Barring the unforeseen, it will be Chris Carson returning with Mike Davis leading a close competition at running back to begin the Seahawks' 2018.
That's what coach Pete Carroll told reporters Tuesday morning at the NFL owners' meetings in Orlando, Fla.
Running backs and getting Seattle's offense back to emphasizing and succeeding in the running game are Carroll's stated priorities for this year.
Carroll said Carson, the team's surprise starter to begin last season as a rookie seventh-round draft choice, is fully ready to return from the broken leg and ankle damage that ended his 2017 season on Oct. 1.
"He's 100 percent, ready to go," Carroll said at the annual coaches' breakfast at the March league meetings.
Carroll said the straight-line Carson was "one of the favorite draft picks that we made" last year.
"He showed us everything we needed to see last year, so we’ll see if he’s able to sustain it," Carroll said, adding that Carson was "very solid throughout, except for he had his ankle broken. ...
"I’m really looking forward to Chris’ return.”
Davis was waived by San Francisco this time last year, then spent the first 10 weeks of last season on Seattle's practice squad. When he got his chance late last season he seized it with decisive running and versatility catching passes.
That's why the Seahawks re-signed him last week for 2018—and why they let the running backs previous far ahead of Davis on the depth chart, Thomas Rawls and Eddie Lacy, become unrestricted free agents. Rawls and Lacy remained unsigned.
Carroll said as of right now, before Carson is back on the field from his injuries, Davis would get the first handoff in offseason drills such as the organized team activities that begin later this spring.
"That’s the first handoff," Carroll told reporters in Orlando, "then after that it’s dead even.”
Still, it appears this will be Carson's job to lose as spring becomes summer becomes fall. That is, if Carson continues to show the return to health he has so far.
Carroll again said Earl Thomas is a Seahawk for life, in the spiritual sense, at least. That's no matter what happens with him entering the final year of his contract and the team listening to so-far unsatisfying trade offers from multiple other teams.
Carroll said Thomas is "under contract and ready to go," and that all other talk is usual for Thomas.
Basically, as he was at the league scouting combine at the beginning of this month, Carroll was vague as the Thomas situation continues to play out—and as the team decides how much it wants to offer in a possible contract extension to the three-time All-Pro safety who turns 29 in May and wants to be the top-paid safety in the game.
Carroll also had this to say about the leadership gone with Thomas' tenuous status beyond this year, and the loss of Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett and possibly Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor--the latter two about whom Carroll had nothing new to report.