At this time last week, Jaxon Smith-Njigba was away from the team, seeing a specialist to evaluate a fractured wrist that required surgery.
On Tuesday, the rookie receiver was on the practice field with his teammates, running routes and catching passes in the early portion of practice. Catching passes with a brace to protect his wrist doesn't guarantee anything in terms of Smith-Njigba's return, but it certainly is a positive development for the first-round pick.
"It was great to see Jaxon out there," quarterback Geno Smith said after practice. "He got some reps in today. He's a tough kid, and I think it's remarkable what he's doing. We love having him out there."
While the protection on Smith-Njigba's wrist was noticeable, Smith didn't see much difference in the sure-handed receiver's catching ability.
"It's a little different, he's got a little thing on his hand that obviously restricts him a little bit, but he looked fine to me," Smith said.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said following the surgery that the procedure "went great" but that they don't yet know if Smith-Njigba will be back in time for the season opener against the Rams. But even without a firm timeline for the rookie's return, Carroll was impressed with what he saw and heard from Smith-Njigba after he returned to the team last week following the surgery.
"He came back to the building and he was playing with the football, he was talking like he's OK," Carroll said following Saturday's preseason finale in Green Bay. "His attitude was great. So, where they might say, 'Oh it's going to be 10 days or something,' he's not going for that. He wants to get going and get running and all of that, so we'll see how that works out. He's the kind of kid we're going to have to hold back probably more than anything. I was really pleased about it. Upon his departure, he was talking the same way: 'Whatever this is, I'm going to be OK, don't worry about it.' He came back even more forthright in that regard. So it was really good."
The Seahawks held practice at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Wash. on Aug. 30, 2023.