The Seattle Seahawks hoped James Carpenter would be their right tackle of the future when they selected him with their first-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. But knee injuries have limited Carpenter’s progress as he’s been able to play in just 16 games in two years.
Carpenter has been unable to participate in the Seahawks offseason workouts for the second year in a row as he recovers from a knee injury that ended his season. Carpenter initially suffered a severe tear of the ACL in his left knee during a practice late in the 2011 season. After returning to play in seven games last year Carpenter again had his season end due to pain in his injured knee. He also missed two games mid-season with concussion symptoms.
Now Carpenter has undergone another surgery to repair his knee. During an interview with Bob Stelton and Dave Grozby Monday on 710 ESPN Seattle, head coach Pete Carroll said that Carpenter underwent an additional arthroscopic surgery on his knee to clean-up remaining issues with the knee.
“He had a minor, clean-up surgery done about five, six weeks ago that was extremely successful,” Carroll said. “I just talked with him this morning. He feels great. He’s making all of the normal progress he’s supposed to make. He’s going to be battling for us.”
Carpenter was kept on the active 53-man roster to begin last season instead of being placed on the physically unable to perform list. He saw his first action since the injury in Week 4 against the St. Louis Rams. He played just seven games before landing on the reserve/non-football illness list after re-injuring the knee in December.
The Seahawks moved him to left guard last season and he’ll work back into the mix there when he gets back on the field. Carpenter has been able to watch OTAs from the sidelines. Though not able to participate in drills, Carpenter has been simulating blocking sets on the side as he knee gets back to full strength. The team is eager to get him back on the field as they believe he can be a force at left guard when healthy.
“He’ll roll right through guys,” Carroll said. “So when we get Carp back, that’s going to be a big deal for us.”