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Seahawks notebook: Defending champs healthy as camp opens

michael
Running back Christine Michael is receiving a big opportunity in Marshawn Lynch's absence. (AP)

RENTON – The Seahawks are back.

Just not all of them.

And while running back Marshawn Lynch was the only player on the roster who was absent Friday for the first practice of training camp, there are some other question marks as it pertains to injuries.

Start with a pair of former Pro Bowlers coming back from offseason surgery: strong safety Kam Chancellor (hip) and left tackle Russell Okung (toe).

"Expect them back soon," coach Pete Carroll said after practice.

Well, that's encouraging.

"Both of those guys right now are running," Carroll said, "getting their conditioning work done. Both went through walk-throughs so they're close."

Malcolm Smith is also getting close to being able to practice after his offseason ankle surgery, though fellow linebacker Korey Toomer will be about at least another week or two with a sore hamstring.

The one new injury was to the foot of Eric Pinkins, a rookie defensive back drafted out of San Diego State. Pinkins is in a walking boot and will be out four to six weeks after suffering a lisfranc injury within the past week.

Linebacker Bruce Irvin feels ready to play, according to Carroll. Just don't necessarily expect Irvin to be practicing any time soon after undergoing hip surgery at the very beginning of June.

"He looks fantastic," Carroll said of Irvin. "He thinks he can do everything. We'll take our time. We'll probably work it all the way through camp to see how the progress goes. We want to make sure we're right so that once he comes back, he's good and ready to go."

Carroll 'disappointed' Lynch is absent

No deadline, just a little bit of disappointment. That summarized Carroll's perspective on Lynch's absence from Seahawks' training camp.

"Disappointed he's not here by his choice," Carroll said. "I'm really focused on the guys that are here, and the guys that have been with us and have been working really hard and all."

As for the idea that there's any sort of deadline the team has imposed on Lynch to show up?

"No," Carroll said. "We're practicing and working real hard and getting going, and it will take its own course."

Mic(hael) check

Lynch's absence would mean more opportunities for Christine Michael, the second-year running back. That doesn't mean Michael is glad his teammate isn't there.

"We all wish he was out here," Michael said. "He's a great guy. He's a great leader. He'll be back soon, and that's all I have to say."

For now, that does mean more opportunities for Michael, though.

"Every rep I get, just try to take as much as I can out of it," Michael said. "Get better on each rep like I mentioned before. Take my time with things. The scheme of things. Learning what the offensive linemen are doing."

Michael appeared in just four games as a rookie, a disappointment considering he was chosen in the second round. He has been singled out repeatedly this offseason as a player who made progress from his first year, though.

"He's just so much more consistent with his assignments, responsibilities," Carroll said. "His readiness is just there. He seems calm and poised about taking advantage of this opportunity. He looks ready to go."

About the Author


Danny O'Neil is the host of "Danny, Dave and Moore". He's the son of a logger, a graduate of the University of Washington and has been a working journalist in Seattle since 1999, first at newspapers and since 2012 at 710 ESPN Seattle. Follow Danny: @dannyoneil

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