Seahawks safety Jamal Adams will need surgery to repair a knee injury suffered in Monday night’s 17-16 win over Denver, coach Pete Carroll said Tuesday morning on his weekly radio show on Seattle Sports 710 AM.
“Yeah, he’s hurt,” Carroll said. “He hurt his knee. He’s going to have to get some work on that. I don’t know the extent of that yet, but I know it’s serious.”
Adams was hurt when he hit Denver quarterback Russell Wilson on a blitz early in the second quarter.
Carroll said after the game that Adams also hurt his quadriceps, saying it was “not a typical knee injury. His quadriceps tendon got damaged some tonight. He got hurt, so it’s a serious injury.”
Carroll didn’t give a specific timeline for Adams, but the injury appears as if it could be one to put his season in danger. Seattle will likely soon put Adams on Injured Reserve (teams no longer have to declare short-term or long-term IR but any player going on IR has to miss at least four games).
The injury marks the third time in Adams’ three seasons with the Seahawks he has suffered a significant injury to cause him to miss games. Adams played just 12 games last year after having shoulder surgery in December, and also played just 12 games in his first season with the Seahawks due to a groin injury. Adams has also suffered several injuries to his fingers that caused him to have the middle and ring finger on his left hand fused in the offseason.
“It just breaks your heart,” Carroll said. “He loves the game so much. We’re gonna miss him so much. The fact that he is such a heartthrob about the game of football — he loves playing and it’s just, he can’t deal with it right now. How could this keep happening? It was good he had his mom and dad in the locker room during the game when he was in there to kind of help him through it and all that. But it’s really tough.”
Adams signed a four-year contract extension in August 2021 that at the time made him the highest-paid safety in the NFL at an average of $17.5 million per year (he is now third).
The 2022 season technically marks the first year of that deal, which runs through 2025, though there is no guaranteed money left on the contract other than $2.56 million of his 2023 base salary of $11 million that becomes guaranteed if he is on the roster on Feb . 4, 2023.
Seattle acquired Adams from the Jets in July 2020 for a package that included first-round picks in 2021 and 2022.
Josh Jones took over safety duties with Adams out and will now likely move into the starting lineup alongside Quandre Diggs.
Seattle has two other safeties on its active roster in veteran Ryan Neal and undrafted rookie free agent Joey Blount. The Seahawks have no safeties on their practice squad after releasing rookie Scott Nelson last week to make room for snapper Carson Tinker.
Seattle waived fourth-year safety Marquise Blair at the cutdown to 53 (he has since signed with Carolina’s practice squad) and traded fourth-year safety Ugo Amadi to the Eagles (he is now with the Titans).
Adams played 15 snaps Monday before being injured. He made three tackles and was credited with a pass defense, as well as a quarterback hit on the play during which he was injured.
The Seahawks planned to use a lot of three-safety alignments this season to try to get Adams closer to the line of scrimmage to rush the passer more after a 2021 season in which he had zero sacks that followed a 2020 season in which he had 9.5 — the most for any defensive back in NFL history dating to 1982.
Adams, 26, lined up as essentially a linebacker on the play in which he was injured, with Jones having entered the game as a third safety.
Adams expressed enthusiasm in the new scheme of first-year defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt saying he was “back in my element” with the defense “putting me in position to make plays.”
Carroll said the injury to Adams was the only significant one Seattle suffered in the game.
RB Walker to return this week
Carroll also said that rookie running back Kenneth Walker III, who was inactive for the Denver game after having hernia surgery last month, will return to practice this week.
“Kenny Walker is going to be out there this week for us to add to that,” Carroll said.
Without Walker, starter Rashaad Penny got most of the snaps at running back, playing 38 of 55.
Travis Homer played 19 snaps, mostly in the third-down, two-minute back role, while DeeJay Dallas had three.
Carroll surprised by field-goal call
Carroll reiterated what he said after the game, that he was surprised that the Broncos tried to kick a 64-yard field goal with 20 seconds left instead of going for it on fourth-and-5 at their own 46.
Brandon McManus’ kick — which if good would have tied for the second-longest in NFL history behind a 66-yarder last year by Baltimore’s Justin Tucker — appeared to be long enough but missed wide left.
“Matter of fact I was, yeah,” he said when asked if he was surprised. “We were preparing for fourth down the whole way. I didn’t even think that was an opportunity to kick a field goal. I’m sure there’s lots of reasons to think that one over and re-think it. But it was a chance to win the game and the guy kicked the ball far enough.”
Denver coach Nathaniel Hackett, making his head coaching debut, told reporters later “we were right on the line (of McManus’ range). Brandon gave it his best shot … obviously I wish we would have gotten a lot closer, it put us in that weird spot because we were in that field goal range/we just made that decision and take our shot there.”
McManus later tweeted: “46 yard line left hash was my line to get to. They got it there. Need to make the kick.”
According to ESPN, NFL kickers are just 2-for-42 on kicks of 64 yards or longer since 1960.
Meanwhile, teams last year that went for it on fourth-and-5 were 22-of-45.
Denver’s last play before the field goal snapped with 1:11. The Broncos, who had all three timeouts remaining, then let the clock run down to 20 seconds before calling timeout and sending the field goal team out.
Making Wilson move to his left a key?
Many wondered going into the game how the Seahawks’ vast history with Wilson would impact their gameplan.
Carroll revealed one specific detail of it Monday that he felt was key—making Wilson move to his left. Trying to make a quarterback move to the opposite direction of the way a quarterback throws, of course, is a fairly common strategy. But Carroll said it was something they felt would be effective against Wilson.
“When he moves to his left it’s hard for him, numbers-wise,” Carroll said, adding that “we were really focused on Russ’ play with our pass rush and that’s really the way to play him. You can move him and you can make him go.”
Carroll said, “I think he moved 10 times and he completed two passes the times we moved him out of the pocket and moved him around like we were trying to.”
Carroll didn’t say if all of those were to the left.
According to Pro Football Focus, Wilson was 5-for-11 when under pressure for just 24 yards. According to PFF he was 1-for-6 when throwing to his deep left, but the one completion was a 67-yard TD pass to Jerry Jeudy in the second quarter.
“We felt like we were controlling it,” Carroll said. “And it wasn’t always just getting cleaned to get the sack, it was to try and make him go where we wanted him to go and the guys did a good job.”