RENTON — Seahawks safety Jamal Adams has plenty of goals for the 2021 season, especially after signing a contract last month making him the highest-paid safety in NFL history.
But at the top of the list — and key to all of the rest — is staying healthy.
As Adams wrote on Instagram in January: “I hyperextended my elbow Week One. Week Two, I dislocated both my ring and middle finger multiple times. I then strained my groin Week Three, which knocked me out for four games. Came back and dislocated my shoulder. Ended up tearing my labrum. Last week I had two surgeries (shoulder and fingers) at the same time.’’
When he held his first weekly news conference of the season Thursday, Adams declared himself healthy.
“I’m 100% in my eyes, and I’m ready to go,’’ he said.
Well, maybe not totally 100%.
Adams held up the middle finger on his left hand and said: “This one still kind of gives me problems. It’s still kind of broke in a way. But it’s OK. It’s just one finger. I had to deal with two last year. So I look at it as a positive — I’ve got one to deal with instead of two. But yeah, it’s still kind of messed up a little bit. But at the end of the day, I’m feeling good.’’
The various injuries knocked out Adams from 12 games last year and limited him in others.
Adams had missed only two games in his previous three NFL seasons, giving him no explanation for what happened other than bad luck.
“That was the first time, last year,’’ Adams said. “After one year, you’re called injury prone. So I’ve never been hurt. That was new for me.’’
Adams can breathe a little easier now that the injuries are in the past, and he doesn’t have to worry about them impacting his contractual future — he’s due to make $17.5 million a year on a deal that runs through 2025.
“It just mentally challenged me in a lot of ways,’’ Adams said. “It made me a better football player but also made me a better man, and I’m thankful for those times. Obviously we don’t want to go through injuries as a player, but things happen. It’s a vicious game that we play. Just to continue to take care of my body in the right way, every day, just stay on top of my routine. Once I found my routine the sky’s the limit. I feel good about my body, though.”
Better, certainly, than when he had the surgery in January.
And Adams didn’t try to hide anything, posting to Instagram a picture of his finger cut open on the operating table.
“I just wanted everybody to kind of see what I’ve been going through, what I’ve dealt with the past season,” Adams said of the photo. “And just to understand who I am as a person and who I am as a player, you know? Obviously that picture was real gruesome stuff. But you know, it’s just part of the story. It’s part of my why and part of the reason why I just keep on going.”
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