Clayton: Seahawks dealt another injury, but 49ers are even worse off

Jun 22, 2020, 11:39 AM
Seahawks, Bobby Wagner, 49ers, Deebo Samuel...
The Seahawks' injury news last week wasn't as bad as the 49ers', who lost Deebo Samuel. (Getty)

Last week didn’t end well for a couple of teams in the NFC West, including the Seahawks.

Seattle learned that rookie tight end Colby Parkinson, one of their two fourth-round picks, had surgery June 2 for a Jones fracture, a foot injury that could keep him out for two to three months.

Heaps: What Colby Parkinson’s foot injury means for the Seahawks

Then the San Francisco 49ers got really walloped. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel also suffered a Jones fracture. Adding to the woes, wide receiver/kick returner Richie James suffered a broken wrist that should sideline him a month or two.

To make matters even worse, the 49ers had 17 players working out together in Nashville. One player tested positive for COVID-19. The other sixteen players had to be tested and will need to be quarantined for about 14 days. The NFLPA responded quickly by advising players not to have workouts in groups.

The 49ers clearly got the worst of the craziness at the end of week. Samuel is a rising star at wide receiver who gives them so much speed and play-making ability. He’s great at making catches but he was also one of the best in football last year at running jet sweeps.

What’s scary for the 49ers is that they saw the problems of the Jones fracture in 2019. Wide receiver Trent Taylor suffered one last year before training camp. Initially, he was supposed to be out six weeks, but he kept on having setbacks and missed the entire season.

Losing Parkinson is a setback but the Seahawks aren’t as negatively impacted as the 49ers. If Will Dissly is OK coming off his Achilles tear, Parkinson was going to be the third or fourth tight end. He was likely going to wait a year to get significant playing time knowing that Greg Olsen, Jacob Hollister and Luke Willson are free agents after the 2020 season.

Though losing a player isn’t good, Parkinson’s injury creates a roster spot that could be needed. The Seahawks currently have eight tight ends on the roster. Dissly and Olsen are the top two, and Parkinson would be competing with Hollister and Willson if healthy.

Now, Parkinson can start training camp and maybe the regular season on the non-football injury list or physically unable to perform (PUP) list. If that happens, he would be eligible to return by the seventh game of the regular season.

Hollister has a one-year, $3.259 million contract that could have been sacrificed if the Seahawks needed cap room. He’s now in a better spot to make the team. Same for Willson. Still, the key for Seattle is getting Dissly back.

If you are the 49ers, you have to be concerned that two of the three injured wide receivers might not be healthy of the start of training camp. Plus Brandon Aiyuk, a first-round receiver, is coming off core surgery.

Everybody knows there are some big injury concerns for the Seahawks. They lost three running backs at the end of last year. They were down to two healthy tight ends. Now, it’s the 49ers that have to be a little worried.

Just about every NFL team has completed their virtual offseason work and will go on vacation for the next month. Seahawks camp will open up July 28 and some of the young players might be allowed to come in seven days early to catch up on what they missed from not having a true offseason program.

You figure this will be a season in which there are more injuries than normal. ACL and Achilles tears will be up just like they were in 2011 following a lockout that prevented teams from having an offseason program.

Stay tuned.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton on Twitter.

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