Less than seven months ago, Jordyn Brooks underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL, the result of an injury suffered in the penultimate regular season game on the Seahawks' schedule.
On Tuesday, the fourth-year linebacker passed his physical, and while he did not yet make a return to practice, coming off the physically unable to perform list did allow him to take part in the team's walkthrough earlier in the day.
Brooks said all along he has attacked the rehab process focused on his goal, which was, "To get back by Week 1."
And while he still has work to do to show he is ready for the regular-season opener on September 10, passing his physical and coming off the PUP list was a significant step towards that goal.
"I just attacked the rebab from day one," he said. "I know people were throwing numbers around, in terms of what the return timetable would be. I just went off how I felt, and it's been a great process of getting back… The way I'm feeling now, I think I would (be ready for Week 1)."
Said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, "Jordyn got out to walkthrough today which is a really big step. Now he's back in there so he can practice. When the time is right, we'll get him back out there. We're not going to rush it at all, but we want to get him back because he's capable of the walkthrough tempo stuff and that's 40 minutes of work around the defense. It's a real boost to him to get his learning up and communications. For us to see him back out there, we're going to get accustomed to him starting his return. It's going to be a while still, but that's a great sign and he's going to make it back. He's going to be OK."
And Carroll was not surprised that Brooks was able to pass his physical only seven months after surgery,
"He's not a regular routine guy; he goes over and above, he pushes harder than most, he demands a tremendous amount out of himself, and it shows in his ability to get back this soon," Carroll said. "He looks great running. He doesn't look like there is anything wrong with his workouts and all that, but we're just trying to establish a workload and callusing him up to the work he is called on. Once he steps out there he's going and it's on so we have to make sure that he's ready to handle that and sustain that. It's not just getting back, it's staying back and building up from there. He's a tremendous guy to work with because he's so hard in pushing himself and being tough on himself."
While Brooks downplayed the significance of the actual injury and rehab process, he said the biggest challenge was not being able to be on the field with his teammates.
"I guess the toughest part was watching practice and watching everyone else have fun," he said. "We're on the road to getting back to that."
Next up for Brooks, he said, is getting in football shape. As hard as he has been working in his rehab with athletic trainers and with safety Jamal Adams, there is a difference between that and football shape.
"That's the biggest thing, getting conditioned," he said. "Getting used to 12-play drives or six-play drives and running around in pads. Getting used to that feeling again is going to be the biggest part."
And speaking of Adams, Brooks credited his teammate with helping make the rehab process easier. Brooks and Adams, who tore his quadriceps tendon early in the season, worked together in Frisco, Texas during the offseason, then have been working together before practices since training camp started.
"It was funny," Brooks said of working out with Adams, "Jamal has a heck of a personality. That was the biggest boost for my recovery. Seeing him and how he was reacting to his injury. Having fun every day during his rehab process encouraged me to bring that attitude to rehab every day. It was great."
"His injury is a little bit worse than mine, but I would say about June when we started running forties and stuff. We were definitely competing to see who could run the fastest 40. Of course, I beat him. But the competition was great for both of us, as far as just like hey I see him getting better, it makes me want to do a little bit more to get better. It was great working out with him."
While Jamal Adams is also making good progress in his recovery, he isn't quite ready to come off the PUP list yet, though Carroll sees that happening soon.
"Jamal looks like he's on his way back too," Carroll said. "Again, we've got to get them not just where they can kind of get back out there, they have to be able to stay out there. That's why we are taking the time and making sure that hopefully when they return, they can stay returned… He's not quite as far along (as Brooks)."
Receiver Dareke Young, who has been out with a groin/hip injury that was feared to be a possible sports hernia issue, returned to practice Tuesday.
"We missed him," Carroll said. "It seems like it's been a month, but I know it's probably been about 10 days. He's a good hard-working kid and again he pushed himself to get back out. We're going to take this one day at a time with him to make sure that he can stay out."
Also back was Cody Thompson, who has been out since last week.
Kenneth Walker III returned to practice from a groin injury on Saturday, but is still being eased back in and did not practice Tuesday.
"Kenny is back in walkthrough now, he did the walkthroughs today too, he looked great," Carroll said. "He looked like he was flying out there. He's going to make it back there's no doubt, he looked like he is healed. He too needs more work too so we can guarantee that he can stay, but he looked great today."
Rookie running back Kenny McIntosh is also close to returning, Carroll said: "As soon as he saw Ken (Walker III) out there, he wanted to get back out in a walkthrough also. He was clamoring for it today. I made an appeal to the trainers today, so we'll see what happens in the next couple of days, but he's making good progress. Kenneth Walker is going to be back no doubt."
On first-round pick Devon Witherspoon, who has been out since last week with a hamstring injury, Carroll said, "He is in his own spot right now, he is running straight ahead, and he's getting there, so it's going to be a bit still."
On fellow rookie Cameron Young, who is dealing with a calf injury, Carroll said, "He's running, he's not quite there yet. He's getting back, he'll make it, probably make it in the next week or so."
Rookie defensive end Mike Morris was also out Tuesday with a shoulder injury.
"Mike got an old injury in his shoulder," Carroll said. "We're just making sure he had a little bit of a stinger we don't want to keep that in a reoccurring kind of mode, so we'll slow it down for a couple of days and see how it goes. I don't know what will happen for the weekend at this point.
Outside linebacker Darrell Taylor is "making really good progress" in his comeback from a shoulder injury, Carroll said. "He's doing a lot of stuff now. It sounds like everyone we've talked about is kind of in the same mode. They are all working really hard, it's positive I can't give you a prediction on that one at all yet. The shoulders you want to protect, you don't want them to be chronic where they keep coming back."
Rookie center Olu Oluwatimi is dealing with an elbow injury, and Carroll said, "We're watching it. We're making sure we don't aggravate his elbow any sooner than we have to. I know he wants to play this weekend and we'll see what happens."
On Cade Johnson, who suffered a concussion in the preseason opener, Carroll said, "He's doing much better. He's been riding the bike and has been getting back to activity."
Seahawks get back to practice on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023 leading up to preseason game two against the Dallas Cowboys.