Seattle Seahawks

Rookie Collins a fan pleaser at Seahawks scrimmage

Seattle Seahawks running back Alex Collins, center, carries the ball Saturday during training camp in Renton. Collins scored a running touchdown and a receiving touchdown Sunday to highlight the first game-type scrimmage of training camp.
Seattle Seahawks running back Alex Collins, center, carries the ball Saturday during training camp in Renton. Collins scored a running touchdown and a receiving touchdown Sunday to highlight the first game-type scrimmage of training camp. The Associated Press

If the Seahawks had to file an injury report after a scrimmage, rookie running back Alex Collins might have been ruled: Questionable — writer’s cramp.

After having a big day on the field Sunday afternoon, with touchdowns via receiving and rushing, Collins spent almost an hour at the fence signing autographs until the final fan had decamped.

It was the first game-type scrimmage of training camp for the Seahawks, and Collins, a fifth-round draft pick, was seeing so much action because of an injury to Thomas Rawls and a slight illness that hit Christine Michael.

“He did a good job and got a lot of work today,” coach Pete Carroll said of Collins. “It was a big day for Alex to get the shot.”

Collins rushed for three consecutive 1,000-plus-yard seasons at Arkansas, but had only 27 catches in that span. He had three catches on Sunday, including a deep touchdown pass from Trevone Boykin.

“It’s just good that us running backs can be threats in the passing game as well as the running game,” Collins said. “In college, they used me more as protection to stay in and block, so it’s good that I’m actually being that dual-threat kind of running back.”

But spending an hour with the Sharpie in his hand after practice?

“I try to do it every day,” Collins said of meeting the fans. “They come out and support us. I just appreciate them being out here and supporting us every day.”

Collins did lose a fumble in the scrimmage, although Carroll said he was certain the play would have been blown dead on review in a game.

Carroll announced after the practice that Rawls (ankle) was coming off the physically-unable-to-perform list and would be eased back into practice next week. Tight end Jimmy Graham (knee), though, will need a little more time before coming off the PUP list.

“We’re just going to take a little more time with Jimmy,” Carroll said.

Sunday was the first appearance of newly acquired free agent guard Jahri Evans, a multiple-time All-Pro with the Saints for the last decade. Evans was signed on Saturday and showed up for the scrimmage in full pads. He did not see action, though.

“I really like the experience he brings to us, and the leadership he has shown in the past may be a factor for us, we don’t know,” Carroll said. “Right now, he’s competing for playing time. This is a guy who has done everything you can do in the game, so we’re happy to have him.”

Evans will have “to get in our kind of shape,” Carroll said. “He’s not been told he’s the starter or anything; he’s been brought in to compete, and hopefully he’ll add to the level of play.”

Evans was cut by the Saints in February for salary cap reasons, and liked what he saw when he came to Seattle on Thursday. “It feels good up here; it’s a good offense and a good scheme, and I’m just looking to get to work,” Evans said.

Back at the scrimmage, Russell Wilson threw a touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett, and receiver Jermaine Kearse set up a touchdown with a sideline circus catch.

On the injury front, receivers Kasen Williams and Kevin Smith are sidelined with hamstrings, and defensive end Frank Clark (calf) has been worked back into action the past couple of days but was held out of the scrimmage.

Safety Kam Chancellor will be back Tuesday, while receiver Doug Baldwin will need a little more time to recover from a calf injury.

The Hawks open the preseason Saturday at Kansas City.


WHAT IT WAS: Sunday’s scrimmage stands as the annual “mock game” heading into the week of the first preseason game. The players were in full pads and contact was mostly live (except for quarterbacks, and no kicking game other than place kicks). Coach Pete Carroll said he thought the practice was “raggedy” at the start because the coordinators were calling in plays via the headphones and transmission was sketchy for them.

WHO SHINED: Carroll said he thought the defenses did a good job of keeping pressure on the quarterbacks, particularly with perimeter rushes. Key among those was Cassius Marsh, a SAM linebacker who edged up to the line to rush in nickel situations. He was a matchup problem for tackles all day. Rookie back Alex Collins showed he can catch the ball effectively with three grabs, including one for a touchdown from Trevone Boykin from near midfield. Russell Wilson completed 17 of 26 pass attempts with a touchdown throw to Tyler Lockett. Lesser-known receiver Montario Hunter, a rookie from Elizabeth City State, had a couple of catches, including on a deep sideline pass from Wilson. The speedy Hunter was timed by the Seahawks in the 4.3s for the 40. Carroll said he thought the versatility of the offensive linemen has made that unit “ahead of where we thought we would be. … We’re very big and physical up front.”

WHO SAT: Most of the Seahawks who have been sitting out with minor injuries were rested on Sunday. Kam Chancellor and Frank Clark will be back on Tuesday, though, after the team takes Monday off. Doug Baldwin’s calf injury is not quite as close to being ready. Carroll said that back Thomas Rawls is coming off the PUP list, but tight end Jimmy Graham is not quite ready yet. Half a dozen others are nursing minor hamstring injuries. Defensive tackle Jordan Hill was out again. Guard Jahri Evans was suited up, but didn’t see action. He signed on Saturday. He wears No. 62, and will be given a look at left guard after playing right guard for a decade in New Orleans.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “This was definitely the best mock game we’ve had since I’ve been here.” — quarterback Russell Wilson