RENTON Tyler Lockett is behind Earl Thomas in their recoveries from broken legs.
It only appeared on Tuesday that they were equally back.
Lockett ran routes quickly and smoothly caught passes from Russell Wilson in position drills on the first day of Seahawks minicamp -- all without any visible sign the wide receiver and Pro Bowl kick returner is only 5 1/2 months removed from his injury and surgery.
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Lockett did more on Tuesday in the first of three minicamp practices than he did last week in organized team activities, when he was limited to jogging routes in QB drills. He broke his leg on Christmas Eve, a gruesome injury that had teammate Doug Baldwin praying over him on the field when it happened.
“He had a great day today,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He was really excited about it. He made a big jump from last week to this week. But they’re not on the same level right now — he’s behind where Earl is. But I should say it the other way around, Earl’s that far ahead.”
Thomas, meanwhile, was full go with the starting defense in team scrimmaging. It was the convincing sign yet the three-time All-Pro free safety will be all the way back from his broken tibia he got Dec. 4 in time for the start of training camp at the end of July.
It follows logically that Lockett would be behind Thomas in his recovery. His injury occurred three weeks after Thomas’. And Lockett’s break was to two bones in his right leg, his tibia and fibula, and required surgery.
Thomas elected not to have surgery and let his tibia in his left leg heal on its own.
Lockett may be ready for training camp that for the Seahawks should begin on or about July 29, 15 days before the first exhibition game, at the Los Angeles Chargers.
“Tyler looks like and I think he’s aiming for camp,” Carroll said. “And we’ll see how he does there. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s really running at top speed by then.”
Thomas almost assuredly will be ready for training camp -- though Carroll said the Seahawks will have to decide whether they want him to practice every day then or ease back into a full schedule of on-field work.
No matter how they begin training camp next month, Tuesday showed both Lockett and especially Thomas are on track to start the season opener Sept. 10 at Green Bay.
DION JORDAN DELAYED
The news is not as positive on Dion Jordan. The former Miami Dolphins pass rusher who hasn’t played in a game in almost three full years had surgery in the middle of last month to clean up “loose bodies” in his previously troublesome knee, Carroll said Tuesday.
“We were fixing what had happened before,” Carroll said. “He didn’t get hurt here (since he signed with the Seahawks this spring). He came to us needing a clean-up on his knee. He didn’t know that at the time. We uncovered it.
“He’s done everything he’s supposed to do and done a good job. But he hasn’t been able to get on the field yet.”
It was his third knee surgery in about a year.
It leaves the Seahawks in waiting mode to know if it can find a new pass rusher in a former third-overall draft choice whom most of the NFL has forgotten.
Jordan hasn’t played in a game since Dec. 28, 2014. He has played in 26 games -- all with the Dolphins -- since he was the third-overall pick of the 2013 NFL draft out of Oregon. He missed the 2015 season after the league found him in violation of its policy against performance-enhancing drugs. He had multiple knee surgeries in 2016.
“He’s made really good progress and noticeably feels better, can tell that the discomfort and irritation is out,” Carroll said. “So that’s a really good sign and we’ll see how far he can come and how soon he can come in. We don’t know.”
He needs to get on the field sooner than later, by early in if not the start of training camp, to have a realistic chance to restart his career in Seattle. The Seahawks’ defensive-line rotation is filling fast with first-round draft choice Malik McDowell already getting first-team practice time in nickel pass-rush situations.