“Hey twitter world what’s going on.”
— Walter Jones, April 8 via his Twitter feed @BJRTH
A few days before minicamp and one of the unanswered questions about the Seattle Seahawks has been sighted on the World Wide Web (or Tweetdeck in some instances). This is Walter Jones’ first post since February.
You remember Walter Jones, right? He’s a big fellow, 6 feet 5. A franchise left tackle, that rarest of specimens in the NFL.
Jones’ return to posting on Twitter was noted by a teammate.
— Matt Hasselbeck via Twitter @Matthewhass8
Jones is back on Twitter, he meant.
Back on the field? Now that’s a different question entirely.
It has now been two knee surgeries and 20 regular-season games since he last played for the Seahawks.
Will he play again?
That’s an open question. Jones has made it clear he’s not going to play without full confidence in his knee, and he has gone from hinting about retirement to stating that outright during the Super Bowl. His agent has not returned phone messages since Jones posted that message, and Jones has not addressed that statement in any subsequent posts.
At the scouting combine, coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider answered questions about Jones, and while retirement remains a possibility, Schneider also stated that the team was willing to take a wait-and-see approach.
“He has done enough and is a talented enough man, you would wait for him if that’s what he decided,” Schneider said.
Jones was not present when the team began its offseason conditioning program, but that in and of itself was of little significance. His rehabilitation could be occurring elsewhere. Same goes for attendance at the three-day veteran minicamp that begins Tuesday. Not only is it voluntary, but it isn’t a make-or-break point yet.
While Seattle may still hope Jones can return, the Seahawks are not expecting it nor counting on it, which makes it a stark difference from last season. Seattle operated all offseason under the belief Jones would be ready to come back, and when he wasn’t, that left Seattle with no depth behind Sean Locklear.
When Locklear was injured, he was replaced by Brandon Frye, a waiver claim from Miami after final roster cuts. When Frye was hurt, Seattle went to Kyle Williams, who started the season on the practice squad, and signed veteran Damion McIntosh, who wasn’t on a roster when the season began.
This season, many expect Seattle to draft a tackle with one of its two first-round picks.