The Seahawks’ third of seven Organized Team Activities (OTAs) wrapped up on Friday at Renton’s Virginia Mason Athletic Center, and when Seattle head coach Pete Carroll met with the media after his team’s voluntary offseason workout, he shared encouraging news on the injury front.
Offensive lineman Luke Joeckel, who last season was limited to four games because of a knee injury, and running back Eddie Lacy, whose 2016 campaign was held to five games because of an ankle injury, have each been able to — as Carroll put — “get enough work that they’re feeling some continuity” this spring. Carroll said the same is true for free safety Earl Thomas, who suffered a lower leg fracture last December, and strong safety Kam Chancellor, who had surgery earlier this offseason to clean up lingering ankle issues.
“We’re really fired up about the fact that Luke has been able to work every day,” Carroll said of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ former No. 2 overall draft pick who signed a free-agent deal with the Seahawks this past March. “He’s worked every day of the offseason with us. In the format that we’re doing he’s able to be in the huddle a ton, he’s practiced a bunch with us, so he’s making really good progress. We’re still careful with him, but yet he’s in good enough shape and able to take care of a lot of work that we didn’t think would get done.”
Added Joeckel: “It’s going well. I think I’m a little bit ahead of schedule, definitely participating more than I thought I would be at this time and getting to be able to do some individual, do some of the team walk thru stuff, and getting reps — that’s most important, not putting it all off until training camp to get those mental reps, and it’ll be a huge help.”
Following his comment on Joeckel, Carroll went on about the status of Lacy, Thomas, and Chancellor.
“The same is going on for Eddie, too, and Earl as well, Kam too,” Carroll said. “The guys who we thought might be more slowed up at this time are really out there able to get enough work that they’re feeling some continuity and getting the workload and also it’s important for us as they get to show and learn from the other guys around them. So it’s working out really well.”
Lacy, who Carroll expects to be full-go for training camp, said: “I’m still limited. I’m able to do a lot more, though, and it’s steady progression. So as long as I continue to get better I’ll just continue to do more and whatever they allow me to do.”
Through the team’s three OTAs to date, Carroll said he has come away particularly impressed with the progress of the Seahawks’ Pro Bowl and All-Pro safety Thomas, who’s “working a lot more than what we thought he would do at this time.”
“Today we took it easy just to make sure we finish this week out on the field, but he did the early work, and probably the guy that jumped out the most to me of all guys was Earl,” Carroll said. “His ability when he came into work on Tuesday, he was able to get a lot of reps and he was working at top speed and he was really fired up about it too because he wasn’t quite sure himself how far he could go, so he’s making good progress. There will be no question about him being ready to go when we get back to [training] camp.”
Receiver Tyler Lockett, meanwhile, who’s also coming back from a broken leg that — unlike Thomas — required surgery, is “not quite as far along as those guys,” Carroll said.
“He’s kind of on the normal path,” said Carroll. “I think other guys are further ahead of schedule than that.”