RENTON -- Through 15 years of playing football at the highest levels, Ed Dickson finally saw his streak of surgery avoidance come to an end in August.
Dickson, in his second year with the Seahawks, had to have surgery to clean up some cartilage damage in his knee. The injury kept him out for most of training camp and led to his placement on the injured reserve list for the first eight games of the season.
"There was some wear and tear in there, chipped cartilage in there and they just went in and cleaned it up," Dickson said. "It's actually my first surgery in 10 years of NFL football and 15 years of college and NFL so I've been very blessed to be on the healthy side. Unusual."
Dickson returned to practice with the Seahawks this week for the first time since his surgery. Head coach Pete Carroll has been optimistic of Dickson's chances to play this weekend against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, Dickson will have to show he's ready to jump into the mix on just three days of work in order to be called up to the 53-man roster this weekend.
"He’s got to get out there," Carroll said, "He hasn’t had one day at practice in months and months. We just need to break him in and see where he is. He was in good enough shape and had returned well enough that we were able to really push him the last three weeks to see if we could get him up to the work level that it would take to be ready so he can just move in and transition smoothly. We’ll find out."
Dickson can currently practice with the team despite not counting against the 53-man roster. He's currently still on the injured reserve list and would need to be added to the roster in place of someone else to be eligible to play on Sunday. It's a similar circumstance for Dickson to how he joined the lineup last season. Dickson had a quadriceps injury coming into training camp that led to his placement on the non-football injury list. Dickson voiced his disagreement with that decision at the end of training camp and had to wait through the first six games of the season last year before being able to join the roster.
"Last year it was tough on me because it wasn't a major injury and I felt like, personally, I could have played," Dickson said. "Having that six-week vacation, off-time, I came back hungry and I'm in that same position (now)."
Dickson caught 12 passes for 143 yards and three touchdowns in his 10 games played with the Seahawks last season. Dickson is better known for his blocking skills and would be a welcome addition to Seattle's offense.
"He’s an all-around ball player," Carroll said. "He can play Y and he can play the F position. He’s good down the field. He blocks well. He’s played a lot of football, so he’s really well versed at all the little tricks and things that the guys have to do at that position. He brings experience. He brings play making. ... He’s got a lot of versatility to him. We’re very fortunate to have him at this time jumping out."
Dickson was disappointed he had to have the surgery in training camp because it would mean missing the start of the year. Seattle was fortunate enough to be able to keep him on their initial 53-man roster so they could get him to injured reserve and preserve his ability to return during the season.
"Kind of heartbroken but I was like I'm going to do everything in my power to see that I can get back on the field and listen to the trainers and everybody's process and work my butt off to get it to this point," Dickson said. "You never want to be injured. I'm a competitor. I put my best foot forward to play every year.
"I was able to run a few weeks after that, but being able to do the things that I'm capable of doing it took a little bit longer. I had eight weeks so there's no way I could have come off earlier so they took it as slow as they can and this is the next step, going out there to practice and having a good practice and being able to contribute and help to the team. I want to fit in where I fit in. I don't have the expectations of me coming out and catching 60 balls or something like that, trying to get a win at the end of the day."
Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 15: Ed Dickson #84 of the Seattle Seahawks dives over Tramon Williams #38 of the Green Bay Packers for the game winning touchdown in the fourth quarter at CenturyLink Field on November 15, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)