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Seahawks Rashaad Penny
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Pete Carroll Show: Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny has been ‘really exciting’ in 1st week back at practice

Rashaad Penny last played a year ago when he suffered an ACL injury. (Getty)

It’s been just two days of practice since Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny has returned to activity with the team, but head coach Pete Carroll sounds ecstatic about Seattle’s 2018 first-round pick.

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While providing injury updates on Friday’s edition of The Pete Carroll Show on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, Carroll made sure to mention what he’s seen out of Penny.

“The other guy that was really exciting this week was Rashaad Penny,” Carroll told Dave Wyman. “He looked very, very good, and very quick and shifty. He was really excited to be able get to work for the first time. We’re going to bring him back and see where he fits in one week at a time.”

What Carroll meant by that is open to interpretation – and likely to be cleared up in his Friday afternoon press conference.

It’s possible Penny could make his return Sunday against the New York Jets, though it’s rare for a player who has been out as long as Penny to play in a game after just one week of practice back from injury – and Penny has been out for a very long time. In fact, this week marked one year since he suffered an ACL tear that ended his 2019 season in a Week 13 game against the Los Angeles Rams, leaving him with a long road of recovery following reconstructive knee surgery.

Penny had just started to hit his stride with a pair of breakout games prior to his injury. He ran for a career-high 129 yards and a touchdown in Week 11 of the 2019 season against Philadelphia, then followed up with 74 rushing yards, another 33 yards on four receptions, and both a touchdown run and touchdown catch the next week against Minnesota. It was easily the best two-game stretch of his career, and he picked right up where he left off the next week vs. the Rams with a reception for 16 yards on the opening series of the game. Unfortunately that was also the play that ended his season.

Penny finished 2019 with 370 rushing yards on 65 attempts, good for 5.7 yards per carry, over 10 games.

Whether Penny returns this weekend or later, it’s clear the Seahawks are in a much better spot in their backfield than a year ago.

Following Penny’s injury, Seattle also lost starting running back Chris Carson and backup RB C.J. Prosise before the playoffs. That left the Seahawks scrambling, and they eventually brought back both Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin while giving most of the carries to then-rookie Travis Homer.

This Sunday, Carson will play his third game back from a foot sprain, and backup Carlos Hyde has played four games in a row, though he has been limited in practice this week a toe injury. Seattle also has rookie DeeJay Dallas at the position as well as Homer, who has missed the last four games with a myriad of injuries.

Here are a few more injury updates from Carroll.

• Cornerback Quinton Dunbar is a candidate to play Sunday after being designated for return from injured reserve this week. He last played in Week 9 against Buffalo, a game in which he was noticeably slowed by a knee injury.

“Quinton Dunbar had his first real day on the field on Thursday and got a chance to get some work done,” Carroll said. “We gotta see how he bounces back all the way until game day and see if he can be a factor to play in the game. This has been a pretty quick turnaround for him but he’s close and we’ll see how he does.”

• Starting right tackle Brandon Shell, who has been working his way back from a high ankle sprain, is on track to play for the first time since Week 11.

“Everything looked pretty good. He had a good, solid week,” Carroll said of Shell. “That’s a really good return for us.”

Related: Jake Heaps on why the Seahawks need Brandon Shell back

• Tight end Greg Olsen is “way ahead of schedule” in his recovery from a ruptured plantar fascia, though it’s still too far out to determine when he could return.

“He looks great and he’s moving and doing things we didn’t think he would even be capable of doing at this point,” Carroll said.

You can hear The Pete Carroll Show at 8:15 a.m. each Friday during the football season on Seattle’s Morning News.

The Seahawks’ game against the Jets will air on 710 ESPN Seattle and KIRO FM beginning with the pregame show at 10 a.m. Kickoff will be at 1:05 p.m., with Wyman and fellow former Seahawks player Steve Raible set to be on the call.

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