RENTON -- Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas is doing more during mini-camp than even he expected at this point in his recovery process.
Thomas sustained a broken leg in a game against the Carolina Panthers in early December that ended his 2016 season abruptly. Thomas considered retirement in the initial aftermath of the injury before becoming confident he could return to be his old self once again.
Now just six months removed from the injury, Thomas is able to take part in practices on a limited basis during the team's offseason program.
"I think I'm about 80 percent," Thomas said of how he feels in his recovery.
"I think my 80 percent is still faster than most of the guys that are out here. Just trying to keep my mental game sharp, try to stay in tune, help the young guys out as much as possible. I'm just happy I'm back out here with the guys."
Thomas has been able to be on the field somewhat over the last few weeks of offseason workouts. He's mostly been limited from doing full team drills as they continue to manage his recovery process. However, Thomas was able to take another step forward on Tuesday, beginning to work back in to some of the team's passing game drills.
"I heard he said he's 80 percent. Isn't that awesome? He thinks he's 80 percent," head coach Pete Carroll joked. "He looks good. He's running around doing everything and flying around the field and getting his confidence back."
Thomas did not have surgery to repair his broken leg. He said he was informed by doctors that the injury had a 50 percent chance of healing correctly without surgery and he elected against surgery because he didn't want his legs cut on if they didn't have to be.
It seems to have worked out in Thomas' favor as he is further along in his recovery than he, or the team, anticipated at this point in the offseason.
"Early on when we first got out here I wasn't sure but I had to test it out just to see," Thomas said. "When I'm in walkthroughs, that's easy. But when you're out here and everybody is running full speed that's when you can really gauge what's happening. That's where I get my best gauge yet and so far so good."
Carroll said Thomas is expected to be full speed for the start of training camp next month. However, they may still take it easy to start camp before ramping up his workload.
"I do anticipate he will be able to. I don't know if we'll do that with him," Carroll said. "We'll make sure and work our way into it but there's nothing showing that he can't.
"We'll just make sure he's in really good shape and not press it early because there's no reason to. ... He's well ahead of where we thought he'd be right now."
News & Notes
-- Only two players were absent from the start of the team's mandatory mini-camp on Tuesday: defensive end Dion Jordan and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse.
Jordan has a clean-up procedure done on his knee recently to remove what Carroll called "loose bodies" from his knee that was causing discomfort. The surgery came after he signed with the team and they didn't know it was a procedure he would need when they brought him onto the roster.
"We were fixing what had happened before," Carroll said. "He didn't get hurt here. He came to us needing a clean-up on his knee. He didn't know that at the time. We uncovered it. He's done everything he's supposed to do and done a good job but he hasn't been able to get on the field yet."
Kearse was absent as his wife was set to deliver a baby.
-- Of the players in attendance, only four didn't appear to be taking part in any aspects of the workout. Cornerback DeShawn Shead, linebacker Michael Wilhoite, defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson and wide receiver Tanner McEvoy all sat out practice.
Shead and Jefferson continue to recover from ACL injuries sustained last season. Wilhoite pulled a quad muscle last week. McEvoy's injury hasn't been disclosed.
-- Carroll said the team would "very much like to work something out" regarding a new contract for strong safety Kam Chancellor.
"We're working at it and that's really all we'll say," Carroll said. "We are working at it with every intention of taking care of this business. It takes a while. These things take a while."
Chancellor said he hasn't spoke with the team yet about a new contract and noted it's not something he's been thinking about.
"I just let it happen when it's supposed to happen and all I can do is contract what I can control right now and that's playing on the field and keeping that camaraderie together with my brothers and just keep building," Chancellor said.
Photo Credit: Seahawks safety Earl Thomas speaks with the media following the first day of veteran mini-camp on June 13, 2017. (photo by Curtis Crabtree / Sports Radio 950 KJR)