Seahawks safety Jamal Adams will need surgery to repair a knee injury suffered in Monday night’s 17-16 win over Denver, coach Pete Carroll said Tuesday morning on his weekly radio show on Seattle Sports 710 AM.
“Yeah, he’s hurt,” Carroll said. “He hurt his knee. He’s going to have to get some work on that. I don’t know the extent of that yet, but I know it’s serious.”
Adams was hurt when he hit Denver quarterback Russell Wilson on a blitz early in the second quarter.
Carroll said after the game that Adams also hurt his quadriceps tendon.
Carroll didn’t give a specific timeline for Adams, but the injury appears as if it could be one to put his season in danger. Seattle will likely soon put Adams on injured reserve (teams no longer have to declare short-term or long-term IR but any player going on IR has to miss at least four games).
The injury marks the third time in Adams’ three seasons with the Seahawks he has suffered a significant injury to cause him to miss games. Adams played just 12 games last year before having shoulder surgery in December, and also just 12 games in his first season with the Seahawks due to a groin injury. Adams has also suffered several injuries to his fingers that caused him to have the middle and ring fingers on his left hand fused in the offseason.
“It just breaks your heart,” Carroll said. “He loves the game so much. We’re gonna miss him so much. The fact that he is such a heartthrob about the game of football — he loves playing and it’s just, he can’t deal with it right now. How could this keep happening? It was good he had his mom and dad in the locker room during the game when he was in there to kind of help him through it and all that. But it’s really tough.”
Adams signed a four-year contract extension in August 2021 that at the time made him the highest-paid safety in the NFL at an average of $17.5 million per year.
The 2022 season marks the first year of that deal, which runs through 2025, though there is no guaranteed money left on the contract other than $2.56 million of his 2023 base salary of $11 million that becomes guaranteed if he is on the roster on Feb. 4, 2023.
Seattle has two other safeties on its active roster in veteran Ryan Neal and undrafted rookie free agent Joey Blount. The Seahawks have no safeties on their practice squad after releasing rookie Scott Nelson last week to make room for snapper Carson Tinker.
Adams played 15 snaps Monday before being injured. He made three tackles and was credited with a pass defense, as well as a quarterback hit on the play he was injured.
The Seahawks planned to use a lot of three-safety alignments this season to try to get Adams closer to the line of scrimmage to rush the passer more after a 2021 season in which he had zero sacks that followed a 2020 season in which he had 9.5 — the most for any defensive back in NFL history dating to 1982.
Adams, 26, lined up as essentially a linebacker on the play he was injured, with Jones entering the game as a third safety.
Carroll said the injury to Adams was the only significant one Seattle suffered in the game.
Carroll surprised by field-goal call
Carroll reiterated what he said after the game, that he was surprised that the Broncos tried to kick a 64-yard field goal with 20 seconds left instead of going for it on fourth-and-5 at Seattle’s 46.
Brandon McManus’ kick — which if good would have tied for the second-longest in NFL history — appeared to be long enough but missed wide left.
“Matter of fact I was, yeah,” he said when asked if he was surprised. “We were preparing for fourth down the whole way. I didn’t even think that was an opportunity to kick a field goal. I’m sure there’s lots of reasons to think that one over and rethink it. But it was a chance to win the game, and the guy kicked the ball far enough.”
Denver coach Nathaniel Hackett, making his head coaching debut, told reporters later that the team had decided that if Denver got to the Seattle 46 than it would consider kicking a field goal with McManus having said he felt confident he could make it from there.
“We were right on the line (of McManus’ range),” Hackett said. “Brandon gave it his best shot … obviously I wish we would have gotten a lot closer, it put us in that weird spot because we were in that field goal range/we just made that decision and take our shot there.”
McManus later tweeted: “46 yard line left hash was my line to get to. They got it there. Need to make the kick.”
According to ESPN, NFL kickers are just 2-for-42 on kicks of 64 yards or longer since 1960.
Meanwhile, teams last year that went for it on fourth-and-5 were 22 of 45.
Denver’s last play before the field goal snapped with 1:11. The Broncos, who had all three timeouts remaining, then let the clock run down to 20 seconds before calling a time out and sending the field goal team out.
“Looking back at it, we definitely should have gone for it,” Hackett said Tuesday. “Just one of those things, you look back at it and you say, ‘Of course we should go for it. We missed the field goal.’ But in that situation, we had a plan. We knew the 46 was the mark.”
Making Russell Wilson move to his left a key?
Many wondered going into the game how the Seahawks’ vast history with Wilson would impact their game plan.
Carroll revealed one specific detail of it Monday that he felt was key — making Wilson move to his left. Trying to make a quarterback move to the opposite direction of the way a quarterback throws, of course, is a fairly common strategy.
“When he moves to his left, it’s hard for him, numbers-wise,” Carroll said, adding that “we were really focused on Russ’ play with our pass rush and that’s really the way to play him. You can move him and you can make him go.”