SEATTLE — In need of an offensive boost, the Seattle Seahawks could get one this week with wide receiver Tyler Lockett making significant progress in his return from surgery to repair a broken bone in his hand.
Lockett was held out of practice on Wednesday, but coach Pete Carroll said he took part in the morning walk-through and caught passes without pain, a good sign for his chances of playing Sunday when the Seahawks host the New York Jets.
“If you had watched the walk-through, you wouldn’t even know that anything was going on,” Carroll said. “He just went through it and did everything in walk-through. We’ll be careful with him in practice and make sure that we find out what his limits are, but he looked great throwing and catching and all that stuff, so we’ ll see. We’re going to go one day at a time and we’re not going to let him work hard today at practice. … We don’t need to. But the walk-through was excellent, so a really good first sign.”
Lockett was hurt 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 crack in the metacarpal bone that connects to the index finger on his left hand. He had surgery Dec. 19 and remained in Los Angeles for a few days afterwards to begin his rehab.
An upbeat Lockett strolled through the locker room before practice Wednesday, dolling out fist bumps with his right hand and briefly showing reporters his swollen and 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. 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 brings a lot of joy knowing that he’s going to be on the other side of the ball playing, 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, particularly on third down, where they went just 2 of 14. They’ve scored only 23 points over the past two weeks, part of a stretch in which they’ve lost five of six games to fall to 7-8 and one spot out of the NFC wild-card standings. They wouldn’t necessarily be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss to the Jets, but they would need several things to break their way to remain alive.
Lockett, the Seahawks’ offensive captain, was leading the team in receiving yards with 964 when he went down. He still leads the team with eight receiving touchdowns. The Chiefs game was only the third of his eight-year career that he’s missed, and only the second due to injury (he missed one last year with COVID-19).
Lockett took part in the warmup period of Wednesday’s practice but was among eight players the Seahawks listed as nonparticipants. That group also included running back Kenneth Walker III, who got the day off to rest the ankle injury that he’s been playing through.
DK Metcalf said he wasn’t surprised to see Lockett back to work only nine days after surgery.
“Well…Tyler’s 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” that Lockett is writing.
“He’s not even wavering,” Carroll said. “He’s not even fazed by it.”