RENTON, Wash. (AP) — If Pete Carroll’s optimism proves justified, the Seattle Seahawks will have Jimmy Graham and Thomas Rawls on the field when the regular season begins.
That both could be ready for the Sept. 11 opener against Miami is a pleasant surprise for the Seahawks.
Carroll said Thursday as Seattle wrapped up its three-day mandatory minicamp that both are on track, although they may not be able to go at the beginning of training camp in late July. Carroll said it was a critical six weeks coming up for the pair as they recover from injuries suffered late last season.
“They both have made great progress,” Carroll said. “Whether it’s the first day of camp or not or it’s PUP or whatnot we’re going to see how these six weeks play out. It’s a really important six weeks because these guys now are in good enough shape that they can get in shape. They’ve worked their way back in the rehab process and now they’re preparing to really push over.”
Graham tore a patellar tendon in his right knee in Seattle’s Week 12 win over Pittsburgh last November. Two weeks later, Rawls broke an ankle early in a victory over Baltimore. Rawls was believed to have a shorter recovery schedule, but Carroll said Graham was actually ahead in the rehabilitation.
Both were on the field as spectators during workouts earlier in the offseason and during minicamp this week.
“Both kids are mentally right,” Carroll said. “They have a great attitude about what they’re going to do these next six weeks so we just have to wait and see.”
Asked specifically about whether they would be ready for the opener against the Dolphins, Carroll was confident.
“I absolutely think that,” he said. “They would have to incur some issues that we can’t foresee right now for (missing the opener) to happen.”
Carroll also briefly touched on two contract situations — his own and that of wide receiver Doug Baldwin.
Carroll said getting a deal done with Baldwin is a priority and that it was being worked on “right now.” Baldwin is coming off the best season of his career and the three-year deal he signed in the spring of 2014 expires after this upcoming season. Last season, Baldwin tied for the NFL lead with 14 touchdown receptions and became Seattle’s first 1,000-yard receiver since 2007.
“It is a big deal, and it’s a very serious negotiation as they all are,” Carroll said. “But he’s done an incredible job for us and been a great teammate. Hopefully, eventually, we’ll get something worked out. I hope it happens. The intent is to get him signed and secured for a good while. So we’ll see if we can get that done.”
As for his own contract situation, Carroll again declined to get into any specifics about a possible extension beyond this season.
“Everything is great. I’m under contract,” Carroll said.
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