Turns out, the hip surgery Robert Turbin was off having this offseason was twice as challenging than previously understood.
The fourth-year backup to Marshawn Lynch as Seattle’s lead running back -- the man quarterback and camp roommate Russell Wilson described today as “an elite running back” -- said following his Saturday as the No. 1 rusher in this training camp’s fullest scrimmage he had double-hip surgery this offseason outside the team’s medical staff at a specialty clinic in Colorado.
Coach Pete Carroll said this spring Turbin was away “up north” recovering from hip surgery and that the rehabilitation was in concert with the team’s medical staff and was going well.
Turbin said his labrums were torn in both hips. He said the hip pain began in his second league year in 2012, then got progressively worse in 2013 and last year.
“I thought, ‘If I’m going to be better, as a football player, I’ve got to find out what’s wrong internally, with my body,” said Turbin, who rushed for 310 yards and caught 16 passes for two touchdowns last season. He started three times when Lynch’s back was tight at the beginning of games, and had his first career 100-yard game Dec. 9 in the romp past Arizona.
Yet he didn’t feel as great as he looked in flashes spelling Lynch, and often in Seattle’s 2-minute offense.
He and his agent sought the advice this offseason of specialists at the renowned Steadman Clinic for orthopedics in Vail, Colorado. That’s where he had his surgery and part of his rehabilitation coach Pete Carroll had previously described as “up north” this spring.
The rest of his rehabilitation was in his native California.
“Yeah, it’s healed up great now,” Turbin said. “It’s really a credit to the people at the Steadman Clinic and the people I worked with in California.”
This, of course, is Turbin’s prime time. Lynch gets few if any carries each preseason. That leave Turbin and third-year back Christine Michael as the showcased runners in Carroll’s run-first offense during exhibition games -- only to fade into spot, fill-in roles in special packages behind Lynch when the games get real.
Turbin knows this better than we do, of course. So what, I asked, is the source of his patience with this annual arrangement -- especially entering what for him is a potential contract year?
“You know, it’s just about staying ready,” he said. “This is a very unpredictable game. You never know what’s going to happen. You have to stay ready so you don’t have to get ready. You do your job to the best of your ability whenever you get the chance, whether that’s one carry or 14 carries.”
He is entering the final year of his four-year, $2.56 million contract as Seattle’s fourth round draft choice out of Utah State; he was a college teammate of Bobby Wagner there.
“I’m not concerned with it, at all,” Turbin said. “Not the least bit. I’m really just relaxed. I’m just chillin’.
“I know what I’ve done since February up to this point to be ready, so there’s no real reason for me to be tight. I’m just chillin’. I’m doing what I’ve been doing since I was 10 years old, playing the game I love. ... All that other stuff, you know, it always fall where it’s supposed to.”