One of the feel-good stories of the offseason is going to have an opportunity to take center stage in the regular season opener.
With Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright expected to be out at least two weeks, the door is open for rookie linebacker Shaquem Griffin fo start in his place when Seattle opens the season at Denver on Sept. 9.
That’s an amazing rise for a player who wasn’t even initially invited to the Scouting Combine, but one that obvious mistake was corrected stole the show. He ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash, but his 20 reps of the 225-bench press might have been most impressive, since he has one hand. Griffin’s left hand was amputated when he was 4 years old because of amniotic band syndrome.
The Seahawks have used him extensively in the preseason to get him ready for his role.
“I want to see him continue to get better and clean things up and make sure he’s really accountable,” Carroll said of Griffin, via Brady Henderson of ESPN.com. “He’s a running-and-hitting guy. We ain’t worried about that. It’s just making sure he’s really playing the scheme really well and is really precise about all his fits and all that. . . .
“We’d like to be able to use his speed and his range and all that, so he’s working really hard at it. He’s been a very astute worker, been a really sharp communicator and all that stuff. A lot of good things are positive, and now we’d just like to see him put it all together again. He’ll have another big week next week and we’ll hopefully add to that.”
Wright had arthroscopic surgery on his knee Monday, and when Carroll was asked how much time he’d miss, replied: “They talked about a couple weeks. It was the most optimistic we could be.”
Two weeks from the procedure would be the day after opener, so Griffin could be in the starting lineup for at least the first game.