RENTON Malik McDowell has “multiple, serious” injuries, including to the head, from an ATV accident last month, and the Seahawks’ top rookie draft choice will remain out at least into the regular season.
All that I’ve been told, learned and heard from league sources about McDowell’s situation is as of right now it is not likely he will play for Seattle in 2017.
One month before Seattle’s season opener at Green Bay, the only physical activity doctors are allowing McDowell to do is walk. His prospects on returning to the field are so far down the road the Seahawks allowed him to fly back home to Michigan this week, after he had spent the last week in Seattle getting examined by team doctors. He will remain in Michigan while the Seahawks go through their second week of training camp and prepare for their first preseason game this weekend without him.
An obviously solemn, disappointed Carroll sighed and slumped his shoulders. Then he gave the most known details yet about the athletic defensive tackle’s accident in his home state of Michigan and his injuries.
“You know, he had a serious accident,” Carroll said following Monday’s mock game, the eighth day out of eight in this training camp McDowell has missed. “He had multiple injuries; he had an injury to his head. It’s going to be quite a while. You know, we have to wait it out. So, he’s on NFI (the league’s non-football-injury list). And he’s going to be there for a while. And we’re just going to have to see how he progresses, really down the road.
“We are not looking for him to get back in the immediate, not even for the first game of the season, that kind of stuff. We are going to wait it out and see how it is.”
Carroll did say that at this time the Seahawks do not believe the injuries are threatening the former Michigan State star’s career.
“I don’t think so. I don’t think so,” Carroll said.
“We have to wait. He just turned 21. We’ve just got to wait a while. He’s a real young kid. So he’s got plenty of time to get well. But we have to make sure.”
The Seahawks have been vague about the exact nature of McDowell’s injuries and his prognosis for the future at the wishes of the player’s family. McDowell turned 21 on June 20. That was less than a month after he signed a four-year contract with Seattle worth $6.96 million, with a $3.2 million signing bonus.
“I think, for the family, we’ve been told...they’ve asked us, you know... so we are (cognizant how to) express all that took place, and all that,” Carroll said. “We will honor that.”
Asked if there was a chance McDowell plays this year, Carroll said: “I don’t know that. ... We’ve just got to wait it out. He can’t do anything as far as physical workouts. Walking, that’s what he’s been doing. He feels fine. It’s very frustrating for him, because he feels fine. But he’s just got to make it through the recovery.”
When I asked Carroll if he could elaborate on McDowell’s head injury, the coach said: “Well, certainly there is a concussion involved.” But he stopped short on providing more details.
I asked if McDowell had a head or skull fracture.
Carroll said: “No.”
A few minutes later, the coach went on Seattle’s KJR-AM radio here next to the practice field. When asked again about McDowell playing in 2017 Carroll said: “I think it sounds like it's a lot to ask right now.
“It's a serious injury.”