Seahawks’ Tyler Lockett had to go ‘back to the basics’ while working back from injury
Tyler Lockett is often teased for how he looks much younger than his age but is mature beyond his years. And now, the 23-year-old Seahawks wide receiver said Wednesday Thursday that a leg injury that has limited his explosiveness this season brought him back to the infant stage of playing football.
“I felt like my old self about three weeks ago so I’ve just been getting in the position to be able to do a lot more with the ball in my hands on special teams and stuff like that and just learning how to be able to set people up again,” Lockett told “Bob, Groz and Tom” on 710 ESPN Seattle. “I just had to get back to the basics, kind of like how children are when they gotta learn how to walk. I had to just start back over with that and just kinda learn how to play my game all over again.”
Despite injuring his knee during a Week 2 loss to the Rams, Lockett has not missed a game this season. However, his production has waned on both the offensive side and in the return game. That changed Monday night against the Bills when he returned one kickoff 43 yards and a punt 44 yards, though a Bills challenge showed his foot grazed the sideline, moving the ball back 22 yards. Both returns set up Seahawks touchdowns.
Lockett made the Pro Bowl and earned first-team All-Pro honors as a returner in 2015. He was third in the league in both kickoff and punt return yards (852 and 379, respectively) and scored twice, including a team record 105-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The early returns, though, didn’t go as planned. Lockett had accumulated just 251 yards on 10 kickoff returns, for a respectable 25.1 yard-per-return average this season but had a long of just 37 yards. He’d racked up 153 yards on 14 punt returns, with a long of 62.
When asked how difficult it is to rehab an injury midseason, Lockett said “it’s not tough.”
“To me, regardless of what injury I have, I learn how to play with it and so there are some things that I have to switch up, some things that I have to let go of in my game and add certain elements in my game and I’m pretty good at learning how to switch things up,” he said. “The hard part is just after you are recovered and healed from your injury you have to be able to go back to how you used to do things. Instead of trying to do things a different way that you had to do when you weren’t hurt. For me, it was just going back to what I was doing before I got injured. I don’t have to do those other things that I did to get through my injuries.”