After missing more than three weeks of training camp with a high-ankle sprain, the second-year cornerback has finally been able to get back on the field this week, and Thurmond is doing every thing he can to get back to game speed with the season only a couple of weeks away. So if that means sprinting up the steep grass hill next to the practice field to get in some extra conditioning, Thurmond is all for that. And if it means playing with enough reckless abandon to end up bloodied in practice, well then that will be part of the plan, too.
“I’m just shaking this rust off,” he said while still catching his breath from the sprints up the hill. “… I had to wait the whole offseason, not doing anything and just train hard, and was really looking forward to camp, then the second day of practice I get hurt. So it just feels really good to get back out here. Got to stay healthy now.”
Staying healthy will be important not just for Thurmond, but for the Seahawks’ secondary as well. A team with many needs, the Seahawks could have taken a cornerback with their first-round pick, or tried to sign a big-name corner in free agency. But instead they used their top-two picks on the offensive line, and spent their biggest free-agency dollars on the offense. So if Seattle is going to improve a pass defense that has struggled in recent years — the Seahawks have ranked 27th, 30th, and 32nd in pass defense over the past three seasons — it will have to happen without any big-name additions.