While there were no big-name veterans on the field for the first two weeks of the Seahawks’ Organized Team Activities, there apparently will be at least one when the team returns to the field Monday — quarterback Russell Wilson.
Wilson posted a short clip of a plane flying into Seattle on Sunday night that also included a view of Lumen Field with the caption “about that time…’’ Wilson has been working out at his offseason home in San Diego.
Jake Heaps, a former Seahawks QB who is a host on 710 ESPN Seattle and also the head coach of the Russell Wilson QB Academy, confirmed the clip means Wilson is set to attend OTAs, quote tweeting it Sunday night with a caption reading “Russell Wilson landing into Seattle ready to report to OTAs tomorrow!’’
It won’t be a surprise if other vets follow Wilson’s lead.
Coach Pete Carroll strongly hinted following an OTA on May 27 that he thought more players would show up for the final week of OTAs this week, which leads into a mandatory three-day minicamp next week.
Only about 40 or so players have attended the first two weeks of OTAs — there have been three each week — as the Seahawks are one of 21 teams who released a statement through the NFL Players Association stating that they would not take part in in-person, on-field drills due to concerns over COVID-19. The statement, released in April, said players hoped that they would see “a positive shift’’ in COVID-19 data to feel comfortable attending minicamp.
When Carroll was asked what he thought about players, he indicated they would return for the last week of OTAs and minicamp and said he had been in communication with team leaders such as Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner about their plans.
“Our activities will pick up as we get closer to minicamp,’’ Carroll said. “We expect a pretty darn good attendance at minicamp, there are a couple of guys that have some special situations, but for the most part we expect most of our guys to be there. The week before is really important week as well in preparation for it. We’ll see more guys coming through as we get to the middle of June.”
OTAs are officially voluntary, and some have thought players around the league have also been using absences to make a statement about feeling forced to attend something that is not mandatory. Seahawks players have been taking part in virtual meetings since April, and some have also been at the facility for varying reasons if not taking part in on-field drills. A few teams, such as Tampa Bay, have also had minimal participation by key vets during the first two weeks of OTAs.
Wilson’s participation would obviously be noteworthy not just because veterans have been sitting out but also because it would be his first time with the team since an offseason that included weeks of rumors and reports about his future and his happiness with the organization.
Media are scheduled to have access to OTAs on Tuesday and Thursday this week.
If players do show up this week and take part on-field, then it means the Seahawks could have nearly full participation in more than half of the 13 OTA workouts and minicamp practices (seven of the 13).