With all the hubbub surrounding their decision to make 2012 third-round pick Russell Wilson their starting quarterback, it was easy to lose sight of Seattle’s 2011 first-round pick James Carpenter.
It would have been easy to lose sight of him no matter who was named quarterback, actually. Carpenter has been on physically-unable-to-perform list since the start of training camp as a result of the torn ACL he suffered last November. In late July, there were reports that Carpenter would miss the entire season. On Wednesday, coach Pete Carroll said that won’t be the case, however, and that the team is just figuring out whether or not Carpenter would be transferred to the regular season PUP list or activated before cutdown day.
“He’s not far away from looking like he could practice and play for us. But still, it’s a crucial time here. And we’re going to have to make a big decision on how we do this,” Carroll said, via Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune. “He has busted his tail to get back and we’re really, really excited. He is definitely going to play this year. We didn’t know that as we went into even July. We weren’t sure. But we know that now, that he’s going to play.”
What role Carpenter would play upon his return isn’t certain. He didn’t play particularly well in nine starts as a rookie and the extended layoff will likely have an effect on his ability to compete for the starting job with Breno Giacomini out of the gate. As a first-rounder, you’d expect Carpenter to get another shot when he’s healthy, but Wilson’s ascension suggests the Seahawks aren’t giving jobs away based on resumes, salaries or anything other than productivity.
UPDATE: As pointed out in the comments, Carpenter will likely be sliding to left guard upon his return. Paul McQuistan is currently the starter at that spot.