DANNY ONEIL

Reading between the lines of the Seahawks’ statement on Malik McDowell’s injury

Jul 31, 2017, 3:15 PM | Updated: 3:17 pm
Seahawks rookie Malik McDowell remains in Michigan after an off-field injury. (AP)...
Seahawks rookie Malik McDowell remains in Michigan after an off-field injury. (AP)
(AP)

I’m not a lawyer nor am I a psychic who is able to divine someone’s inner intentions by looking deep into their eyes.

I didn’t even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

But after more than a decade of covering the Seattle Seahawks on a daily basis, I’m fluent enough in NFL-speak to read between the lines of the statement the team released Sunday regarding the absence of Malik McDowell and then translate what coach Pete Carroll meant when he answered questions on the subject.

Parsing Pete Carroll: Seattle’s coach on McDowell’s status

But remember, any translation requires a bit of interpretation introducing at least some margin of error so please take this attempt to read between the lines with the bit of humor with which its is intended:

Unfortunately, Malik McDowell was involved in a vehicular accident in which he suffered an injury during the NFL break period. As a precautionary measure, Malik has remained back in Michigan under the care of physicians there. Our medical people have been in constant communication with his physicians and have been monitoring the situation. At this point it is important for Malik to stay at home and rest. We consider this a long-term relationship and will do whatever is in the best interest of Malik. We look forward to Malik’s return to Seattle and will update you with any changes.
— Seahawks statement, July 30, 2017

What the statement said: Unfortunately, Malik McDowell was involved in a vehicular accident in which he suffered an injury during the NFL break period.

What the statement meant: McDowell was on his own time, which is why it specified that it happened during ‘the NFL break.’ He was also away from any team activities when he hurt himself in an accident. It wasn’t necessarily a car accident, though, and didn’t necessarily occur on a public road.

What the statement said: As a precautionary measure, Malik has remained back in Michigan under the care of physicians there. Our medical people have been in constant communication with his physicians and have been monitoring the situation.

What the statement meant: He’s hurt. He’s getting cared for on his own. Our doctors are aware of the situation and the care he’s under so nobody should go assuming this is like Jason Pierre-Paul’s fireworks injury last year when the Giants had to wait to look at him.

What the statement said: At this point, it is important for Malik to stay at home and rest. We consider this a long-term relationship and will do whatever is in the best interest of Malik.

What the statement meant: We know where he is. We know what he’s doing, and just because he may have suffered a non-football injury in an activity that could have violated the provisions in his contract doesn’t mean we’re necessarily going to tear up his contract. At the same time, let’s not pretend that this is a no-harm, no-foul situation. There’s a lot that will be discussed, but it will be discussed privately.

What the statement said: We look forward to Malik’s return to Seattle, and we’ll update you with any changes.

What the statement meant: There’s nothing else to say until McDowell is able to report to the team.

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Reading between the lines of the Seahawks’ statement on Malik McDowell’s injury