellar tendon in the team's Week 12 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, will undergo surgery today to repair the damage, according to Seattle head coach Pete Carroll.
"He’s having surgery today if all goes right with the meetings that he had this morning," Carroll said of Graham at his Wednesday press conference ahead of his team's Week 13 road matchup with the Minnesota Vikings. "He’s back on the east coast, so we’ll know more about it when we hear from them.”
Carroll has said he expects the Seahawks to have Graham ready for 2016 and reiterated that hope on Wednesday when asked if Graham will be back by the start of next season.
"Yes," Carroll said. "Now, I don’t know what I’m talking about, but I’m saying yes. Very optimistic at this point.”
With Graham's season ending early, the team signed seventh-year tight end Chase Coffman on Tuesday for depth at the position. Carroll said Coffman is a player the Seahawks have kept track of for a while.
"He’s a tall guy, good catcher," Carroll said of the 6-foot-6, 244-pound Coffman, who will wear No. 86 in Seattle. "Has been a guy that we think could fit with the stuff that we need him to do, so we’ve kind of had our eye on him for a while in case we needed somebody.”
Coffman joins a tight end group that also includes Luke Willson and Cooper Helfet on the 53-man active roster. Willson will move into the starting spot with Graham out and Carroll said the Seahawks don't plan to change much, if any, of their offensive approach moving forward.
"We’re not going to change," Carroll said. "It may seem like it, but we didn’t really change when Jimmy got here. We just wanted to get the football there. We’ve always thought we had the routes and the concepts to call on and we just needed to put him in position so that we could get that done. So we’re not going to change much, I don’t see us changing at all really.”
Graham, acquired in an offseason trade with the New Orleans Saints, finishes his first season in Seattle with 48 catches for 605 yards and two touchdowns. With his year officially over, Carroll was asked to assess the club's move for the three-time Pro Bowler.
"I love the guy on our team," Carroll said. "He’s a terrific teammate, he brings character and personality to our team. He’s a dynamic player. I can only see for really cool things to happen in the future. I think it’s going to be a great long-term decision that we made. We’re really happy to have him, we miss the heck out of him.”
The Seahawks finished out their three-week home stand with a thrilling 39-30 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers and team photographer Rod Mar documented the excitement from pregame to postgame in this week's photo essay.