Butler back on field after long recovery
RENTON, Wash. (AP)
Deon Butler is ready to get back in a game after a nearly yearlong recovery from a broken right leg.
Butler fractured his leg taking a knee to his shin from San Francisco 49ers cornerback Nate Clements while catching a 2-yard touchdown pass in a 40-21 loss to the 49ers last December.
He was placed on the physically unable to perform list before training camp, making him ineligible for the first six weeks of the season. Butler has been able to practice with the team the last three weeks but had yet to be activated to the 53-man roster with six receivers already on the active roster.
But the team placed Kris Durham on injured reserve with a torn labrum on Tuesday, giving Butler a spot to fill on the roster on the last day he could remain on the PUP list.
''It feels good to finally get activated,'' Butler said. ''It took a while, but I knew it was going to be a business process and some business decisions had to be made. So I'm just glad that I'm staying here with the same guys I know and the same organization I've always been with.''
Butler admitted that he wondered if there would be a spot for him when he was healthy and ready to go.
''Definitely there was some doubt,'' Butler said.
With the lockout keeping players out of team facilities for much of the offseason, Butler was forced to handle most of his rehabilitation on his own. He worked out at G2 Sports Therapy in Sammamish, Wash., along with cornerback Roy Lewis, who was recovering from a knee injury.
Butler asked for some advice from teammate Leon Washington, who suffered a similar injury during his last season with the New York Jets in 2009.
Washington had a defender fall on his right leg during a game in Oakland that ultimately was the last game he'd play in New York.
The Jets traded Washington to Seattle during the 2010 NFL draft and he bounced back from his injury to return three kickoffs for touchdowns and be selected as an alternate to the Pro Bowl.
''My best advice was just the patience you have to have with that type of injury,'' Washington said. ''It's all about your bone healing up, so I told him have patience, work hard and work smart. Those are the three things that I told him and he's done that, so it's good to see him back on the field for the rest of the year.''
Butler had been showing improvement during his second season with the Seahawks in 2010. He recorded multiple catches in 10 of 13 games last season and finished with a total of 36 grabs for 385 yards and four touchdowns. With established veterans in Sidney Rice and Mike Williams and a surprising rookie in Doug Baldwin making plays in the passing game, it's going to take Butler time to carve out a role.
''We know he's a tremendous speed player and guy that has come through and made a lot of things happen for us last season, so we're anxious to fit him back in,'' head coach Pete Carroll said. ''Right now it's still part of the process to get him situated. I'm not sure how much we can play him yet, but it's good to get him back on the roster.''