RENTON – Add Bruce Irvin to the list of Seahawks who aren’t participating in offseason workouts while recovering from surgery.
The Seahawks confirmed after Monday’s organized team activity (OTA) that Irvin underwent a hip procedure earlier in the day. The team did not specify what was repaired nor when Irvin is expected to return, but he indicated via Twitter that he’ll be back in time for training camp.
“Didn’t want this to get out but I’m fine!” Irvin tweeted. “Will b back by training camp! For all u people saying this a make or break year for me!”
While calling 2014 a make-or-break year for Irvin might be a bit of an overstatement, it’s certainly an important one as he enters the second season of his transition from defensive end to strong-side linebacker. He showed some promise there last year after he returned from a four-game suspension – just think back to that Monday night game against St. Louis when he filled up the stat sheet with an interception, a strip-sack and eight tackles. But by the end of the regular season he was relegated mainly to early-down duty, leaving the field when Seattle subbed in its nickel package.
The Seahawks have four starting-caliber linebackers but only three starting spots, which likely leaves Irvin competing with Malcolm Smith for the strong-side job. Smith, the MVP of Super Bowl XLVIII, hasn’t been practicing as he recovers from ankle surgery. He’s also expected to return in time for training camp, and on Monday he was seen without the boot he had been wearing on his right foot.
The absences of Smith and Irvin create opportunities for the linebackers who are lower on Seattle’s depth chart. Mike Morgan – who has been mainly a special-teams player since his rookie season in 2011 – took a number of the snaps with Seattle’s starting defense Monday. There’s also Korey Toomer, a 2012 fifth-round pick who has yet to play a regular-season snap because of shoulder and knee injuries. The fact that Toomer is still in the mix despite spending his first two seasons on injured reserve is an indication of the potential the Seahawks see in him.
“He’s very strong,” middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said of Toomer. “He worked out a lot this offseason. He’s fast. Just adds another speed guy to our team. I’m looking forward to seeing him out there. He’s doing a great job so far.”
Monday’s OTA was the second that has been open to the media. Running back Marshawn Lynch was again absent from the voluntary workout as were defensive tackle Tony McDaniel and cornerback Phillip Adams. Cornerback Tharold Simon (foot) and defensive tackle Jesse Williams (laceration) did not participate in the session that was open to the media last week, but both practiced Monday.
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.