Jamal Adams made it clear Sunday he wants to get back on the field as soon as possible, tweeting a picture of himself wearing a Seahawks helmet and saying he is “always locked in.’’
But Adams could be locked out of playing for another week due to a groin injury that sidelined him for the victory Sunday at Miami.
Coach Pete Carroll said during a Zoom session with reporters that Adams still is not able to run.
“I’m gonna hold out hope,’’ Carroll said. “And I don’t know Jamal real well in these situations. I know he’s dying to get back — he’s been sending me messages and stuff, how much he wants to play and get out there and all that. We’ll have to wait and see how that works. It’s just too early in the week to know.’’
What might play into decisions this week is Seattle having a bye following the game Sunday night against Minnesota.
Every game is important for a team battling for the No. 1 seed in the playoffs in a year when that is more important than ever (only the top seed gets a bye now), so the Seahawks won’t hold out a player just to hold him out. But it could make sense to allow Adams and maybe a few others, such as running back Carlos Hyde, to remain out this week, knowing they would then get extra rest during the bye week before the Oct. 25 game at Arizona.
What could make the Adams decision a little easier is that the Seahawks can now feel comfortable in his new replacement, Ryan Neal.
Neal went the entire way Sunday and had his second interception in two games, this one off a tip on the first series setting up Seattle’s first touchdown in an eventual 31-23 victory.
“He’s played good, solid football, so that’s a really good sign,’’ Carroll said of Neal, who was added off the practice squad for the Dallas game and took over for Adams when he was injured and had the clinching interception. Neal was then signed to the 53-player roster last week.
Neal got the call because Adams’ listed backup, Lano Hill, has missed the past two games with a back injury. It’s unclear when Hill will return, but Carroll indicated that for now the backup job belongs to Neal and that the team could look to find ways to get him on the field even once Adams returns.
“He has made a statement that there’s a place for him to play,’’ Carroll said. “So we’ll see how that works in the future. Right now he’s playing.’’
Here is what else Carroll said about the team’s injury situation:
• Carroll again said the team got out of the Miami game without any apparent new injuries. “We’re very fortunate that we got out of there in pretty good shape,’’ Carroll said.
• Carroll said cornerback Quinton Dunbar was able to run some Monday after sitting out the past two games with a knee injury but said it was too early to know if he can play against the Vikings. Dunbar was replaced by Tre Flowers, whom Carroll said “had a good, solid ballgame. Kept the ball in front of him.’’
• Hyde missed the game with a shoulder injury. He wore a red jersey in practice last week with the team hoping he’d be able to play. But Carroll said Sunday, “it just wasn’t feeling strong enough to go ahead and go.’’
The team had been prepping Hyde as the starter in case Chris Carson couldn’t play after his knee injury against Dallas. But Carson had what Carroll said was “a remarkable return’’ and was able to play.
The Seahawks also gave rookie DeeJay Dallas some work with Hyde out, and Seattle could go with Carson, Travis Homer and Dallas in the backfield again Sunday.
“That could be one of those ones that if we just wait one more week then we get the whole other bonus week in there,’’ Carroll said.
• Carroll said Rashaad Penny continues to recover well from knee surgery and noted that the quad on his injured leg is only “half a centimeter off’’ the size of his good leg, indicating that Penny’s leg is close to back to normal. But the team’s running back depth means the Seahawks can be patient with Penny, which Carroll said again Monday is the plan.
“What I have told you is we’re not going to rush him and to make sure that he’s back and he’s really returned to full strength and full speed, knowing it’s such a long season and we’ve got all kinds of time,’’ he said.
• Carroll said rookie defensive end Darrell Taylor, still recovering from surgery in January to have a rod placed in his leg, is “making good progress’’ but had no real ETA on his return.
“Hopefully he can make it in the next few weeks,’’ Carroll said. “I don’t know that.’’
• Carroll said the team is likely to get a reinforcement in the secondary from D.J. Reed, who was claimed off waivers from the 49ers in August and then placed on the non-football injury list with a pec injury.
The window for when Reed can return opens after six weeks, and Carroll said Reed is on track to make it back at some point this season.
“He’s going to make it back very soon,’’ Carroll said of Reed, who played 125 snaps for the 49ers last year as a reserve cornerback and nickel.
Carroll called Reed “a very versatile football player, really aggressive playmaker type. He’s played corner and safety and nickel — he’s played all those spots. So that’s an exciting guy to add in.’’
• Carroll said he had no update on rookie linebacker Jordyn Brooks, who missed the Miami game with a knee injury. Brooks was replaced by Cody Barton at weakside linebacker.