Sports Out West

Seattle Seahawks: Injuries pile up during full week of training camp

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The Seattle Seahawks will take a five-day break from training camp for a preseason matchup with the Denver Broncos after making several moves over the past week.

Most critically, injuries have forced some shuffling, particularly on the offensive line. As offensive line was already the weakest position on the Seahawks’ roster, the upcoming preseason games just became even more critical to establish depth.

While offensive line will be the most important area of focus moving forward, some other notable players missed practice or suffered significant injuries during the only full week of training camp.

Offensive Line  

The most surprising news of the week came on Saturday, as second-year tackle Michael Bowie was waived to IR and claimed by the Cleveland Browns. Bowie was removed from practice last week with a shoulder injury that will require surgery.

Even if Bowie would have been out for the year, it still comes as a bit of a blow to lose a young lineman who looked at least capable during his rookie season to another team. Reports surfaced on Monday that Bowie came into camp 20 pounds overweight, which likely explains the decision to float him on waivers.

Bowie was in a competition with Justin Britt for the starting right tackle position, leaving the door wide open for the rookie. Things got a little scary on Saturday as Britt also left practice with a shoulder injury, but he appears to be okay and will start in Seattle’s preseason opener on Thursday.

Eric Winston and Wade Smith, two recently signed veterans, will now compete for depth at right tackle. Winston has started 119 consecutive games and will be the favorite to be the backup, if not the starter should Britt take some time to adjust to the NFL.

Alvin Bailey has also shown promise and could move over to right tackle once Russell Okung returns from injury and is able to take snaps with the first team at left tackle. Undrafted free agent Garry Gilliam also has terrific potential and has impressed so far, but is still very raw.

In any case, the Seahawks will need at least a couple of these players to perform well to solidify depth along the offensive line. Seattle’s line already has multiple injury-prone players and will not be able to sustain many more losses.

Paul Richardson

Richardson missed four days of camp last week as well as the team’s padded scrimmage with an undisclosed injury. While he was back practicing in a non-contact jersey on Monday, Richardson was not listed on the depth chart for Seattle’s preseason opener.

The injury doesn’t appear to be major, but Richardson has now been unable to get through both rookie camp and training camp without having to miss some time. Richardson has a small frame and sustained a few injuries during his college career at Colorado, leading to some concern about if he could stay healthy in the NFL.

Seattle doesn’t necessarily need Richardson to be a major contributor to be successful this year, but his elite athleticism would certainly help. If Richardson and Percy Harvin are unable to stay healthy, the Seahawks will suddenly be short on depth at wide receiver.

It’s certainly not time to panic about Richardson’s health, but his injury history is a cause for concern.

Jesse Williams

Williams was placed on IR on Sunday with a knee injury. While Williams was not claimed and remains with the Seahawks, his knee will require surgery.

That comes after Williams missed all of last season resting his knees, which bothered him throughout his college career. Unfortunately, it’s becoming less and less likely that Williams will ever be able to live up to his tremendous potential.

Williams wasn’t a lock to make the roster, but he was firmly in the battle. Greg Scruggs and especially Jimmy Staten now have increased chances for playing time on the roster.    

Dion Bailey

Bailey appeared to injure his ankle on Saturday. X-rays were negative, but Bailey has been on crutches since and will not play on Thursday.

The undrafted free agent had been impressive in practice and had a good shot to make the roster as a fourth safety. Jeron Johnson and DeShawn Shead will have a chance to establish their place on the depth chart in Bailey’s absence. 

Photo Credit: Associated Press

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Nathaniel Reeves

Nathaniel Reeves is a journalism student at the University of Washington, currently covering sports for The UW Daily in addition to Sports Out West. He has been closely following Seattle sports his entire life.