Okung, Chancellor inch closer to practice return
Both participate in some individual and position drills this week after offseason surgeries.
Seattle Times staff reporter
RENTON — Two key members of the Seahawks — left tackle Russell Okung and strong safety Kam Chancellor — have been silent and largely unseen throughout training camp, each recovering from offseason surgeries.
But as the season gets ever closer, with the first exhibition game on tap Thursday at Denver, each is stirring to life. Okung and Chancellor each began participating in some individual and position drills this week, the first step toward soon regaining their regular spots on the field.
Tuesday, each spoke to the media for the first time since their surgeries, and each said they are right where they want to be in their recoveries.
“I’m really close, really close (to getting back on the field),’’ said Okung, who had offseason surgery on his foot to finally repair an injury that he first suffered in the second game of the season last year against the 49ers. Okung missed eight games, then returned to start the remainder of the year.
After the season, coach Pete Carroll said he hoped Okung could avoid surgery. But Okung said it was ultimately decided he needed a surgery to fix “just the whole foot itself. I’m really glad I got to get it done.’’
Okung may still be a few weeks away from playing in games, but said he “feels great’’ to be back on the field at all “after a really long offseason, at least to me.’’
Chancellor, meanwhile, had surgery on his hip to fix an injury he said dates to his collegiate days at Virginia Tech “five, six years ago.’’
“It was something that lingered on from college to now and something I dealt with for a while,’’ he said. “Some of the pain, I fought through it. And now it’s good.’’
Chancellor said he didn’t know if he’ll play in exhibition games but added “I’m on schedule to where I want to be, and I feel like I’m getting healthy. I just feel like I’m on a perfect schedule to get right back on the field and get ready to go.’’
With Okung out, second-year vet Alvin Bailey has been working as the starting left tackle. But once Okung returns, Bailey could join the competition at right tackle.
With Chancellor out, Jeron Johnson has been working as the starting strong safety.
Wolfe in, Bailey out
The Seahawks made one roster move Tuesday, signing cornerback Thomas “Trey’’ Wolfe of Fort Valley State and waiving as injured undrafted free-agent safety Dion Bailey of USC.
Bailey sprained his ankle in Saturday’s scrimmage.
Wolfe was a tryout player during Seattle’s rookie minicamp in May and made a lasting impression on a play that coincidentally involved Bailey.
On the last play of the minicamp, Wolfe tipped a pass thrown by Keith Price away from receiver Kevin Norwood and into the hands of Bailey, a play that was reminiscent of the one made by Richard Sherman to end the NFC title-game victory over the 49ers.
• Marshawn Lynch got his most work yet of training camp, getting some regular action during team drills.