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Seattle Seahawks

DK Metcalf ‘holds in’ during Seahawks’ first training camp practice of the year

Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf makes a touchdown catch past Bears cornerback Thomas Graham Jr. during the first quarter at Lumen Field on Dec. 26, 2021.  (Tribune News Service)
By Bob Condotta Seattle Times

RENTON – DK Metcalf was present for the first training camp practice of the year for the Seahawks.

But he wasn’t active, watching with a baseball hat instead of a helmet as his teammates went through 90 minutes of drills, following the lead of teammates of the past few years who also had unsettled contract situations.

Metcalf showing up for camp but not taking part in drills is becoming an increasingly common tactic for players around the league, in fact, earning the moniker “hold in,” as opposed to now showing up and holding out.

And how long will Metcalf be holding in?

Well, to hear coach Pete Carroll tell it afterward, it may not be too long – but it also seems unclear.

Carroll said, “I don’t have an update for you” but added that “there’s a lot of work being done like right now.”

Carroll added that the team had hoped a new contract for Metcalf, who is entering the final season of his rookie deal, would have been completed already.

“We were hoping so,” he said. “We shot for it. But we’re right there now.”

Carroll also made clear that if Metcalf were signed, he would be on the field. Metcalf had surgery on his foot following the season after dealing with a foot issue that emerged following the third game of the 2021 season. But Carroll said “he passed his physical. He’s fine.”

Metcalf seemed engaged throughout the practice, standing with receivers during team drills and at times popping his head into huddles. And as practice ended, he walked off the field talking with new receivers coach Sanjay Lal, with whom he is especially close – Lal was also on Seattle’s staff in 2019 during Metcalf’s rookie season.

But asked again the status of the talks, Carroll said “I’ve got no updates for you.” The team hopes he does soon.

Geno Smith remains in lead of QB race as camp begins

The first practice of camp brought no change to the depth chart at quarterback. As it was during OTAs and minicamp, Geno Smith worked primarily with the first team while Drew Lock was with the second unit and Jacob Eason got a few snaps here and there as well.

“Geno’s in the lead right now,” Carroll said. “He’s ahead and he ain’t looking back – he’s going for it. And Drew’s not going to take a back seat so something’s going to happen. And Jake will be there if we need him.”

Carroll reiterated that Smith leads for now due largely to his knowledge of the offense.

“Drew had a very, very good offseason with us,” Carroll said. “He’s just behind in the learning and so he’s catching up. But he’s a really talented football player.”

As for when a decision will be made? Carroll played coy on that, dodging the question, as he did with how reps will be split up, saying “you’ll see.”

But as he has consistently said for months, Carroll said any decision is not likely to come anytime soon, saying the competition could last through the preseason.

“We’ll start adding up the days,” Carroll said.

Injury/personnel updates

Here are some quick injury and personnel updates and observations.

• Carroll said rookie edge rusher Tyreke Smith, who was placed on the physically unable to perform list, has been dealing with a hip injury but ran well before practice and could be activated soon.

• Carroll also had good news on cornerback Tre Brown, who is also on the PUP list following knee surgery last year, saying “he’s close” and that “it’s not going to be a long haul” for his return.

• However, Carroll said LB Jon Rhattigan (knee) and OL Liam Ryan (foot) are each dealing with longer-term injuries.

• As expected, Ben Burr-Kirven cleared waivers and reverted to Seattle’s injured reserve list and does not count against the 90-man limit. Carroll said Burr-Kirven, who suffered an ACL injury last August, had recent “nerve surgery and it just takes a long time to recover.”

• Second-year receiver Dee Eskridge sat out much of practice and Carroll said he was “just a little bit tight in his hamstrings today. So I just want to make sure that we didn’t do too much too soon.” With Metcalf and Eskridge watching, the regular first-team receivers Wednesday were Tyler Lockett, Freddie Swain and Cody Thompson.

• Safeties Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs, each coming off surgeries, participated fully in practice throughout. “Excited to see the safeties,” Carroll said. “To see both guys out here. It’s as good a pair of safeties as you can find.”

• The usual starting offensive line featured second-year player Jake Curhan at right tackle along with guards Damien Lewis and Gabe Jackson, center Austin Blythe and left tackle Charles Cross. That had rookie third-round pick Abraham Lucas usually working with the second team at right tackle and second-year player Stone Forsythe as the backup on the left side.

• Sidney Jones again worked as the starting left corner with Artie Burns on the right side. Rookies Coby Bryant (left) and Tariq Woolen (right) worked with the second unit. Justin Coleman again worked as the starting nickel with Ugo Amadi as the backup. But Marquise Blair, who passed his physical after suffering a knee injury last October, also got substantial work with the backups at nickel.