Earl Thomas: not ready for week 1?


Panic struck Seahawk Nation this morning when ESPN’s Ed Werder tweeted this:

This would seem to contradict comments from John Schneider and Pete Carroll at the NFL Combine in February expressing optimism that ET wouldn’t miss any games.

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To be fair, here’s the full quote from Earl Thomas about his recovery:

"“I’m unsure about everything at this point. I will find out more when I get back to Seattle on (July) 30th when I take my physical.”"

That would seem to be a bit more hopeful than Werder’s assessment.  It’s possible Thomas’ is just dealing with some of the natural doubt surrounding rehab from any surgery, and that his physical may go better than expected next week.

But what if it doesn’t, and Thomas has to miss week 1 or beyond?  It would be an obvious blow.  The Seahawks open on the road at St. Louis against a Rams team that went out and acquired Nick Foles and is trying to establish themselves as a contender to the Hawks throne.  The Edward Jones Dome has been a house of horrors in recent years, and not having ET on the field would change the way Seattle schemes.  Their entire defensive approach is built around his ability to take away the deep middle of the field.

Even worse would be if Thomas had to miss week 2 vs. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in Green Bay.

So who is the Seahawks starting free safety if ET is unable to answer the bell?  Most likely it’s 4th year swing man DeShawn Shead.  He played in all 16 games last year and had 2 passes defensed.  But another player to watch is 2nd year USC alum Dion Bailey.  Signed as an UDFA last year he spent all season on the practice squad, earning a lot of praise from coaches.

It’s too early to panic about the possibility of losing Thomas for any length of time.  This defense is deep and versatile enough to try and compensate, and Carroll has been a master at adjusting his scheme to cover for missing players.

But suffice to say we are all anxiously awaiting the result of that physical exam on the 30th.

Next: Can the Seahawks go 19-0?

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