Seahawks left tackle Duane Brown has been out with a toe injury since early November, and he’s finally back.
The Seattle Seahawks finally got some good news on Tuesday, when team doctors cleared offensive lineman Duane Brown to return to the field. Brown, an All-Pro in 2015, has spent the last six weeks recovering from a calf strain, and though he had not resumed practice, the Seahawks were encouraged by his recent improvement. “We will be patient with him,” head coach Pete Carroll said, “but Duane is ready to go.” And in fact, Brown was already in Seattle on Tuesday, where he’ll join his Seahawks teammates for the start of minicamp next week.
A hold-in is quite a serious offense in football so it’s good to see Seahawks left tackle Duane Brown has reclaimed his role seamlessly, after being sidelined by an injury in the early stages of this season. Brown, 28, has been outstanding since his return, playing at a level which has seen him named NFL offensive lineman of the week twice already.
8:11 p.m. Eastern Time
Brady Henderson is a professional football player. ESPN
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The sit-in by Duane Brown has come to an end. Any doubt about whether the Seattle Seahawks’ Pro Bowl left tackle will play in Sunday’s regular-season opener is gone.
“He’s ready to go,” Carroll stated Monday before confirming Brown’s participation in the game against the Indianapolis Colts. “We’re delighted to have him.”
When asked whether the club and Brown’s agency are considering any modifications to his one-year deal, Carroll offered an ambiguous response.
“Right now, we’re really ready to play football,” Carroll added. “That’s where we are, and we’ve taken care of everything that needs to be taken care of, so let’s leave.”
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Seahawks and Brown have explored possible remedies to his predicament in recent days. Seattle has considered making changes to his last year but has decided not to extend him.
After Brown practiced for the first time this offseason, Carroll talked with media. In the absence of a new contract, he has been attending team meetings and walk-throughs but not practicing. Brown embraced free safety Quandre Diggs and had an embrace with defensive end Carlos Dunlap II as he went onto the field Monday at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Dunlap II applauded as Brown made his way into the stretching line.
Diggs returned to practice on Monday as well. Last week, he said that he planned to return soon and participate in the season opening after completing a personal financial issue, which was allegedly an insurance policy.
Brown’s comeback appeared probable last week when Carroll expressed optimism that he’d be ready for the season opener, stating, “I’m relying on him being ready.” However, such remark did not imply that Brown will play against the Colts.
“Right now, he’s very healthy, and I’m really happy for him,” Carroll said on Monday. “One of the things we learned about the approach was that we wouldn’t exhaust him at all throughout camp…. So he’s getting some new legs. He aspires to be a tight end. We’re unlikely to receive the opportunity, but he’s asking.”
Brown has spent most of his summer looking for a new deal as he approaches the last year of his three-year, $34.5 million agreement. According to Spotrac, the $11.5 million average of that 2018 contract currently ranks 16th among left tackles.
Brown has been in four Pro Bowls over the course of his 14-year career, was second among tackles in ESPN’s pass block win rate last season, and has been the undisputed leader of Seattle’s offensive line. However, he turned 36 last week, has experienced knee problems in previous seasons, and has had his practice effort restricted. As a result, the Seahawks believe he’s at the point in his career when a year-to-year deal makes the most sense.
Brown is set to earn up to $11.5 million in 2021, including a basic salary of $10 million, $1 million in per-game roster bonuses, and $500,000 in incentives. Game checks totaling more than $550,000 would be forfeited for each game he refuses to participate in during the regular season, based on his $10 million base pay.
Because of the uncertainty surrounding Brown, quarterback Russell Wilson was concerned about playing without his best offensive tackle. Wilson’s dissatisfaction with the organization boiled out in February, adding a layer of importance to Brown’s predicament. Pass protection was one of the main problems that contributed to Wilson’s displeasure with the organization bursting to the surface.
On Aug. 8, Wilson stated, “We’ve got to work it out because we need Duane Brown.”
While Brown and Diggs are returning, Carroll said tight end Colby Parkinson would sit out Sunday as he recovers from a foot ailment. As Parkinson continues to recover, the Seahawks promoted Tyler Mabry from the practice squad to give them a third healthy tight end.
Tre Brown, a rookie cornerback, is still out with a knee injury, while Ryan Neal, a safety, returned to practice on Monday.
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