Those fears Earl Thomas might miss the Seahawks’ opening game?
Like we’ve said here since the day he had shoulder surgery in February, this is Earl Thomas. The uniquely intense guy who’s never missed an NFL game. It’s 80 straight regular-season and 10 postseason starts. And counting.
The team announced this afternoon the All-Pro safety has passed a physical examination and is coming off the physically-unable-to-perform list.
It’s the best news for Thomas since his surgery on Feb. 24 to repair a separated shoulder and torn labrum. Journeyman Steven Terrell has been filling in for him at free safety through the first five practices of training camp, but now Thomas is poised to begin practicing five weeks before the first real game.
As teammate and fellow All-Pro defensive back Richard Sherman said Monday when I asked him if he could fathom Thomas missing a regular-season game: “I could not. ... That would be a crazy idea.”
At the start of Wednesday’s practice in Renton Thomas was again watching only but still ultra involved. He jogged alongside Bobby Wagner and patted the All-Pro linebacker on the back on their way to a drill early in the workout.
Coach Pete Carroll has said repeatedly the team will continue to take a conservative approach in practicing Thomas after a surgery that originally had an estimated recovery time of six to eight months. That will be Aug. 24 to Oct. 24, the later date being after five regular season games.
Players who begin training camp on the PUP list are elgibile to be on he PUP list to begin the regular season, when such guys then miss at least the first six weeks of the real season. But suddenly that doesn’t seem to matter for Thomas anymore.
On Monday, defensive coordinator Kris Richard who until February was Thomas’ position coach for the last few seasons, said of the traffic cop and ball hawk of the secondary: "He’s in a good place. Of course he misses being out there on the field. But he understands the position that he is in right now. He has to rehab, he has to get his shoulder strong.
“I think the key part for him is know he’s able to teach the younger guys all that he knows. So that’s how we keep him innovated in the system that know he’s in a teaching position. It may hurt him not to be able to be out there, but he understands exactly where he is and what we need of him in so he’s in a really good place."
The Seahawks also signed rookie linebacker Dakorey Johnson, a teammate of Seahawks rookie receiver and kick returner Tyler Lockett at Kansas State, and released linebacker Alex Singleton. Singleton is a rookie undrafted free agent Seattle signed in early May.