Doug Baldwin will remain out for weeks. He has had to go “down south” to get off-site treatment for his ailing knee.
Yet the Seahawks have no fear their Pro Bowl wide receiver and top target for quarterback Russell Wilson will miss their season opener Sept. 9 at Denver.
“None,” Pete Carroll said Friday following the seventh practice of training camp.
Friday’s was the fifth consecutive practice Baldwin missed. He watched again, and at one point was reduced to being the relay man catching passes from fellow receivers and throwing the balls into the area where quarterbacks were.
That was an improvement from Thursday’s practice, when he wasn’t in the state.
“He went and did some work down south, just to set up the next couple weeks,” Carroll said. “He should be in great shape. We are totally counting on him coming back. And it’s just a process of getting him right and making him really strong and ready to go again.”
Carroll had said this week Baldwin was going for “special” treatment for the knee. That brought back memories of K.J. Wright, Michael Bennett and three other Seahawks starters going away last summer during training camp for Regenokine, blood-warming-and-spinning treatments for using anti-inflammatory properties.
Carroll refused to answer whether that’s what Baldwin is having now. He said to ask him, but injured Seahawks are off-limits to reporters per team policy.
Baldwin practiced in the first two workouts of training camp July 26 and 27. But after Baldwin missed practices Sunday and Monday, Carroll revealed the owner of 247 receptions and 29 touchdowns the last three seasons had reported to camp last week with “a sore knee,” and that it is “a little bit of a problem.”
So is the depth of healthy Seahawks receivers.
It did get better this week; Brandon Marshall continued to his most extensive work yet for the Seahawks, for the third consecutive practice on Friday. The 34-year-old star with six 100-catch seasons in the NFL whom Seattle signed this offseason is coming off toe and ankle surgeries after a season with the New York Giants cut short after five games. Then he sustained a hamstring injury that kept him off the field for the first days of this Seahawks training camp.
David Moore, a standout last week in the first practices of camp, ran on the side in pads and a helmet then participated in a few plays of team scrimmaging at the end of Friday’s practice. That was the 2017 seventh-round pick’s first work this week, after a hip-flexor injury.
So “a little bit of a problem,” two surgeries and “thing” have left Wilson throwing to Tyler Lockett, Jaron Brown, Amara Darboh, Marcus Johnson, Keenan Reynolds, Tanner McEvoy, Cyril Grayson and other, even-less-accomplished guys five days into training camp.
What does that mean to Wilson and the Seahawks’ offense?
Baldwin is Seattle’s $46 million wide receiver. He has been selected for the last two Pro Bowls. Wilson has thrown to him 344 times the last three seasons, an average of seven targets per regular-season game. One-third of Wilson’s 89 touchdown throws in all games to all receivers over the last three years have gone to Baldwin.
Baldwin tied Bobby Engram’s team record for receptions in a season with 94 in 2016. He led the NFL with 14 touchdown catches in 2015.
Reynolds is a former quarterback for Navy. Grayson was a star track runner at LSU.
Baldwin and Marshall have combined for 1,402 catches and 126 touchdowns in their careers.
Lockett, Brown, Darboh, Johnson, Reynolds, McEvoy and Grayson have 250 catches and 20 TDs combined between all their NFL careers.
With that steep drop off, it’s a good thing for the Seahawks their first game is still 5 1/2 weeks away.
It’s an even better thing for them that Carroll says Baldwin will play in it.