Deshawn Shead’s 2017 in jeopardy after significant knee injury

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Deshawn Shead’s knee injury was worse than expected, and the Seahawks had expected it to be bad.

Pete Carroll called Shead’s knee injury “significant.” In Pete-speak, significant is the only thing worse than “legit” when it comes to injuries. For an already-serious injury like an ACL, this isn’t a good sign.

Not all ACL injuries are the same. Recovery times are greatly dependent on any previous damage to the knee, additional ligaments damaged and whether or not any of the nerves in the knee are damaged.

Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson was back playing in just a few months. San Francisco’s Marcus Lattimore was never able to get his knee back to a point where he could play. Dallas linebacker Jaylon Smith still hopes to return to the field, but first he needs the nerves in his knee to regenerate.

We don’t know where on that spectrum Shead’s knee resides. Listening to Carroll, it sounds like somewhere in the middle. Shead isn’t looking at a career ending situation, but it won’t be a quick recovery either.

For now, the Seahawks have to prepare for 2017 as if Shead isn’t going to be available. He may return off the PUP list around mid-season, but the team needs to fill that void early in the season no matter what.

With Neiko Thorpe a free agent, the Seahawks have only one player returning from the 2016 roster who could take Shead’s place. DeAndre Elliot barely played, but he’ll enter OTAs as the starter.

Also returning is Pierre Desir who finished the season on the practice squad. He looked pretty damn good as a rookie in Cleveland, but fell out of favor there and landed in San Diego last season. Once he became available again, the Seahawks pounced on him. He’s got a ton of talent, but we’ve yet to see him in a game in Seattle’s defense.

The only other guy returning is Stanley Jean-Babtiste who spent the year on injured reserve. He was a terrible fit for the scheme in New Orleans where he was drafted. In camp this year he was a much more fluid athlete than expected. He has a chance to contribute next season well.

That isn’t much in the way of depth for such a crucial position. That is probably why this happened today:

Cox was with Seattle briefly in 2013 when the Seahawks had a flurry of injuries at the position. He was later cut and signed with San Francisco. After a breakout season in 2014, he signed a big contract with the Titans, but never regained his 2014 form.

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