RENTON — On Wednesday, the heat enveloping Seattle also hovered over the VMAC in Renton, where the Seahawks practiced in 90-degree temperatures. That might be why the practice ended about 20 minutes early with coach Pete Carroll signaling to wrap up after about 90 minutes.
Here’s some of what we saw:
Status quo on Jamal Adams, Duane Brown and other personnel notes
Just to get it out of the way, there is nothing new on the status of the team’s two “hold-in’’ players. Both again walked onto the field midway through and watched from the sidelines, as they have for two weeks now.
The personnel situation was largely as it was Tuesday with a few exceptions (including, the obvious, that Aldon Smith was cut by the team beforehand).
One new player not practicing Wednesday was safety Marquise Blair, who watched from the sidelines and seemed active in conversations. He could have just been getting a rest day.
Among the players who were back were guards Gabe Jackson and Damien Lewis, whom Carroll said got rest days Tuesday.
Also back on the field was rookie guard/center Pier Oliver-Lestage, an undrafted rookie free agent who missed the first two weeks while on the Physically Unable to Perform list after having sports hernia surgery.
Among those who remained out Wednesday were: RB Rashaad Penny, CBs Damarious Randall and D.J. Reed; OLs Cedric Ogbuehi, Jamarco Jones, Ethan Pocic and Tommy Champion; WR Penny Hart; LBs Cody Barton and Jon Rhattigan; and DL Robert Nkemdiche. All are nursing injuries though none as of yet appears overly serious.
L.J. Collier stepping up
The Seahawks are pinning some high hopes this season on 2019 first-round pick L.J. Collier. Injuries led to something of a lost season for Collier as a rookie. He started all 16 games at defensive end last season and, given it was his first real season in the NFL, he had some predictable inconsistencies in his play.
But the Seahawks are hoping for a true breakthrough in 2021, and Collier — who can play both end and tackle depending on the formation and situation — has shown flashes in camp. One came Wednesday when he broke through for a sack of Russell Wilson in a red-zone drill.
General manager John Schneider seemed impressed, approaching Collier as he walked off the field following practice for a brief talk that ended in a hearty fist bump.
Cody Thompson a receiver to watch
With Hart out, apparently due to an ankle injury suffered in Sunday’s mock game, and Dee Eskridge remaining on the PUP list, some other receivers are getting some significant work with the first- and second-offenses. That was particularly true Wednesday with Tyler Lockett also appearing to take most of the day off during team drills.
One player getting some significant work with the top two units in three-receiver sets Wednesday was third-year receiver Cody Thompson out of Toledo.
Thompson spent all of last season on the practice squad after a truncated training camp in which he battled injuries.
But healthy this year, Thompson is showing the Seahawks why they’ve kept him around as he has consistently made plays. Given that the starting WRs don’t figure to do much in the preseason, and that Hart and Eskridge are out, Thompson could be one to get some significant snaps in Saturday night’s preseason opener in Las Vegas against the Raiders.
Another who figures to get plenty of snaps is second-year WR Freddie Swain, who as of now would be the third receiver behind Lockett and DK Metcalf. Swain had a TD pass from Wilson during a red zone session Wednesday.
Phil Haynes getting some looks at center
If Pocic recovers quickly enough from his hamstring injury, then the Seahawks might be OK with their depth at center, where Kyle Fuller remains the starter with Pocic having practiced little.
With Pocic out, Brad Lundblade has typically worked as the second-team center behind Fuller with undrafted rookie free agent Jared Hocket also taking some snaps.
But appearing to get at least something of an audition at center Wednesday was third-year vet Phil Haynes. He has been working primarily at guard in camp, filling in with the starters at times, particularly at right guard when Jackson has gotten rest days.
On Wednesday, Haynes got some significant work at center, including in a full team drill and then in a 7-on-7 when he worked as the lone lineman to snap.
Haynes has practiced some at center with the Seahawks in the past, so it’s not a new thing. But the Seahawks could be seeing how viable Haynes can be at center as they assess how their usual game-day OL rotation of seven or eight will come together. Backups typically have to be able to play more than one spot. Haynes being able to play both guard and center could make him a much more attractive to not only keep on the roster but be active on game days.
Odds and ends
— Tight end Colby Parkinson, who has been one of the standout players in camp, asked to come out after making a catch on one of the final plays of the practice. He then moved behind the huddle and took a knee. It was unclear if he had an injury.
Carroll was not available to the media Wednesday — and he stood up and joined the team for the final huddle. Parkinson suffered a foot injury in training in June 2020 that limited him much of the season. As of now, he’s in line to be the third tight end behind Gerald Everett and Will Dissly.
— Speaking of Parkinson, he was open for a touchdown during a red zone drill a few minutes earlier but Geno Smith’s pass was high — not easy to do for a target who stands 6-7. Smith asked to make amends and gathered Parkinson as the rest of the team moved to another drill. They ran the same route, and Smith’s pass was perfect.
— With Brown not taking part in practice and Jones and Ogbuehi still injured, rookie Stone Forsythe again got the reps with the starters at left tackle, which figures to be his role Saturday night as well. Brandon Shell continues to work at RT with Ogbuehi out, and as noted Fuller at center, along with the two regular starting guards of Jackson and Lewis.