RENTON Jimmy Graham and Thomas Rawls could be practicing sooner rather than later.
Coach Pete Carroll said after the Seahawks’ fifth practice of training camp on a glorious summer Thursday here that his star tight end and new starting running back are “getting really close” to returning to the field. Both are on the physically-unable-to-perform list while recuperating from injuries late last season -- Graham from a ruptured patellar tendon and Rawls from a broken ankle and torn ligaments.
“We’re evaluating,” Carroll said. “Both those guys are pushing really hard, we’re really about going almost day-to-day with those guys now. We’re getting really close."
Players on the PUP list to begin camp can be activated and return to practice at any time. Carroll had said the team was evaluating Graham and Rawls in four-day increments to begin the preseason, so each has progressed after that first evaluation to the point four days has become each day.
Graham got hurt Nov. 29 then had surgery and rehabilitation most of the offseason in South Florida, his winter and spring home. Rawls, the replacement for retired Marshawn Lynch, broke his ankle Dec. 13 and had surgery soon after that. Both have been stretching on the side but doing little else but watching practices so far in camp. League PUP rules prohibit such designated players from working on the field with coaches or practicing.
Now I’m about to recite a lengthy list of injuries to Seahawks veterans such as Doug Baldwin and Kam Chancellor -- with the reminder this is August 4. The games don’t get real for another five weeks. Caution is the overriding theme here.
Baldwin missed his second consecutive practice Thursday. Carroll said his $46 million wide receiver and team leader got “the back of his leg stepped on.” That apparently happened in practice on Monday; Tuesday Baldwin watched practice after getting electrical-stimulation treatment on the area around his his right calf.
“He will be fine,” Carroll said.
Chancellor has “has a little groin thing that isn’t going to be an issue,” the coach said of his standout strong safety.
“Right now we make the choice to really hold out and we don’t want to push any of those aches and pains at all at this point."
That also goes for Frank Clark. For the second consecutive practice Seattle’s top draft pick from 2015 wasn’t participating at defensive end.
"Yeah, his calf is just tight and he cramped up a little bit the first day at the end of practice (Saturday), and it just kind of stayed sore,” Carroll said. “So we’re just watching him and making sure he’s okay."
Seventh-round draft choice Zac Brooks joined fellow rookie running back C.J. Prosise watching without wearing a helmet or pads. Brooks now has a sore hamstring. Prosise, the third-round pick from Notre Dame expected to be the team’s new third-down back to catch passes, hasn’t practiced since he strained him hamstring 10 minutes into camp on Saturday. Carroll has said Prosise may be able to return next week.
Two Seahawks got carted off with leg injuries during practice within a 5-minute span. Brandom Cottom, on the inside track to replace departed Derrick Coleman and Will Tukuafu as the primary fullback, has what Carroll said might be a serious Achilles-tendon injury. Cottom’s foot stuck in the turf during a passing drill early in practice. With running back thinning -- undrafted rookie Tre Madden was in an arm sling with a shoulder injury -- the Seahawks moved former University of Washington defensive tackle Taniela Tupou back to fullback. That’s where the undrafted rookie had been for much of spring minicamps until the Seahawks moved him back to defensive line for the start of training camp.
Just after Cottom left wincing, free-agent tight end Ronnie Shields went off on the back of a motorized cart. Carroll thinks that could be an Achilles injury also; those usually don’t heal quickly.
Rookie free-agent defensive end Montese Overton left practice with a calf injury.
Starting defensive end Cliff Avril left a pass-rushing drill after banging his hand and wrist into offensive tackle Bradley Sowell. Avril returned for team scrimmaging in the final portion of practice.
Underlining the combative, intense nature of line play this week, rookie guard Rees Odhiambo walked off the field after practice was over with blood down the front of his jersey. And he’s apparently healthy after fully participating.
In roster moves, the Seahawks have apparently settled on their new long snapper -- at least for now. Rookie free agent Nolan Frese from the University of Houston is the lone kick snapper on the roster after Thursday’s release of Drew Ferris.
Seattle also put now-former defensive end Chris Clemons on the reserve/retired list after he told them last week he was done playing.
To fill those roster spots the Seahawks signed strong safety Keenan Lambert and running back Cameron Marshall. Lambert is Chancellor’s brother from Virginia; he was in Seattle’s training camp last season.