Skill positions have been hamstrung

Seahawks bandagesThe Seahawks have been hit hard with injuries at the skill positions early in camp — so hard that Pete Carroll quipped Sunday, “We’ve got a bunch of hamstrings on the receivers. They all have two.”

**Bass drum, cymbal crash**

Minor injuries early in camp are pretty common — and not a big concern as long as the team handles them with patience. But, when the injuries stack up at one position, it can cause a domino effect as other players become overworked.

That is what the Seahawks have been trying to avoid through the first 10 days of camp as they have lost five receivers, three tight ends, three running backs and two fullbacks.

The most significant blows were to tight end Cooper Helfet and fullback Brandon Cottom, who landed on IR.

Even with Jimmy Graham still on PUP, the Hawks have enough tight ends to survive Helfet’s broken foot — Luke Willson, Nick Vannett and Brandon Williams have received excellent reviews and seemingly are going to make the coaches consider keeping four tight ends (assuming Graham comes back).

The loss of Cottom (Achilles) was a bit more of a bummer as he was having an excellent camp, by all reports. The Hawks also put UDFA Tre Madden (shoulder) on IR and added Jonathan Amosa, who will compete with fellow former Husky Tani Tupou for a potential spot at fullback.

The Seahawks have been hit even harder at tailback. With Thomas Rawls, C.J. Prosise (hamstring) and Zac Brooks (hamstring) all injured, the Hawks had to sign Cameron Marshall and use cornerback George Farmer at tailback late last week to spell Christine Michael and Alex Collins.

As RB coach Sherman Smith told The Seattle Times, “It puts more load on the other guys so that makes them susceptible to injuries. The big thing is that the guys that aren’t out there aren’t getting prepared and the guys that are there are getting more reps than they would usually get.”

In the scrimmage Sunday, it was just Collins, Marshall and recent arrival Troymaine Pope.

The Hawks are getting healthier at that position though. Rawls is off PUP and expected to start practicing today.

“He looks like he’s really ready to go; he’s really anxious about it,” Carroll said. “We’re not going to rush him at all; we’ll take our time. We’ll just get him to take his confidence and get that back, but it’s great to see him back out there.”

Carroll said Michael, who missed the scrimmage with an illness, and Brooks will be back this week, and Prosise probably will return by the end of the week.

“I don’t think (Prosise) can make it for game time (vs. Kansas City on Saturday),” Carroll said, “but the next week he should be ready to go, which is a really big deal for us. We really have high hopes that we can get a good look at him. The running back situation is going to kind of be moving for a little bit here as they keep coming back to us.”

Ditto for the receivers, as bubble players Antwan Goodley and Deshon Foxx suffered hamstring injuries Sunday, joining SeaDawgs Kasen Williams and Kevin Smith on the hammy list.

Doug Baldwin has a bruised Achilles and could be out a while longer. “We’ve got to wait and see,” Carroll said. “It is just an unusual injury and it is just taking him some time to get the soreness out of there. It’s not a long-lasting thing, we don’t think, at all. There’s no damage to his Achilles at all; he just got stepped on and it is like bruised.”

The defensive injury list is much shorter — a major flip from last year at this time. Kam Chancellor, Frank Clark and Jordan Hill all were expected to return from groin ailments today.


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