The other most indispensable Seahawk is out indefinitely.
A league source confirmed to The News Tribune Bobby Wagner, with Russell Wilson the franchise’s foundation players into the 2020s, had a platelet-rich plasma (PrP) therapy injection this past weekend, and that Wagner’s situation is “nothing major.”
Coach Pete Carroll would only say, cryptically, following Monday’s practice which Wagner missed that his All-Pro middle linebacker had “a little procedure” done on a “lower-body” part.
That procedure likely happened Sunday, a players day off from practice, since Wagner practiced in the Seahawks’ mock-game scrimmage Saturday.
The recently minted Wagner is out indefinitely, 4 1/2 weeks before the season begins. But the league source told the TNT Wagner is expected to play in the opening game Sept. 8 against Cincinnati. That’s why he had the procedure done now rather than later.
“Bobby had a little procedure done. He’s going to get a little break here just to get right and the thing that we do with them,” Carroll said.
“On his lower body. ...a little bit of everything. It’s something he’s done regularly. ...
“He’s done it a couple times before, and it’s something that has been successful for him. ...We felt like this was the time to do it.”
Wagner missed the Seahawks’ ninth practice of training camp on Monday. It was 10 days after the NFL’s highest-paid inside linebacker signed his new, $54 million, three-year contract with the Seahawks.
He spent an extended time taking with the team’s head trainer, then to Carroll, on the field at the start of practice. Unlike his teammates, he did not have his helmet.
As the defense finished its rousing, daily bag drill without him to begin the day, Wagner merrily skipped past.
PrP injections occur after blood-warming and spinning treatment using the body’s own platelets into aching joints and body parts. The platelets of one’s blood is spun in a centrifuge then injected back into the person’s injured areas.
K.J. Wright and four other Seahawks starters had the treatments during training camp two years ago. Wright, Tyler Lockett, Pro Bowl defensive ends Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, left guard Luke Joeckel and outside linebacker Michael Wilhoite. All those players returned to play in that 2017 regular season for Seattle.
Wide receiver Doug Baldwin went to England in 2017 to have a similar procedure, but using anti-inflammtory properties of his own stem cells instead of platelets. Baldwin had his procedure in the offseason that year. He was ready well in advance of playing in Seattle’s 2017 opener.
Wagner did not practice the entire offseason, watching organized team activities in May and June and minicamp in June while waiting for his new contract. He practiced for the first time July 27, the day after he signed his new deal.
Why now for Wagner’s procedure, rather than in the offseason and before training camp, more in advance of the opening game?
“Just to make sure we have plenty of time between the games, and all that stuff. We have a big two weeks coming up, 10 days after this game (Thursday’s preseason opener and the second exhibition, at Minnesota Aug. 18),” Carroll said, not addressing the question of why not sooner.
So do you believe he is likely to play in a preseason game this month?
“He likely could,” Carroll said, remaining coy.
Austin Calitro, who backed up Wagner at times last season, was the middle linebacker on the first-team defense Monday.
Rookie Cody Barton remains out with a groin injury. Outside linebacker Mychal Kendricks was away tending to what Carroll said was a “business” matter.
The starting linebackers Monday were Calitro flanked by Wright and Shaquem Griffin.
The backup middle linebacker? A reserve fullback, ninth-year veteran Nick Bellore came over from offense to join the second-team defense.
“The more you can do,” Carroll said of Bellore, who was a linebacker for Detroit as recently as 2017.
Ed Dickson is also out indefinitely. The 10th-year veteran tight end has a knee issue that could leave him out for six weeks, past the second game of the regular season.
“We are determining whether he needs surgery, or not,” Carroll said.
“I don’t have the final word on that. ...It’s going to take us, probably, four to five weeks, six weeks at the most (to recover if Dickson has the surgery). We’ve got to figure out exactly how to get this done, and the timing of it, and all.”
Jacob Hollister, Nick Vannett and Will Dissly are the only tight ends who have caught a pass in an NFL regular-season game.
Dissly, the former University of Washington defensive tackle Seattle drafted last year, continued his return from patellar-tendon knee surgery last September. He had two touchdown catches from Russell Wilson in the first four plays of red-zone scrimmaging on Monday.
Hollister has been emerging, including four catches in Saturday’s mock game. But he missed practice Monday with a strained groin.