RENTON — The absences of Jamal Adams and Duane Brown — each continuing their “hold-ins’’ — remained notable on Day 10 of Seahawks training camp.
But those were far from the only absences that stood out Tuesday.
Here are thoughts on that and more of what we saw at the VMAC:
A really different looking offensive line
Brown’s continuing absence from the field plus injuries and rest days meant Seattle had just one player working with the starting offensive line Tuesday who would have been generally projected to be a starter before the season — right tackle Brandon Shell.
With Brown, as well as Cedric Ogbuehi (biceps) and Jamarco Jones (back spasms) out, rookie Stone Forsythe again worked at left tackle with the starters.
Forsythe might well be in line to start the preseason opener Saturday against the Raiders in Las Vegas as coach Pete Carroll said Ogbuehi’s injury “is going to take a couple weeks, probably.’’
Guards Gabe Jackson and Damien Lewis, meanwhile, got rest days, which had Seattle going with Phil Haynes and Jordan Simmons as the starting guards.
And with Ethan Pocic still out with a hamstring injury, Kyle Fuller again worked as the starting center.
Carroll said Pocic is “a couple days’’ away from returning but that he won’t play against the Raiders. That will mean a good audition for Fuller, who is in an open competition with Pocic for the starting job. That Pocic has $3 million guaranteed indicates he’s going to make the roster in some capacity. But since the first day of camp, Carroll has said Fuller would be given every opportunity to win the job.
The varying absences made the second-team offensive line look even stranger. From left, it read: Greg Eiland, Jared Hocker, Brad Lundblade, Jake Curhan and Lukayus McNeil. McNeil was officially added to the roster Tuesday morning and then spent the afternoon getting significant snaps in practice, indicative of the team’s depth issues at tackle (another backup tackle, Tommy Champion, is out with an injury).
With Carroll saying Brown will sit out the preseason and with Ogbuehi out a few weeks, Seattle’s tackle situation will definitely be something to watch the rest of the month.
Carroll began his news conference Tuesday by volunteering how well he thought Forsythe and Eiland — an undrafted rookie free agent from Mississippi State — played in Sunday’s mock game.
“They had to play because of a couple of things that happened right at the end of the week,” Carroll said. “They both held their own. I thought (offensive coordinator) Shane (Waldron) did a nice job of getting the ball out for the quarterbacks to help them in pass pro, and those guys hung well. They did a nice job for two young guys.’’
Still, it’s hard to imagine the Seahawks would really want either to have to play much this season.
Eskridge getting closer to returning
Talking about injuries might not always be Carroll’s favorite thing. But he was happy to Tuesday since he said there could be good news on the horizon for the team’s second-round pick in the 2021 draft. Dee Eskridge remains on the Physically Unable to Perform list with a toe issue and will have to be taken off that list before he can practice. But Carroll said last week that new shoes have helped and he reiterated that Tuesday.
“He had a really good day again,’’ Carroll said. “This was the fifth day in a row of him running and conditioning without any problems. That’s a really good sign. We’re trying to make sure because he has not been able to run in a conditioning manner over the offseason like we would like. We’re trying to make sure he’s in good shape, and so once he’s back out here he can sustain. It’s all very positive, and he’s going in the right direction.”
Another Fuller stands out
Penny Hart remained out of practice Tuesday after suffering an ankle injury Sunday, which meant two of the team’s top five or six receivers were sidelined. But assuming that Eskridge can return soon and that Hart’s injury is not significant, the battle for the third receiver spot could become a lot more interesting.
One player who stood out Tuesday in getting a few more snaps with the receiving depth a little thin was former UW standout Aaron Fuller. Fuller had two touchdown catches — one each from Russell Wilson and Geno Smith — during red zone periods.
Fuller, a second-year player who spent all of last season on the practice squad, also had three catches in Sunday’s mock game, tying for the most of any receiver, and Carroll noted Tuesday “he continues to make plays.’’
Seattle might keep only five or six receivers, so making the roster won’t be easy for any of the undrafted free agent corps for the last few years. But Fuller is at least making something of a statement the last few days, and his return ability could also help.
The best receiving play of the day, though, was turned in by a really familiar face — DK Metcalf — who leapt high over Marquise Blair to corral a Wilson pass near the goal line during a red zone period.
Here are a few more notes and quotes
— D.J. Reed remained out with a groin injury, meaning Tre Flowers again worked with the starting defensive at right cornerback alongside Ahkello Witherspoon on the left.
Also remaining out is defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, who was an early star but has been slowed for a week with a groin injury. “I don’t know that yet,’’ Carroll said when asked if Nkemdiche will be back this week. “I watched him work out today, and he looked very good. He was changing direction and running around. He’s got a groin thing, so he has to get that done.”
— Defensive end Kerry Hyder also got a rest day.
— Among others who remain out are linebackers Cody Barton (quad), Jon Rhattigan (hamstring) and Nate Evans. So that had Nick Bellore again donning a defensive jersey and filling in at linebacker.
— Also out Tuesday was cornerback Damarious Randall, who also missed a day last week with a groin injury. Randall also might have gotten a rest day.
— With Adams out, Blair got significant work with the starting defense at safety. But Ryan Neal also continues to rotate in with the ones, with Blair also getting significant work with the starting defense at nickel.