Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks rookie DK Metcalf rehabbing from ‘minimal’ surgery. Will he be ready for season?

Everything about DK Metcalf’s surgery was the opposite of the mammoth rookie wide receiver himself.

It was all minimal.

That was the word from Seahawks coach Pete Carroll on Wednesday, one day after Metcalf had surgery in the Seattle area to fix an unspecified issue in his right knee.

Carroll didn’t directly answer if the standout in his first NFL training camp will return before the start of the regular season.

The coach didn’t rule it out, either.

“It was a minimal surgery. Minimal findings. So we have high expectations,” Carroll said following an indoor practice to get out of Puget Sound’s summer rain. “We will go week to week with it and see how he does. We really don’t have any concern that he won’t get back soon.

“We are excited that we got it done. It was the kind of deal we could have put off and waited. But we decided to use the time frame that we had available, and hopefully it will work out just right for us.”

Working out just right for the Seahawks would be Metcalf being available for all—or just about all—of the regular season. It begins Sept. 8 against Cincinnati. All through training camp he’s had the inside track to being the team’s starting split end this season.

Asked if the team has any more assurances after the “minimal” surgery that Metcalf will play in that opener in 18 days, Carroll said: “We are going to go week to week and see what happens.

“I don’t think it’s...there is no indications it’s going to be a long return. It’s going to be a shorter return than long. So we will see do this and keep his fingers crossed for him.”

Metcalf practiced through Friday. Carroll said the team’s medical staff then found a days-old issue in the 6-foot-4, 229-pound receiver’s knee. He missed Sunday’s second preseason game at Minnesota then had the surgery two days later.

This is what Seattle’s wide receivers looked like in practice without Metcalf: smaller.

Metcalf was inside the Seahawks’ training room Wednesday already rehabilitating the knee.

His time off is a chance for undrafted rookie Jazz Ferguson to tighten his hold on a roster spot as one of the wide receivers Seattle keeps for the regular season.

Ferguson, taller than Metcalf by one inch, was close to his second touchdown catch in as many preseason games Sunday at Minnesota. But the back-shoulder pass from fourth quarterback J.T. Barrett on Ferguson’s fade route in the fourth quarter was a bit low and into the defender. Ferguson could not grab the ball off the Viking’s back in the end zone and the pass fell incomplete in the Seahawks’ 25-19 loss.

Metcalf and Ferguson personify Carroll’s stated goal of getting bigger and faster at wide receiver this year, to maximize Russell Wilson’s accuracy in throwing deep passes.

Carroll said the loss of development time and getting used to the speed of an NFL game is the biggest issue from Metcalf’s surgery and the multiple weeks he’ll miss.

“That’s the biggest concern. He just doesn’t get enough snaps in preseason that he could have benefited from,” the coach said. “He’s shown us that he can play, and that he can do the stuff that we need him to do. We don’t have any question about that. But it’s just the quantity of reps and repetitions, and stuff like that, we won’t be able to benefit from that.”

Gregg Bell is the Seahawks and NFL writer for The News Tribune. In January 2019 he was named the Washington state sportswriter of the year by the National Sports Media Association. He started covering the NFL in 2002 as the Oakland Raiders beat writer for The Sacramento Bee. The Ohio native began covering the Seahawks in their first Super Bowl season of 2005. In a prior life he graduated from West Point and served as a tactical intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, so he may ask you to drop and give him 10.
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