RENTON, Wash. — The Seattle Seahawks list Tyler Lockett as questionable, but a source told ESPN that the wide receiver is expected to play Sunday against the New York Jets despite being less than two weeks removed from hand surgery.
Lockett resumed catching passes on Wednesday and worked his way up to full participation on Friday.
Coach Pete Carroll said he did “quite well” in practice but stopped short of declaring that Locket will play, saying they just need to make sure he responds well to the week of work. Carroll had said Monday that Lockett would need to show that he could catch the ball and secure it without issue, which he did.
“There was no indication that anything was bothering him catching the ball, right from the first time that he came out here, starting with Nerf balls,” Carroll said. “He was fine.”
Running back Kenneth Walker III is also expected to play against the Jets, meaning the Seahawks should have two of their top offensive playmakers in what is all but a must-win game for Seattle. However, No. 3 receiver Marquise Goodwin is listed as doubtful because of a shoulder injury.
Lockett was injured on the Seahawks’ final drive of their loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 15, suffering what Carroll called a spiral crack in the metacarpal bone that connects to the index finger on his left hand. Lockett stayed in for the remainder of the drive but was unable to straighten his left hand, saying it was stuck in a C shape. He had surgery on December 19 to insert a plate and 10 screws.
“It’s gotten better,” he said. “I don’t really think about it as much. Other things I’m more worried about that my hand, honestly.”
Lockett was initially reluctant to have surgery but decided it was the best course of action when he was told it would give him a chance to return after missing only one game. He watched the Seahawks’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Christmas Eve from Southern California, where he had remained to begin rehab after surgery. It was only the third game of his eight-year career he has missed, and only the second due to injury (he missed one last year because of COVID-19).
“It just sucked because the one game I definitely wanted to play was KC because I went to [Kansas State],” Lockett said. “Played there preseason [in 2016] and it was like a home game. Everybody was cheering for me and stuff. I was really looking to go there.”
The Seahawks held Lockett out of Wednesday’s practice, but he took part in the morning walk-through and caught passes for the first time since his surgery — save for some foam footballs his fiancée threw him before that. Lockett was limited Thursday and a full participant Friday.
He said he didn’t have any issues catching the ball.
“I feel like it’s just been the same,” he said. “I got surgery, but I think the athletic trainers did a good job of padding me up and stuff like that to where I could still go out there and play the same way I’ve been playing.”
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 Seahawks missed him, in particular, on third down against Kansas City, going just 2-of-14. His absence also meant more double teams than usual for DK Metcalf.
The Seahawks have 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 said it’s ultimately the team’s decision but made it clear that he wants to play Sunday.
“Oh yeah, we’re only guaranteed two games until you get something else,” he said. “I can sit at home in the offseason and get my hand right.”
Walker is listed as questionable, but Carroll said he is expected to play. The rookie second-round pick didn’t practice Wednesday and was limited the next two days as he rested the ankle injury he has been playing through the past two games.
“He’s going to have fresh legs,” Carroll said. “We wanted to make sure we took care of some guys and we did today. We want to be fast on Sunday so we looked after a couple guys today.”
Right tackle Abe Lucas (knee), safety Ryan Neal (knee) and defensive tackle Al Woods — all starters — are also listed as questionable along with backup running back Travis Homer (ankle). Neal, Lucas and Homer didn’t practice at all this week, while Woods (Achilles) finished as a full participant Friday.
“Al made it through practice today,” Carroll said. “I need to check in with him, see how he is tomorrow again. Same thing with guys who are coming back. But he looked pretty good.”
Goodwin was listed as a non-participant in all three practices and was seen wearing a shoulder harness on the sideline. He suffered what Carroll said was a sprained SC joint on the same play vs. Kansas City that he also aggravated his wrist injury.