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Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett reveals it wasn’t leg injury that slowed him down in 2017

Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett broke out in 2018, two seasons after breaking his leg. (Getty)

“My leg was never the problem.”

That’s what Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett said while sitting down in the 710 ESPN Seattle studio at team headquarters Thursday after the first practice of 2019 training camp.

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Lockett was referring to his 2017 campaign, a season in which he returned from a broken leg suffered in December 2016 to participate in all 16 regular season games. There were questions throughout that year about whether he was fully healthy following surgery to repair his broken leg.

“Everybody just thought my leg was the problem – my leg was never the problem. It was something else that was bothering me from another injury that happened before my leg,” he said to set the record straight. “When you overcompensate, it allows the other injury that was fixed at first to become something that nags on because you overcompensate when you have surgery. I just never said anything. It was never my leg. (The Seahawks) knew it was never my leg. It was never my leg that I was going to treatment for (in 2017). … It was something else.”

He even joked to Dave Wyman and Bob Stelton, “Look – I’m wearing a sleeve on the opposite leg that I broke.”

Therein lies the answer to any doubts cast when the Seahawks signed Lockett to a three-year, $31.8 million extension with $20 million in guarantees prior to the 2018 season. If the team knew his leg wasn’t an issue, that’s all that really matters.

So what does this season hold in store for the fifth-year pro? Lockett, now the veteran in the receivers room, wants to stay the course when it comes to being a mentor.

“When it comes to being able to help the younger guys, they’re gonna be looking up to you and being able to see little things like, when you’re not practicing good, how do you respond? When you’re having a great day, how do you respond? Are you gonna be consistent in a way that you help other people?

“I think it’s just continuing to be myself and not allowing myself to do anything beyond what I normally do.”

When it subject arrived at him becoming ‘the guy’ in the Seahawks’ passing game in 2018, Lockett remains as humble as ever.

“You never know when you’re gonna get the ball, so I knew that when I got the chance, I needed to make a play on it,” he recalls. “When your name is called, if you don’t make that play, you don’t know when it’s gonna be called again or when you’re gonna be given another chance. So, just focusing on that one play, that one ball, that one catch – it allowed me to be able to make so many other plays because I wasn’t worried about other plays I didn’t get.”

Despite that self-realization, Lockett understands why it would seem he was emerging as a No. 1 wide receiver.

“I think in other people’s eyes, the fans that are watching, it made it look like I was the guy, when I was just making catches that I normally try to make routinely, whether it’s in practice or in the games.”

Regardless the number assigned to the wide receiver, Lockett has a clear intention for his play this season, and it hasn’t wavered since his rookie year.

“It’s really just trying not to tell a story in my head – it’s going out there and stay true to what I’ve been doing the whole time,” he says. “It doesn’t matter if you’re gonna be the guy or not – it just matters what you can do to perform and help your team win.”

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