On the Seahawks first day of fall camp Saturday, head coach Pete Carroll dismissed a report that right tackle James Carpenter may miss the entire season after a slow return from knee surgery following a practice injury in November.
“I don’t know. This is a hard one to predict for all of us," Carroll said after practice at the VMAC in Renton. "We’re happy that he’s out here running and starting to make progress. We don’t know how to project. We’re just going to wait and take care of him and see how he goes.”
Carpenter, cornerback Walter Thurmond (leg) and free agent wide receiver Jermaine Kearse from the University of Washington (foot) were listed on the physically unable to perform list. Teams have until Aug. 31 to activate players from the PUP list, after which they cannot play for a minimum of six games.
A report on 710 ESPN radio said Carpenter, a first-round draft choice in 2011, is likely to be unable to play this season.
"They couldn’t know that because we don’t know that," Carroll said. "We’ll just wait and see. Hopefully he makes real good progress as we go through it. We’d obviously love to have him back in here playing – when, we don’t know.”
Carpenter played in nine games after a star career at Alabama, but was out of shape early and often ineffective, especially in pass blocking. Breno Giacomini, 26, who made 15 starts in 2011, is the first-stringer.
Kearse is expected to be ready in a couple of weeks, but Thurmond will take longer.
One player who isn't coming back is Mike Williams, the wide receiver who led the Seahawks in receptions in 2010 but was hurt in 2011 and cut a few weeks ago. It was clear that Carroll was losing no sleep over the departure of the player he recruited to USC and to the Seahawks.
"First off, it was just time to move on," Carroll said. "Mike had come back and he had done some good things for us, and I just felt like it was time to just go ahead and move on. Mike had probably topped out what he was going to do for us at this place. Hopefully, he'll get another chance to do something somewhere else."
The Seahawks have added a free agent wide receiver, Antonio Bryant, who was Tampa Bay's franchise player in 2009 after 1,248 receiving yards in 2008, but has not played the past two seasons because of lingering injuries. Bryant, 31, has played for six NFL teams, including Dallas, which selected him in the second round of the 2002 draft.