Seattle Seahawks

‘Fantastic recovery’ of DK Metcalf from knee surgery has rookie poised to play Sunday

Rookie DK Metcalf on his Seahawks debut in preseason opener, how far he’s come since October neck injury at Ole Miss

Rookie DK Metcalf on his Seahawks debut in preseason opener, how far he’s come since October neck injury at Ole Miss
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Rookie DK Metcalf on his Seahawks debut in preseason opener, how far he’s come since October neck injury at Ole Miss

Maybe DK Metcalf really is Wolverine.

The Seahawks’ physical freak of a rookie wide receiver last week was running eight days after knee surgery.

Monday, he was full go at practice less than two weeks post-surgery.

The second-round draft choice is back on track to make his NFL debut Sunday in Seattle’s season opener against Cincinnati at CenturyLink Field.

“He looked good today. He had a fantastic recovery,” coach Pete Carroll said. “If you can imagine, it was just a couple weeks ago. Fantastic recovery.

“He looked great out there and today, he was running. He practiced with us throughout the practice.”

Metcalf is where he was before the surgery Aug. 20 — poised to be the Seahawks’ starting split end and No. 2 wide receiver for quarterback Russell Wilson.

Metcalf has been telling Carroll and Seahawks teammates he’s Wolverine, the Marvel comics superhero from X-Men and Avengers that has superhuman healing powers.

If the 6-foot-4, 229-pound receiver with 4.33-second speed in the 40-yard dash indeed plays 19 days following knee surgery, add healing powers to his list of impressive traits.

Each time Carroll — or pretty much anyone who has seen Metcalf on a Seahawks practice field, or in the weight room or training room — talks about him, superlatives flow. Wilson has likened Metcalf’s competitiveness and trash-talking in workouts to that of LeBron James.

Franchise quarterback Russell Wilson raves about hulking rookie DK Metcalf, other Seahawks receivers on day two of the team’s minicamp.

Yes, Carroll is as sunny as Labor Day was around Puget Sound. But the 67-year-old coach talks about his 21-year-old marvel — or, as Metcalf would call it, Marvel — in a way unlike he does for any other player.

Especially one who has yet to play his first NFL game.

“He’s remarkable. Really,” Carroll said, for maybe the 32nd time this spring and summer. “He’s a very mature kid, very clear about the challenge of it. Very clear about his intentions, expectations. He’s counting on playing. He’s not even thinking about anything else. His mentality is excellent. It’s really excellent. As good as it can be for a young kid.

“He just continues to kind of surprise us. In all ways. I just spent some time with him coming off the field today. I had some questions for him about some other things.”

Carroll was talking to Metcalf while walking off the practice field last week, not about football or the knee, but about his hometown and growing up.

Metcalf was born and raised in Oxford, Miss. He’s the son of Terrence Metcalf, an offensive lineman who played 78 games for the Chicago Bears from 2002-08. As detailed by his hometown Oxford Clarion Ledger in 2015, DeKaylin, the wide receiver’s given name, was at Solider Field and then a 9-year-old inside the home-team locker room in January 2007, when his dad’s Bears won the NFC championship game and advanced to Super Bowl 41.

DK Metcalf eventually signed to play college football for his hometown University of Mississippi. His career there of overwhelming physically inferior defensive backs with his size and speed ended last October with a neck injury. He was in a brace in a hospital bed, hearing some people say he’d never play football again.

So this relatively minor knee surgery? In Wolverine’s mind, he’s playing Sunday against the Bengals.

“He’s just an impressive kid,” Carroll said. “Good background. He’s strong. He knows what he wants to do. All of that really bodes well for a guy.

“He’s not thinking that he’s not coming back. He’s thinking that he’s coming back to play.”

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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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