The Seahawks spent a first-round choice on defensive end L.J. Collier last year. He made no starts after a high ankle sprain the first week of training camp set him back.
He finished his rookie season with three tackles.
Collier will start his first career game Sunday. Pete Carroll confirmed the news during his Friday press conference.
“He’s in better shape then he was a year ago,” Carroll said, via Ben Arthur of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “He’s just healthier and quicker and stronger in every way, and he made it through camp healthy as well. If you remember, he got banged up pretty early on there with just a nasty ankle. We’ve just seen him much more to his ability level. His ankle bothered him even when he came back last year, so we never really saw him.
“He’s had a good camp. We’re going to give him a chance to start in this game. There will be a good rotation there (at the 5-technique), but it’s because he’s earned it. He’s played really well. I’m anxious to get him out there. He’s got really good quickness. He’s got great length. He’s a really good technician and he plays with a high motor, too. So he’s got a lot of positives about him.”
Collier played only 152 defensive snaps in 11 games last season. The Seahawks plan a much bigger role for him this season, though Rasheem Green will rotate with Collier.