By Brady Henderson
The Super Bowl champion Seahawks are entering the offseason about as healthy as a team could hope to be, with the big toe of left tackle Russell Okung one of the few issues they’ll have to deal with.
“That’s still up in there air a little bit,” coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday of Okung. “But for the most part, we’re in pretty good shape.”
Left tackle Russell Okung may need surgery on the torn toe ligament that caused him to miss eight games. (AP)
The Seahawks ended the season having placed only seven players – including just one starter – on injured reserve, which is remarkable for a team that played 23 games from the preseason to the Super Bowl and not to mention one that resides in a division known for its physicality.
“We came out of this season so tremendously healthy,” Carroll said. “We’re so fortunate that we are.”
Okung missed eight games after tearing a ligament in the big toe of his left foot in Week 2, and Carroll didn’t rule out the possibility that he will need offseason surgery while saying Okung “did a great job” as he played through soreness once he returned.
That was the most significant injury issue Carroll noted as he met with the media for the final time Wednesday. Cornerback Richard Sherman is expected to be back to full speed in a matter of weeks after leaving the Super Bowl with a high-ankle sprain, and by Wednesday he had ditched his boot and crutches and was feeling good enough to dance on stage during the team’s celebration.
“You saw him today,” Carroll joked, “he was getting around on it pretty well.”
Wide receiver Sidney Rice, the only starter Seattle placed on injured reserve this season, is progressing quicker than expected from surgery to repair a torn ACL. Carroll said it’s “almost unheard of” how far ahead of schedule Rice is after sustaining the injury in Week 8.
Carroll said several players who missed the season due to injuries – including defensive linemen Jesse Williams and Greg Scruggs as well as linebacker Korey Toomer – should be ready for the start of the team’s offseason work while cornerback Tharold Simon may take a little longer to return as he needs another foot surgery.
Wednesday’s celebration was the final time the Seahawks will meet as a team until April 21, and Carroll said he reminded the players as he sent them off about the heightened publicity that comes with being a Super Bowl champion.
“I think we walk out of here, totally arm and arm, with the thought that we’re going to have a great offseason and that means that the guys have to be really committed to having a great offseason because they have a lot of distractions and a lot of people pulling them in different directions,” he said.
Carroll ‘in great shape’ contractually
Carroll reportedly signed a five-year contract when he came to Seattle prior to the 2010 season, which would make 2014 the final year of the deal unless it’s been extended without an announcement.
Carroll was asked Wednesday where he stands with his contract.
“I’m sitting in great shape,” he said. “I’m in great shape.”
49ers receive warning
Carroll said the 49ers received a warning from the NFL and nothing more for an incident during the NFC title game in which Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane was knocked over by a non-uniformed person on San Francisco’s sideline while covering a punt.
“They looked into it, they gave him a warning and there was nothing beyond that,” Carroll said. “We can let it go. We can let it go. It’s no big deal.”
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.