RENTON -- Rookie wide receiver DK Metcalf put to bed any concerns about his availability for Sunday's regular season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.
After missing the final three preseason games due to a minor knee surgery, Metcalf declared himself fully ready to play Sunday afternoon.
"I am. I'm 100 percent. I'm very excited just to be back out there and play on Sunday," Metcalf said.
Metcalf had surgery on Aug. 20 to address a small issue with his knee that had become a lingering problem. Metcalf, head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider all conferred about the issue before elected to get it done and out of the way so that it wouldn't continue to be a concern throughout the season.
Metcalf had not been able to practice until the team returned to workouts on Monday. He went through pregame warmups prior to Thursday night's preseason finale with the Oakland Raiders as a precursor to his return to practice this week. Metcalf said that despite missing three weeks of preseason opportunities he doesn't believe that he was negatively affected by the brief recovery.
"I don't think it was a setback. I sharpened up my mental game, got to learn the offense a little more. Coming from that first game I kind of got used to the speed of the game. I just can't wait to be back out there on Sunday," Metcalf said.
Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer gave an example of Metcalf adapting again to the speed of the NFL game during practice on Thursday when the first-team offensive and first-team defense matched up against each other.
"Russ kind of threw a little skinny post to DK and it got on him really fast," Schottenheimer said. "He turned his head around, it hit him in the hand and kind of fell to the ground and he wasn't quite ready for it. The cool thing for that is now he knows. That's really the closest we can get to game days when we go against Bobby (Wagner) and K.J. (Wright) and those guys on defense. It was really a cool rep for him. He made a great play later on in practice on a similar type timing thing."
Metcalf also missed time in camp due to an oblique strain that kept him from taking part in the team's mock game scrimmage at Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell.
“I’ve been dealing with injuries for the past couple of months and they just kind of lingered around a little bit," Metcalf said.
Metcalf fully participated in practice for the Seahawks on Thursday, which further indicates all systems are go for Metcalf to be on the field for Sunday's opener.
"I was able to practice. Good to be with the team yesterday. It just feels good to be back," Metcalf said.
L.J. Collier closing in on return:
First-round pick L.J. Collier is also getting closer to being game ready after returning to the practice fields on Monday. Collier was a limited participant in practice for a second straight day after missing the last month due to an ankle sprain sustained in practice.
"I know I'll be out there again with them soon," Collier said.
Collier sprained his right ankle in a July 30 practice when he was rolled up from behind. He got to his feet and hobbled to the sidelines before a cart eventually took him back to the locker room. Head coach Pete Carroll referred to the injury as an "unusual" sprain at the time.
"Yeah it was weird just how it happened," Collier said. "We worked back towards it. My foot is getting stronger and things like that. We're on the way back up."
Like Metcalf, Collier went through a pregame workout ahead of the Raiders game last Thursday before making his way back onto the practice fields this week.
"It felt good to be out there on the field with my teammates and stuff like that," Collier said. "Just to get that atmosphere on game day. It felt good just to be able to move, run around and not just be standing."
Defensive line coach Clint Hurtt said Collier has done his best to learn and remain invested while being unable to practice. However, he noted that there is still no substitute for practice.
"You never want a guy to get hurt because it's hard to improve when you've got to be on the sidelines and not out there actually playing, but he's gotten a lot of knowledge and learning of the game through mental reps," Hurtt said. "He can still take part in walkthroughs, he's in every meeting. He's still asking all the right questions. He's still learning a lot of football.
"It's a big transition from the college game to the pro game and the type of offenses that you see and obviously our language and how we communicate on the field. He's still gotten a lot out of, as much as he can, from the time time that he's been down with his injury. Obviously, you'd love to have him out there practice because that's really the true way you improve. You've got to be out there physically doing it."
Collier said he feels like he's still come a long way despite his inability to practice or play during the preseason.
"I still feel like I've made plenty of strides," Collier said. "It's just about being accountable and paying attention in meetings and learning from the guys around you. ... I'm excited. I'm learning any way I can."
Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 08: Wide receiver DK Metcalf #14 of the Seattle Seahawks runs a pass route against the Denver Broncos at CenturyLink Field on August 8, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)