SEATTLE – In need of an offensive boost, the Seattle Seahawks could get one this week with wide receiver Tyler Lockett making significant progress returning from surgery to repair a broken bone in his hand.
Lockett was held out of practice Wednesday, but coach Pete Carroll said he participated in morning drills and caught passes without pain, a good sign for his chances to play Sunday when the Seahawks host the New York Jets.
“If you had seen the review, you wouldn’t even know anything was going on,” Carroll said. “He just went through it and did everything in review. We’ll be careful with him in practice and make sure we find out what his limits are, but he looked good throwing and catching and all that, so we” will see. We’re going to take it one day at a time and we’re not going to let him work hard today in practice … We don’t have to. But the review was excellent, so a very good first sign.”
Lockett was injured in the fourth quarter of the Seahawks’ Thursday night loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 15, suffering what Carroll said was a spiral fracture in the metacarpal bone that connects to the index finger on his left hand. He underwent surgery last Monday and stayed in Los Angeles for a few days afterward to begin rehabilitation.
An elated Lockett strolled through the locker room before practice Wednesday, picking out fist bumps with his right hand and briefly showing reporters his swollen, stitched-up left hand.
“I talked to him today; I think he’s going to play,” linebacker Jordyn Brooks said. “He’s a warrior, man. His hand is swollen. He’s got stitches, but he’s a warrior. It’s going to be a big deal for us just to see him in the locker room getting ready to play. It gives him a lot of joy knowing he’s going to be on the other side of the ball trying to help us win. Can’t wait to see him play.”
The Seahawks missed Lockett in their 24-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday, especially on third down, where they went just 2 of 14. They have scored just 23 points over the past two weeks, part of a stretch where they have lost five of six games to fall to 7-8 and one spot out of the NFC wild card. They wouldn’t necessarily be eliminated from the playoffs with a loss to the Jets, but they would need several things to break their path to stay alive.
Lockett, the Seahawks’ offensive captain, led the team in receiving yards with 964 when he went down. He still leads the team with eight receiving touchdowns. The Chiefs game was just the third of his eight-year career that he missed, and just the second due to injury (he missed one last year with COVID-19).
Lockett participated in the warm-up period at Wednesday’s practice, but was among eight players the Seahawks listed as non-participants. That group also included running back Ken Walker III, who got the day off to rest the ankle injury he’s been playing through.
DK Metcalf said he wasn’t surprised to see Lockett back at work just nine days after surgery.
“No…Tyler is tough,” he said. “Even after the play he hurt his finger, he was still out there running routes and trying to get the ball. So it doesn’t surprise me at all.”
Carroll called it “a remarkable story” as Lockett writes.
“He doesn’t even waver,” Carroll said. “He’s not even nervous about buying it.”