The Seahawks’ season came to a close without much new information on Malik McDowell, the team’s top draft pick in 2017 who was sidelined for the entirety of his rookie year due to injuries sustained in an off-road vehicle accident.
“You know, there’s not much I can tell you,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll told reporters during his final press conference of the season on Tuesday. “(McDowell) had a traumatic accident, and it took a big toll. At this point, we don’t know any more… nothing has changed in the evaluation. This young man’s future is in the balance of whatever the doctors say and what he can and is capable of doing. We really don’t know. At this point, we have to just wait. I really don’t have anything else to offer to you.
“It’s extraordinarily unfortunate to him, as a young man, and it’s extraordinarily unfortunate for our organization, as well, because he is a tremendous prospect and would be a beautiful fit. And if that ever comes back around where that happens, we’ll benefit from it as, of course, he will. But I don’t have any information for you that updates where we go.”
Carroll’s latest comments follow months of speculation about McDowell’s status.
News of McDowell’s injury first came in July, when the team announced the rookie defensive tackle had been involved in a vehicular accident during the offseason. Additional details – including the fact that McDowell had been riding an ATV and had suffered a concussion – came as camp progressed into the regular season.
McDowell published his own statement on Twitter in July, in which he stated his injury was neither life- nor career-threatening.
“I am grateful for the support I have received from the Seahawks organization, my doctors and my family. You will see me back on the field in the near future,” he wrote.
Since then, information regarding McDowell’s status has been rather limited. McDowell ultimately reported to training camp – though he was not an active participant – and began conditioning work with Seahawks trainers in October. By late November, though, Carroll announced McDowell’s season was likely over.
“I don’t think that’s happening,” Carroll said during a press conference on Nov. 27. “It doesn’t seem like it is. There’s not any progress being made in that direction.”
On Dec. 11, McDowell was arrested in Atlanta for disorderly conduct following a dispute at a night lounge. The 21 year old later issued an apology.
Seattle drafted McDowell out of Michigan State in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft with the 35th overall pick.