The Seahawks’ Rashaad Penny draft choice surprised most at the time, and the first-round pick has not lived up to the team’s expectations. A 2019 injury did the most to sidetrack the running back’s career.
The ACL tear Penny sustained in December 2019 continues to impact his status. Penny underwent surgery on the same knee this offseason, Pete Carroll said Tuesday. Although Carroll called the operation a cleanup procedure, per ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson (on Twitter), the 12th-year Seahawks HC generally veers toward the overly optimistic side when assessing injuries.
Penny is not participating fully at the Seahawks’ minicamp, though Carroll said the fourth-year back is getting some work in. The 2019 knee injury and subsequent surgery sidelined Penny for most of the 2020 season, but he is expected to be ready for training camp this year. The Seahawks did not activate Penny until mid-December of last season — more than a year after the tear — and he logged just 11 touches in the three games he played last season. Seattle did not pick up his fifth-year option in May, turning the 2021 season into a contract year.
Penny’s knee injury halted a season in which he was averaging 5.7 yards per carry; the San Diego State product had amassed 203 rushing yards in his previous two games. The Seahawks brought in Carlos Hyde as a Penny substitute in 2020 but let him defect to the Jaguars this year, thinning out the depth chart behind Chris Carson.
The recently re-signed Carson remains Seattle’s starter, but the team does not have much in the way of experience behind Penny. Recent Day 3 picks Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas and second-stint Seahawk Alex Collins represent the other notable names on the depth chart. Considering Carson missed four games last season, the competition for the Seahawks’ third-string back stands to be more relevant than such battles usually are.
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