Pete Carroll's press conference was over but he had some good news left to share. Nobody asked about Darrell Taylor on Tuesday, and so Seattle's head coach made sure to announce that the team's 2020 second-round pick was going to practice for the first time this season.
That's significant news because Taylor's rehab from pre-draft leg/shin surgery has taken many twists and turns, very few of which being positive. On multiple occasions, Carroll has expressed optimism that Taylor was nearing a return to practice only for things to change course days later.
Now Taylor has his first official practice of his career under his belt.
“Just to have him on the field, just to have him running around here being a regular football player, getting him out of the training room and having him put his shoes on and jersey on and run around with the guys and get him in a huddle — that’s just step one,” Ken Norton said on Tuesday. “And we’ll just take steps right now, just one step at a time, just keep him out day after day and we’re happy with that and we’ll see where it goes.”
Seattle coveted Taylor as a top edge rushing prospect out of the University of Tennessee. The Seahawks traded up in the second-round of the 2020 NFL Draft in order to take him with the 48th-overall pick.
Taylor suffered a stress fracture in his leg during his final collegiate season and had a titanium rod put into his leg during offseason surgery. It's unclear whether that rod resulted in complications during Taylor's rehab process.
The Seahawks officially opening Taylor's practice window means the rookie can practice for up to three weeks without having to be activated off of the Non-football Injury List. It's possible that Taylor makes an appearance on gameday should Seattle make a lengthy playoff run, but it's doubtful that the Seahawks are counting on anything from Taylor this season.
This is still big news, though, and a positive indication that Taylor's leg shouldn't be a long term issue. Here's to hoping that his setbacks are behind him, and that it's smooth sailing with his leg from here on out.