BRADY HENDERSON

Seahawks’ Tyler Lockett should be ready for next year, Pete Carroll says

Dec 26, 2016, 4:39 PM | Updated: Dec 27, 2016, 9:11 am
Tyler Lockett broke his leg while making a catch in the second quarter of Seattle's loss to Arizona...
Tyler Lockett broke his leg while making a catch in the second quarter of Seattle's loss to Arizona. (AP)
(AP)

RENTON – Seahawks coach Pete Carroll shared the best possible news he could Monday about Tyler Lockett, saying the wide receiver is in good spirits after breaking his leg Saturday and that the injury shouldn’t affect his availability for the start of next season.

Lockett broke both the tibia and fibula in his right leg in Seattle’s loss to Arizona on Saturday and had surgery late that evening. Carroll told “Brock and Salk” Monday morning that doctors are concerned about the possibility of an infection because of how Lockett’s bone broke through his skin. He said Lockett should be able to start running on a rehabilitation treadmill in four to six weeks.

Carroll provided more clarity on Lockett’s injury and his recovery timetable Monday afternoon, saying there was no damage to any ligaments and that the initial indications are that he should be back by the start of training camp next summer.

Asked if there are any long-term concerns about Lockett’s injury, Carroll said: “No, really from all indications, if everything goes as it’s supposed to, he should be in pretty good shape and have a chance to come back really without question. But there’s always an opportunity for complications and stuff. But the extraordinary worker that he is, his attitude, his mentality will all lead to the indications that he should be able to come roaring back from this.”

Lockett went down while hauling in a catch near the goal line in the second quarter, his right leg breaking above the ankle under the weight of Cardinals cornerback Brandon Williams. Carroll said Lockett’s surgery lasted into Sunday morning and that he’s remaining in the hospital for another day.

“He’s making it through it. He’s feeling better today than he did after the surgery and all that. He’s getting better,” Carroll said. “He’s going to stay in the hospital for another day or so just because it’s easier for him, so we’ll see how that goes. It’s kind of day-to-day. He’s comfortable being there right now under the circumstances. The surgery went exceptionally well and he has a real chance to get back going and moving four to six weeks from now, and from there he’ll work his way back in a few months and have a chance to get himself going. He’s absolutely positively optimistic about all of that.

“All he can do is ask about everybody else. He wants to know about how everybody else is doing and he was fired up that the receivers all made touchdowns and all that stuff and couldn’t help but talk about everything other than himself. Classic Lock fashion. So he’s being a real stud about it.”

Carroll indicated that the Seahawks are in the process of making a move to fill the roster spot that opens with Lockett going on Injured Reserve, but he declined to reveal it as it was not yet official.

Jermaine Kearse will presumably reclaim his role as Seattle’s No. 2 receiver, which he lost to Lockett two weeks ago. Paul Richardson and Tanner McEvoy figure to see more opportunities as well as each moves up a spot on the depth chart.

Less clear than how the Seahawks will replace Lockett the receiver is how they’ll replace Lockett the returner. Richardson handled kickoffs in the second half on Saturday and has previous experience spelling Lockett there. Carroll said rookie J.D. McKissic, who was claimed off waivers from Atlanta last week, is another option. He returned a kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown during the preseason. The team lists him as a running back, but he was a receiver in college and with the Falcons and could add some depth at that spot.

Cornerback Richard Sherman was back for the only Arizona punt of the second half on Saturday. Doug Baldwin also has experience returning punts. Carroll was vague when asked about the plan there, saying, “We’ll see how it goes.”

Carroll thinks Rawls will play vs. 49ers

Carroll said he thinks running back Thomas Rawls will be available for Sunday’s regular-season finale at San Francisco. His status is in some question because of a shoulder injury that kept him out of the second half of the Arizona game. Carroll called it a bruise afterward. He said Monday afternoon that the team was still awaiting the results of an MRI.

“He thought he was OK, though,” Carroll said. “He felt he was OK when I visited with him.”

Notes

• Carroll said strong safety Kam Chancellor is feeling better after leaving Saturday’s game briefly with an ankle injury. Defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin has a sore wrist but is expected to be fine, Carroll said.

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