But that timeline could mean rookie Shaquem Griffin would have to start the regular season opener at Denver.
Maybe it wasn’t a specific enough timeline to confirm that Seahawks veteran linebacker K.J. Wright will for sure miss the regular season opener at Denver.
But when asked for an update on Wright’s condition Wednesday, Seattle coach Pete Carroll hinted that Wright won’t be ready for that game and that rookie Shaquem Griffin would start against the Broncos.
Wright had what Carroll said was a “cleanup’’ arthroscopic surgery on his knee on Monday, and when pressed for a timeline, Carroll said, “a couple weeks was the most optimistic we could be.’’
Taking that literally, it indicates that the best-case scenario would be Wright returning for the second game of the season at Chicago on Sept. 17.
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Wright had the surgery out of the area and was not at practice all week.
Carroll said he was told the surgery “went really well’’ and that “hopefully (there was) a minimal invasive kind of approach to it that will really help in his recovery.’’
With Wright missing Thursday’s preseason finale against the Raiders at CenturyLink Field, Griffin will start at weakside linebacker alongside middle linebacker Bobby Wagner.
Griffin played primarily on the edge during his college career, but the Seahawks moved him to the weakside where they appear to be grooming him as a potential successor to Wright, who, at age 29, is entering the final year of his contract.
Griffin has played extensively at weakside linebacker in the preseason but Carroll said there’s still a long way for him to go to be ready to start at Denver.
“He played his best game last week (at Minnesota),’’ Carroll said. “Even though he had a lot of tackles in the opener he really played his best this last weekend. So this is important to continue to see him continue to get better and clean things up and be really accountable. He’s a running and hitting guy – we are not worried about that. It’s making sure he is really playing the scheme really well and is really precise about all of his (run) fits and all of that.
“It’s a bit of a race to get there because he’s been more of an outside guy in his career, so we have adapt him to be an inside backer on the weak side and like to be able to use his speed and his range and all that. So he’s working really hard at it. He’s been a very astute worker, been really sharp communicating and all that kind of stuff. So a lot of good things that are positive. Now just like to see him put it together again and have another big week and add to that.’’
Griffin conceivably could be the only rookie position player who starts against the Broncos. Others such as Rashaad Penny, Rasheem Green, Will Dissly and Tre Flowers could have significant roles but not necessarily as starters (Michael Dickson will start at punter).
Here are a few other injury updates from Carroll’s session with the media Wednesday”:
- Cornerback Byron Maxwell (groin) will not play, meaning he will have missed all four games in the preseason.
- WR Amara Darboh will play for the first time in the preseason, Carroll said.
- OL J.R. Sweezy (ankle) is expected to play and could again be used at right guard in place of D.J. Fluker, who is dealing with a hamstring issue. Jordan Roos could get the start there. Sweezy has also been getting work at left guard.
- Fullback Tre Madden is back to practice this week after missing the Vikings game.
- DE Erik Walden has a hip flexor issue and did not practice this week.
- RB Rashaad Penny no longer has to wear a cast on his finger and Carroll said he could play Thursday, though he didn’t say if he will.
- WR Marcus Johnson fell hard in practice earlier this week and has a hip pointer. Carroll said it’s not severe but indicated he won’t play against the Raiders.
- Carroll said TE Ed Dickson, who remains on the Non-Football Injury list with a strained groin suffered in the offseason, also aggravated something else which has slowed his return. Carroll said Dickson was expected to work out on Wednesday and he was “anxious to see” how Dickson comes out of it.
- FS Tedric Thompson is doing “pretty well” after suffering rib and stinger injuries against the Vikings. Carroll indicated he won’t play against the Raiders but that “we really see him being able to be available for the opener.”