First-round pick L.J. Collier carted off practice field with ankle injury

L.J. Collier 5-3

RENTON -- Seahawks first-round pick defensive end L.J. Collier suffered an apparent ankle injury and was carted off the practice field during the latter stages of Tuesday's workout.

Collier, the 29th overall pick in this spring's NFL Draft, was working with the second-team defensive unit against the No. 1 offense during two-minute drills. He appeared to get tangled up with an offensive lineman and fell down behind the play. He immediately tried to get to his feet but quickly ended up back on the turf. He was able to eventually get to his feet and hobble to the sidelines while heavily favoring his right leg. After being evaluated by trainers, he hopped on the back of a cart and was taken into the locker room.

"I’m not sure (what happened)," left tackle Duane Brown said following practice. "He was on the other side, I just saw him go down. Looked like he was in a lot of pain I’m hoping he’s all right. He’s going to be a good player. I’m looking forward to working with him as well. Somebody who has a lot of ability and potential. Still kind of raw in his technique but I’m looking forward to working with him.

Head coach Pete Carroll did not speak to reporters after practice so there was no update from the team on Collier's status. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reported shortly after practice that Collier was diagnosed as having a high-ankle sprain. While recovery timelines for a high-ankle sprain can vary, it's typically a 3-6 week recovery time frame. That would put Collier at risk of missing the entire preseason and potentially the start of the regular season.

"It's tough, especially in training camp," Brown said of seeing injuries in practice. "You have a young player... you want to see them be as healthy as possible going into the season. I'm hoping it's nothing serious. Training camp is tough, very physical. A lot of people getting used to just the tempo and the grind of training camp, the every day putting your body through that. It happens. You try to do as best as you can to recover from whatever and stay out there but, like I said, I'm just hoping he's alright."

Collier had mostly been working with the backups units during the first several days of training camp. The Seahawks already had injury and availability issues along the defensive line. Losing Collier for the meat of the preseason is a significant blow.

Last season, first-round pick Rashaad Penny missed the final three games of the 2018 preseason due to a broken finger. The Seahawks and Penny pointed to the missed time from the injury being a significant factor in his initial struggles getting used to the NFL last year. Now for a second straight season, the Seahawks' top draft choice will miss a large chunk of time in the lead up to the start of the year.

In fact, being Seattle's top draft pick has been a bad omen for the last four years in a row. Tackle Germain Ifedi suffered a high-ankle sprain just days before the regular season opener in 2016 and missed the first three games of the season. Defensive tackle Malik McDowell sustained head injuries in an ATV accident in July ahead of his first training camp with the team in 2017 and never appeared in a game for the team, and Penny and Collier have each been injured in practice and sidelined for a sizable chunk of their rookie training camps with the team.

Notes:

-- Tight end Tyrone Swoopes and left guard Mike Iupati both did not practice on Tuesday and were wearing walking boots on their right and left legs, respectively.

Swoopes' boot was twice the size of the one Iupati was utilizing. Iupati sustained a sprained foot in offseason practices and did not take part in the team's mandatory mini-camp due to the issue. It may be the same problem surfacing again for him now in camp.

-- Safety Marquise Blair and linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven were both in pads and did early work but did not take part in any team drills. Blair is returning from a hamstring strain while Burr-Kirven had sports hernia surgery after the draft.

-- Safety Lano Hill (hip), linebacker Justin Currie (hamstring), defensive end Ezekiel Asnah (shoulder), defensive tackle Demarcus Christmas (back), guard Phil Haynes (sports hernia), defensive tackle Nazair Jones, cornerback Davante Davis and safety Jalen Harvey remained sidelined.

-- Ethan Pocic took first-team snaps at left guard in place of Iupati.

-- The Seahawks announced Tuesday evening they have signed long snapper Tyler Ott to a contract extension. Ott has served as the team's long snapper for the last two full seasons after initially joining the team for the 2017 playoffs following an injury to Nolan Frese. Ott, kicker Jason Myers and punter Michael Dickson are now all three under contract for multiple seasons.

Photo Credit: Seahawks first-round pick DE L.J. Collier talks with reporters following a practice in the team's rookie mini-camp on May 3, 2019. (photo by Curtis Crabtree / Sports Radio KJR)

Curtis Crabtree

Curtis Crabtree

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