Doug Baldwin

Doug Baldwin To Return In Week 4

Pete Carroll confirmed the Seahawks will have their top pass-catcher back on Sunday.

Doug Baldwin will return to action against the Cardinals in Week 4, Seattle’s head coach said during a radio address (via ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson).

Baldwin’s missed the past two games because of an MCL injury and has yet to record a catch in 2018. The veteran wide receiver suffered a knee injury during training camp, causing him to miss most of Seattle’s workouts leading up to the season before exiting Seattle’s Week 1 game with more knee trouble. He managed limited practices on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Seahawks went 1-1 without their eighth-year wideout, but Baldwin’s return figures to be critical for the team’s passing attack.

Baldwin’s led the Seahawks in receiving yardage the past four seasons, finishing with back-to-back 1,000-yard showings in 2015 and ’16 and posting a 991-yard, eight-touchdown campaign last season.

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NFC Notes: Panthers, Seahawks, Packers

Eric Reid‘s one-year deal with the Panthers has a base value of $1MM, but he can earn an additional $900K via other means, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Reid could collect the extra cash via playtime incentives, Pro Bowl incentives, or per-game roster bonuses. Carolina needed extra defensive backs after recently losing Da’Norris Searcy, and Reid should immediately step into the club’s starting lineup opposite Mike Adams. Reid, of course, has protested police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem, but that issue reportedly didn’t come up during his meeting with the Panthers.

Here’s more on Reid and the rest of the NFC:

  • The 49ers reportedly offered Reid a contract before he signed with the Panthers, and they weren’t the only NFC West club to do so. The Seahawks also discussed a deal with Reid, per Jim Trotter of NFL.com (Twitter link), and were the first team to offer Reid a pact. Seattle negotiated with Reid while fellow safety Earl Thomas was holding out, and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times reports (via Twitter) the offer was pulled after Thomas reported. Per Condotta, Seattle and Reid couldn’t agree on a salary.
  • Doug Baldwin returned to Seahawks practice on Wednesday for the first time since going down with an MCL injury in the club’s Week 1 game, according to Brady Henderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). While Baldwin hasn’t yet been given clearance to play in Week 4, he says he’s “chomping at the bit” to return to action, tweets Curtis Crabtree of Sports Radio KJR. Baldwin’s return would be an obvious boon to a Seattle offense that has given more snaps to Brandon Marshall and Jaron Brown.
  • Buccaneers safety Chris Conte was the victim of a vicious stiff arm from Steelers tight end Vance McDonald on Monday night, but the veteran defensive back was actually playing through a torn PCL, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Conte was placed on injured reserve earlier this week, but given that his recovery timeline is just six weeks, it’s conceivable he could return later this season. Tampa Bay will rely on fourth-round rookie Jordan Whitehead at safety for the time being.
  • Cornerback Bashaud Breeland originally inked a three-year, $24MM deal with the Panthers this offseason, but after a freak injury resulted in a failed physical, the veteran defensive back was forced to take quite a pay cut on his one-year deal with the Packers. Breeland signed a minimum salary benefit pact, as Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com writes, so he’ll collect a base salary of $790K plus a $90K bonus. However, under the rules of the MSB, Breeland will only count against Green Bay’s salary cap at the rate of a second-year player ($630K).

Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin Suffered Partial MCL Tear

It sounds like Doug Baldwin‘s knee injury is worse than originally feared. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the Seahawks top receiver suffered a Grade 2 partial MCL tear during the team’s season-opening loss to the Broncos yesterday. While the team is still figuring out how much time Baldwin is set to miss, the wideout will presumably sit out at least several games.

Following yesterday’s loss, it was reported that Baldwin had “only” suffered a MCL sprain, leading some to assume that he’d only be forced to miss a single game (if that). Unfortunately, it sounds like the wide receiver will be forced out of the lineup for a bit longer, as partial MCL tears generally take at least a month to heal.

If there’s any good news, the partial MCL tear occurred in Baldwin’s right knee, which isn’t the same knee that forced the veteran to sit out the entire preseason. The 29-year-old returned to practice in late August, and he acknowledged that he’d have to deal with pain in his left knee throughout the season. It’s not good news for Baldwin or the Seahawks that the receiver will now be dealing with injuries to both knees.

Baldwin was only targeted once before exiting today’s game, although there’s no denying his importance to Seattle’s offense. The 29-year-old finished last season with 75 receptions for 991 yards and eight touchdowns. The team could be eyeing some reinforcement at receiver, as the team is currently rostering only four healthy wideouts in Tyler Lockett, Jaron Brown, Brandon Marshall, and David Moore.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Doug Baldwin Suffers Sprained MCL

There’s some relatively good news for Seahawks fans following the team’s season-opening loss to the Broncos today. Following the contest, head coach Pete Carroll told reporters that wideout Doug Baldwin has a sprained right MCL (via ESPN’s Brady Henderson on Twitter). The injury didn’t occur to the same knee that forced Baldwin to miss a month of training camp.

While Carroll couldn’t give a definitive timeframe for Baldwin’s return, the “ProFootballDoc” over at the San Diego Union-Tribune doesn’t believe the injury is all that serious. Ultimately, the writer could envision the receiver missing up to a week, if anything.

While this is good news, it also means that Baldwin will now be playing through a pair of knee injuries. The 29-year-old returned to practice in late August, and he acknowledged that he’ll have to deal with pain in his left knee throughout the season in his left knee. This pain was attributed to “degenerative joint disease and chronic knee issues” (according to ProFootballDoc), and Baldwin didn’t outright deny that he was forced to go under the knife to deal with the injury.

Baldwin was only targeted once before exiting today’s game, but the Seahawks will surely be counting on him throughout the season. The 29-year-old finished last season with 75 receptions for 991 yards and eight touchdowns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC West Notes: Baldwin, Shields, 49ers

Doug Baldwin is back at Seahawks practice after missing the preseason with a knee injury. As expected, Seattle’s top wide receiver plans on returning for Week 1, per the Associated Press. Baldwin may or may not have undergone a procedure for his sore left knee, the soon-to-be 30-year-old pass-catcher not denying an operation of some sort took place. The eighth-year Seahawk also expects to have to deal with knee pain this season, saying he’ll have to manage this issue throughout the year. The Seahawks are counting on Baldwin to reprise his role as Russell Wilson‘s favorite target, but while he was out, newcomers Jaron Brown and Brandon Marshall logged extensive first-team time. But Baldwin remains Seattle’s centerpiece receiver and a key veteran after so many on defense were jettisoned this offseason.

Here’s the latest from the NFC West:

  • Sam Shields‘ comeback attempt may clear a key barrier. The former Packers starter is on track to make the Rams‘ 53-man roster, Lindsay Thiry of ESPN.com writes. While he stands to be behind Los Angeles’ top three of Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters and Nickell Robey-Coleman, Shields making it back onto a roster would be a significant development considering how concussion issues nearly ended his career. The 30-year-old defender has not played since Week 1 of the 2016 season.
  • Under optimal circumstances, Mike Person may have been third in the running for the 49ers’ right guard job. Jonathan Cooper and Joshua Garnett are ex-first-rounders both are out-earning the 30-year-old UDFA who is attached to a league-minimum contract. But Person is the odds-on favorite to open the season with the starters, Kyle Shanahan said (via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area, on Twitter). Despite Cooper’s one-year, $4.95MM contract, Person is competing to hold off Garnett, per Matt Barrows of The Athletic (on Twitter).
  • One of the 49ers’ Reuben Foster insurance policies may not make the roster. A 16-game Chargers starter between the 2016 and ’17 seasons, linebacker Korey Toomer is on the bubble going into the 49ers’ final preseason game, Barrows writes (subscription required). Foster’s return induced the 49ers to move Mark Nzeocha to outside ‘backer, where he has a chance to start, and Elijah Lee is also competing for a roster spot. Toomer may make the team’s initial 53-man roster, because of Foster’s two-game suspension, but Barrows notes he’s not a lock to be one of San Francisco’s backups this season.
  • Arthur Moats probably won’t be ready for the Cardinals’ regular-season opener because of an MCL issue.

Seahawks’ Dion Jordan To Miss Time?

The Seahawks could be without defensive end Dion Jordan for the start of the season, head coach Pete Carroll told reporters on Tuesday (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson). On the plus side, Carroll said that wide receiver Doug Baldwin likely will be ready to go for the season opener against the Broncos in Denver. 

Jordan, who is projected to start opposite of Frank Clark on the defensive line, has been on the PUP list with a stress issue in his leg. The team is hoping to get the former No. 3 overall pick out on the field for Week 1, but it’s far from a certainty at this point.

Doug for sure [will be playing in the season opener],” Carroll told reporters. “Dion, we won’t know until we get him back out. We know exactly what’s going on with Doug. He’s going to be able to make it back barring setbacks of some kind.”

Baldwin is expected to miss most or all of the preseason as he heals up from his knee injury, but that appears to be more of a precautionary move than anything. If he does miss regular season games for some reason, the Seahawks will have to lean more heavily on Tyler Lockett. A Baldwin absence could also improve the odds of veteran Brandon Marshall making the team. Other Seahawks pass-catchers include free agent acquisition Jaron Brown, 2017 third-round pick Amara Darboh, and Marcus Johnson.

An assortment of issues prevented Jordan from doing much with the Dolphins, but the Seahawks liked what they saw out of him in a small five-game sample last year. After he tallied four sacks in 2017, the Seahawks retained him on a one-year, $1.9MM deal this offseason.

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Latest On Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin

Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin is expected to miss most, if not all, of the preseason as he deals with a knee injury, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). However, Seattle expects Baldwin to be available to the start of the regular season.

Baldwin is a veteran receiver, so the preseason isn’t a necessity as he prepares for the start of the 2018 campaign. However, it’s not clear at present exactly what type of knee issue is ailing Baldwin. Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said the club would take precautions in order to preserve Baldwin’s health.

“We’re gonna give him a couple weeks here before we bring him back out to make sure that we’ve ramped him back up properly,” Carroll said. “He came into camp a little bit off and we just want to make sure that we take care of him. We know exactly what’s going on. He’s doing some special treatments to make sure that we’re taking care of him, and we want to bring him back into shape so we can really get him ready for the long haul.”

If Baldwin is lost for any significant amount of time, the Seahawks’ wide receiver depth chart doesn’t provide much in the way of reinforcements. Perpetual breakout candidate Tyler Lockett would become Seattle’s default No. 1 wideout, while veteran Brandon Marshall could also have a greater chance of making the team’s 53-man roster. Other Seahawks pass-catchers include free agent acquisition Jaron Brown, 2017 third-rounder Amara Darboh, and Marcus Johnson, among others.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Notes: Baldwin, Jordan, Thomas

Seahawks wideout Doug Baldwin is currently dealing with a knee issue that will force him to miss a couple of weeks, coach Pete Carroll told reporters today.

“We’re gonna give him a couple weeks here before we bring him back out to make sure that we’ve ramped him back up properly,” Carroll said (via ESPN’s Brady Henderson). “He came into camp a little bit off and we just want to make sure that we take care of him. We know exactly what’s going on. He’s doing some special treatments to make sure that we’re taking care of him, and we want to bring him back into shape so we can really get him ready for the long haul.”

Meanwhile, Carroll didn’t sound as optimistic about the recovery of defensive end Dion Jordan, who is sitting on the physically unable to perform list. The head coach described the veteran’s injury as a “stress issue,” although the latest ailment isn’t attributed to Jordan’s offseason knee surgery.

“It’s gonna be a while,” Carroll said. “The word is it’s gonna be a while. He’s got a little bit of healing to do, so it’s gonna be a while.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes out of Seattle…

  • Carroll also told reporters that there’s been zero communication with safety Earl Thomas (via The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta on Twitter). The veteran continues to hold out as he pushes for either a new contract or a trade, and reports have continually connected him to the Cowboys. However, we heard earlier today that Seattle wasn’t going to give away the Pro Bowler for nothing, while the Cowboys aren’t intending on overpaying to acquire Thomas via trade.
  • Peter King of Football Morning in America believes the most general manager John Schneider could get for Thomas would be a conditional 2020 third-rounder from either the Cowboys or Raiders. King even puts in specific conditions: if the safety makes at least 10 starts, Seattle receives a third-rounder. If he doesn’t, Seattle will receive a fourth-rounder.
  • Punter Jon Ryan, the longest-tenured member of the Seahawks, saw his team select fellow punter Michael Dickson in the fifth-round of this past year’s draft. While the 36-year-old understands that his stint in Seattle is likely coming to an end, he admitted to Condotta that the team’s selection also provided some motivation. Ryan also discussed how the punter’s holding duties could play a role in who makes the roster, especially since the Seahawks are auditioning a righty (Jason Myers) and lefty (Sebastian Janikowski) for their kicking gig. This sentiment was echoed by special teams coordinator Brian Schneider“That’s a huge part (of the job) and Jon’s been so consistent over the years,” Schneider said. “Dickson hasn’t done a whole lot of it, but he’s very talented. He’s got great hands, he’s caught a lot of balls, and so he’s done a really nice job, too.”

Extra Points: Jets, Baldwin, Boone, Packers

Former Jets linebacker Erin Henderson was placed on the team’s non-football injury list last season, and the player is now suing the organization, citing “wrongful termination and disability discrimination.” According to Connor Hughes of NJ.com, Henderson is seeking $3.3MM in compensatory damages in addition to punitive damages, using his remaining 2016 and hypothetical 2017 salary as a guideline.

The lawsuit does acknowledge that the 31-year-old suffers from bipolar disorder, but it also notes that the organization was never accommodating before they “wrongfully terminated his employment.” The team ultimately said Henderson “was not fit” to play football, a revelation that the player didn’t learn about until the NFLPA grievance hearing in June.

The 2008 undrafted free agent out of Maryland spent the first six years of his career with the Vikings before spending the 2015 and 2016 campaign in New York. During his Jets tenure, Henderson appeared in 21 games (including four starts during his “injury-shortened” 2016 season), compiling 66 tackles and one forced fumble.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFL…

  • Seahawks wideout Doug Baldwin is currently day-to-day with a groin injury, reports NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). The reporter notes that there’s optimism that the Pro Bowler could even play this weekend. The 29-year-old had his best game of the season this past weekend, and he’s already hauled in 20 catches for 212 yards and one touchdown this season.
  • Cardinals general manager Steve Keim told 98.7FM in Arizona that offensive guard Alex Boone has an injured pectoral muscle (via Kent Somers of AZCentral.com on Twitter). The veteran had an MRI today, and the team is hopeful that he can play through it. After refusing to take a pay cut from the Vikings, the 30-year-old ultimately joined Arizona this offseason, and he’s started two of the team’s first three games.
  • The Packers placed long snapper Brett Goode on the injured reserve yesterday, and ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky reports that the player has now reached an injury settlement with the organization. This means the Packers can sign him later this season without making him one of the two players the team can return from the IR.

Seahawks, Doug Baldwin Rework Contract

The Seahawks and wide receiver Doug Baldwin have agreed to a contract restructure that will create $5.2MM in 2017 cap space for Seattle, reports Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link).Doug Baldwin

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Baldwin had been scheduled to earn a base salary of $7.75MM for the upcoming season. Instead, the Seahawks have whittled that figure all the way down to $775K by converting the difference into a signing bonus. Seattle, which had been a bit tight on cap space, now have in excess of $13MM in reserves. Baldwin, meanwhile, will see his cap charge rise by roughly $1.744MM in each of the next three seasons. He’s signed through the 2020 campaign under the terms of his 2016 extension.

By reworking Baldwin’s contract, the Seahawks have made it more difficult to part ways with the veteran pass-catcher in future years. That shouldn’t be a problem if Baldwin continues his recent levels of production, however, as the 28-year-old has topped 1,000 yards receiving in each of the past two seasons while scoring 21 total touchdowns. He’s also excellent in the run game, as Pro Football Focus ranked Baldwin as the league’s No. 9 run-blocking wideout.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.