Top Seahawks pick D’Wayne Eskridge starts training camp on PUP list

Jul 28, 2021, 12:32 PM | Updated: 6:19 pm
Seahawks WR D'Wayne Eskridge...
The Seahawks used the 56th pick on speedy WR D'Wayne Eskridge of Western Michigan. (Getty)

Unfortunately for the Seahawks, it hasn’t been rare for a rookie with high expectations to miss valuable time in training camp due to injury. And unfortunately for the Seahawks, 2021 training camp will be no different.

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The Seahawks placed wide receiver D’Wayne Eskridge, a second-round selection and their top pick from this year’s NFL Draft, on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list on Wednesday just ahead of the start of camp at team headquarters in Renton.

Eskridge, 24, was taken 56th overall by Seattle in the draft in late April out of Western Michigan, and the hope for Seattle was that he would compete to take the No. 3 wide receiver role left open by David Moore’s departure for Carolina in free agency. He was held back during the Seahawks’ offseason program, however, due to a toe injury.

A number of recent high-round Seahawks draft picks have had their rookie seasons compromised by missing time before they even had the chance to step on the field, most notably 2020 second-round defensive end Darrell Taylor, 2019 first-round defensive lineman L.J. Collier, and 2018 first-round running back Rashaad Penny. Knowing that history, 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake Heaps explained on an edition of Jake and Stacy earlier this month why Eskridge’s toe injury was a big concern.

“The biggest question mark for him at this point in time is not how he’s going to be able to handle the playbook, not how he’s going to be able to catch the football, run routes – the role that he will have within this offense. It’s going to be, can he be healthy?” Heaps said. “He missed out on some valuable reps and opportunities with the team and with (quarterback) Russell Wilson in OTAs and minicamp. That is the one thing I think every Seahawks fan should be worried about when it comes to D’Wayne Eskridge. Can he recover from his injury that he had, and can it be something that he puts behind him and doesn’t creep back into the picture when it comes to training camp, preseason? Because I believe that D’Wayne Eskridge has the ability to be a true impact player for this team this year.”

Eskridge was a big-play threat in college, averaging 18.5 yards per reception and over 20 yards per catch from 2018 to 2020. He caught 121 passes for 2,244 yards and 15 touchdowns over his career at WMU.

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The Seahawks also announced Wednesday that running back Travis Homer has been placed on the PUP list and guard Pier-Olivier Lestage has been placed on the non-football injury (NFI) list. Players on the PUP and NFI lists during training camp can be activated at any time, unlike during the season when PUP and NFI designations require players to miss a set amount of time.

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More on top Seahawks rookie D’Wayne Eskridge

Football 101: What D’Wayne Eskridge will add to the Seahawks’ offense
Bumpus: How Eskridge stood out at Seahawks rookie minicamp
Instant Reaction: 710’s voices on D’Wayne Eskridge
WMU coach: Eskridge ‘can control his speed better than anybody’

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