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Pete Carroll: Jimmy Graham uncertain for opener, but “everything is positive” in recovery

Jimmy Graham

AP

The Seattle Seahawks gave Jimmy Graham a day off on Tuesday after four heavy days of work as he continues his rehabilitation from surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon in his right leg over the offseason.

Graham has yet to be involved in full team workouts since being activated off the physically unable to perform list two weeks ago. He’s been relegated to early work in individual drills and rehab work on side fields during team periods of practice.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said Graham was evaluated and tested over the weekend with all signs pointing in the right direction. However, he’s still uncertain whether Graham will be ready for Seattle’s season opener against the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 11.

I’m not calling that yet. I don’t know that,” Carroll said Tuesday in an interview with Dave “Softy” Mahler on 950 KJR-AM in Seattle. “Not until we really cut him loose in practice, which next week is going to be a really important week for him. He had a great week this week. He had his best day yesterday, really a big workload and he handled everything and feels really good coming out of that. So we’ll see. There has never been that deadline in my mind. We just want to get him back when he’s ready. But he looks really good, everything is positive and he’s really fired up and that’s what he wants to do. We’ll see if we can get that done.”

Graham’s injury has proven to be a difficult one for athletes to recover from and be the player they were before the injury. New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz hasn’t played a game in nearly two years after suffering similar injuries in the 2014 season. However, Carroll believes the player he’s seeing going through rehab work on a daily basis looks every bit the player Graham was when they traded for him a season ago.

“No, he looks exactly the same. I don’t think he’s going to be any different at all when he comes back. He’s worked too hard,” Carroll said. “We’ll have to see how the rigors of the games, how that weighs on him but I don’t see that. He looks really, really good. It’s jut been a marvelous effort by Jimmy to get back and the trainers to work with him. We just need to do it in the right timing. There’s not a rush. This is a very long season and if it takes a couple extra weeks that’s fine.”

If there was any doubt about Graham’s availability early in the season, the Seahawks could have left him on the physically unable to perform list to preserve the ability to place him on the reserve/PUP list to begin the season. That move would mean Graham would be ineligible for at least the first six weeks of the year.

Bringing him back to practice as early as they did means that the team believes he’ll be ready early in the season. If not Week 1, then soon after.