The Seahawks have received an unwanted piece of injury news at the onset of OTAs. Cornerback Tariq Woolen has undergone arthroscopic knee surgery, as detailed by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Brady Henderson.
The injury occurred last week, and surgery was quickly deemed to be necessary. The procedure went “as well as doctors could have hoped,” per ESPN, but it is nevertheless expected to keep Woolen sidelined until training camp. A return by July would put the 24-year-old well on track to suit up for the regular season, but Seattle will no doubt proceed with caution considering his importance to the team.
To call Woolen’s rookie campaign a success would be a dramatic understatement. The fifth-rounder racked up six interceptions (tied for the league lead), returning one for a touchdown. He added 16 pass deflections and three fumble recoveries to his impressive statsheet. Those totals earned him a Pro Bowl nod, and placed him third in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting.
They also cemented his status as a long-term foundation of Seattle’s secondary. The Seahawks invested their top pick in this year’s draft on Devon Witherspoon, so their CB tandem should be a formidable one for the foreseeable future. The absence of Woolen for much of the offseason has been met with a depth move as well, though.
The Seahawks brought back veteran Artie Burns on Monday, which will give them a familiar face on the backend. Burns made three appearances in Seattle in 2022, and he could see extra usage in the spring with Woolen sidelined. Despite the timing of his signing, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets that the Seahawks intended to bring back Burns regardless of Woolen’s status. In any event, the latter’s recovery will be a situation to monitor in the build-up to training camp.