Malik McDowell was not on the field for the start of training camp, and now we know why the Seahawks top pick is out.
McDowell was among the players not spotted on the first day of training camp practice on Sunday, for an undisclosed reason initially. A layer was added by his being placed on the reserve/did not report list, but it turns out McDowell has a very good reason for his absence.
The team released a statement, addressing McDowell’s situation.
McDowell was involved in an ATV accident sometime between mini-camp and the start of training camp, and the injury the Seahawks referred to sounds like it could be pretty serious. He will stay home in Michigan as a precaution, with no immediate timetable for when he will be fully healthy, let alone be able to get back on a football field in some capacity.
UPDATE: McDowell tweeted his own thoughts on the situation…
McDowell was expected to immediately compete for a job along Seattle’s defensive line, likely as a primary backup to Michael Bennett at defensive end with some focused usage on passing downs. But the Seahawks are committed to seeing this difficult situation through with their top 2017 draft pick, with a clear reference to what they see as a “long-term relationship” with McDowell.
On talent alone, McDowell would have been a first-round pick in April’s draft. But questions about his worth ethic and motor dropped him to the second round, right into the laps of the Seattle Seahawks with the No. 35 pick.
At this point, it’s distinctly possible that McDowell will miss his entire rookie season. Without details on the nature and severity his injury that’s speculation though, and the Seahawks are exercising the proper caution by not declaring what they may know one way or another. Let’s hope McDowell first gets healthy, then playing football again can become a concern.