Can they be as they once were?
Injuries are always a big concern, especially when the injured player has a big role on the team. The Seahawks saw a lot of their roster fall to injuries last season.
As these players rehabilitate and prepare to come back, will they be able to perform at the same level they once could?
I make predictions on five of the returning players:
John Moffitt (Guard)
He played a big role in the Seahawks running game, as they were coming off back-to-back-to-back 100+ rushing yard games.
He had the normal struggles that most rookies go through, but he showed real progression in the last half of the season.
The season-ending surgery has been successful, and Moffitt will be all ready once training camp begins. He will need to step right back onto the field and get to work. A successful season for him this year can be a big benefit.
Last year’s offensive line was plagued by injuries and a healthy Moffitt means a more more productive running game and better pass protection.
Prediction: Will play 16 games. Will collect 8 massive pancake blocks.
Sidney Rice (Wide Receiver)
There was a lot of hype surrounding Sidney Rice and how he could help the struggling Seattle offense when he joined the team for the 2011 season.
He played particularly well after missing the first two games of the 2011 season with 32 receptions for 484 yards in nine games.
He then suffered two concussions in a three-week period, and his season was officially over on November 30.
Rice is a player with a lot of talent that has the ability to make a difference for the team.
However, he is also very injury prone – he has a history of foot and knee problems along with his concussions while playing for the Minnesota Vikings.
Rice has said that he will be the healthiest he has ever been for the 2012 season, and he will be active in the team’s training camp.
Prediction: Will play 15 games. 900 Yds, 6 TD’s.
Kris Durham (Wide Receiver)
Durham, a rookie last year, had only three receptions for 30 yards before re-injuring a torn labrum on his shoulder.
He suffered the same injury in college while playing for Georgia. Surgery seemed like the safest bet – a way to let him heal and get him back in good condition as he is in the early stage of his NFL career.
Durham has worked with the team in the OTA’s.
Although Kris Durham is almost completely healthy, he has a tough road ahead of him for a starting role. The Seahawks currently have a lot of options at the position, including breakout stars Mike Williams and Ricardo Lockette.
Prediction: Will play 14 games. 450 Yds, 3 TD’s.
Walter Thurmond (Cornerback)
After playing in 14 games during the 2010 season, cornerback Walter Thurmond played in only six before he was lost to a broken fibula.
After being placed on the season-ending injured reserve it was expected things would go well and he would be able to play this year.
A recent setback now requires a second surgery, and it is likely he will start the season on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list.
His lack of playing time before his injury had to do with the talent the team already has at the cornerback position.
Two surgeries puts Thurmond at a huge disadvantage and a long time off the field. The sooner he makes it back the better, which could be sometime later this season.
If the starting secondary stays as strong as it was last year, then don’t expect to see much of him.
Prediction: Will play 6-8 games. Possibly 1 INT.
Matt McCoy (linebacker)
Matt McCoy was put on the season-ending reserve very earlier last season after attempting to make a tackle while covering a punt against Atlanta.
After the season it was unclear whether or not McCoy would be with the team in 2012, but he has recently signed a one-year deal to rejoin the Seahawks.
McCoy has participated in the OTA’s with the team, and he is an important player for the Seattle linebacker corps.
There is barely any depth behind him and with David Hawthorne now with the Saints, it is up to him to become a leader this year.
Prediction: Will play 15 primarily on ST’s. Could be a team leader in ST tackles.