Four days short of eight months after he broke his ankle and tore ligaments in it – and a tad bit ahead of original expectations this summer about his recovery – Thomas Rawls is back on the practice field to be Marshawn Lynch’s heir as the Seahawks’ lead running back.
Left tackle Garry Gilliam is one of many here at team headquarters glad about that.
The 2015 breakout star as an undrafted rookie from Central Michigan had been on the physically-unable-to-perform list for the first eight practices of training camp. Just before 10 a.m. Tuesday, Rawls took a handoff from Russell Wilson to signal his return. A few minutes later he was running slant routes and catching passes, running smoothly one months before the regular season begins.
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But he may not be back to full action just yet. As his teammates began drills on another foggy, cool morning along Lake Washington, Rawls was at the other end of the field. He had his helmet off and was running sprints with a trainer watching him. Rawls also went face-down the turf before rising for 20-yard sprints.
Don’t expect him to play much, if at all, in Seattle’s four exhibition games. The first one is Saturday afternoon at Kansas City.
▪ Other items I noted at the start of Tuesday’s practice:
Doug Baldwin remains out of practice, working on the side in stretching and jogging drills. The wide receiver has been out a week now with what coach Pete Carroll said was an Achilles injury the team does not feel is serious.
▪ George Farmer has moved from defensive back to offense. He was a running back who also caught a lot of passes at USC. The Seahawks are still don’t have rookie running backs C.J. Prosise and Zac Brooks practicing.
Prosise, the runner from Notre Dame that Seattle drafted in the third round to be its third-down back, is slowly working his way back from the hamstring injury he got in a special-team drill during the first 10 minutes of camp July 30.
Defensive tackle Jordan Hill is still out injured, watching practice without a helmet. He cannot afford to miss much time inhis golden opportunity to replace departed starter Brandon Mebane in the middle
, not with second-round pick Jarran Reed impressing this summer.