Rost: With Seahawks’ Jamal Adams off PUP, 2 things to keep in mind

Aug 25, 2023, 9:49 AM

Seahawks Jamal Adams...

Seattle Seahawks safety Jamal Adams looks at Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers during a 2021 game. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

(Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Jamal Adams is one of the most important Seattle Seahawks defenders this year. While Seahawks fans who remain frustrated with Adams’ lack of availability — or underwhelmed by his overall performance when healthy — might roll their eyes there, Adams’ overall skill set plays a vital role for a defense looking to take a huge step forward in 2023.

Seattle activated Adams from the preseason Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list Thursday. Following this update, there are two things you should keep in mind.

1. Jamal Adams returning by Week 1 still feels unlikely.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has been noncommittal on a Week 1 return for Adams all offseason, and Thursday’s news didn’t change that.

“That pressure doesn’t exist,” Carroll said when asked whether he feels any pressure for Adams to be back Week 1. “I don’t care when it is. When he gets back, I just want him to feel right and confident. We’re not going to rush him at all.”

Is Week 1 impossible? No. But safety depth means Seattle can ramp up his return more slowly, and that’s exactly how the Seahawks have preferred to approach recovery for PUP players this offseason.

Activating Adams from the PUP list allows him to participate in walkthroughs, which Carroll indicated is a key step in Adams’ reintroduction to the field.

“He’ll jump into the routine like we’ve been doing with our guys, like walkthroughs and things like that, so that he can start to break the huddle with the fellas, make the calls, get aligned, and make adjustments,” Carroll told reporters Thursday.

2. When Adams returns to the Seattle Seahawks, it matters.

It’s a sentence that feels incredibly silly to write on its face. Adams is a former first-team All-Pro whose starting job here in Seattle has been in question. He’s an important player with elite athleticism. There’s a reason his return to practice or absence from games is noted by national outlets and reporters.

But with so much time missed due to injury, there’s a sense from some fans that Seattle’s trade was a disappointment. And don’t get me wrong, two first-round picks for a non-quarterback is always going to be a risk. It remains a risk even when it’s for a passer — hello, Broncos. So that fear and frustration is fair when a player can’t stay on the field.

The hope, obviously, is that it changes this year. And an important distinction for Adams is that when he is on the field — and used the right way — his unique skill set allows Seattle’s defense to be more creative.

“For sure,” said my Bump and Stacy co-host Michael Bumpus when asked whether a healthy Adams brings the Seahawks that much closer to being a Super Bowl team. “Because of what we understand to be true about this defense. They want to be a team that can match up with anything an offense throws out there, and Jamal is a big piece of that. Because Jamal is the type of player that can be in the box, make tackles and be a linebacker, and then on the back end you’ve got guys who can cover over the top and be versatile. You can bring in dime and still keep Jamal on the field. We know that they want to be versatile. And that’s all you want to do. You want to be able to match up with anyone.

“There’s a reason there’s a coach up in the coaches booth whose sole responsibility is to look at the personnel that’s running onto the field so he can relay that to the defensive coaches and they can get the right guys on the field. I look at the personnel they have right now (with Adams) and I go, ‘You can play the Chiefs, who like to spread the ball around, because you’ve got the guys to match up. You could play the 49ers, who will pack things in and send you left and right, because you can match up.’ That’s all you want to be able to do.”

More on the Seattle Seahawks

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Salk: What about the Seahawks’ hype is and isn’t fragile
Bump: A Seahawks UDFA to watch as preseason wraps up
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