RENTON, Wash. – Jamal Adams’ second season with the Seahawks is coming to an early end, raising even more concerns about the price Seattle paid to acquire the safety in the first place.
Adams will miss the rest of the season after suffering a torn labrum in his left shoulder, coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday. Adams is expected to undergo surgery Thursday for the damage he suffered during the first half of the Seahawks’ win over San Francisco, which snapped Seattle’s three-game losing streak.
He had surgery to repair damage to the same shoulder last offseason, although Carroll said this injury is not believed to be as severe as the last one.
“He was really emotional about it last night just because it means so much to him to keep playing, and he’s been through this before and to have to go through it again,” Carroll said. “He was much more forward-thinking, I think, this morning in the note that I got from him. So he’s gonna make the most of it.”
Adams has been limited by injuries during the two seasons he’s been in Seattle and his play has yielded mixed results, leading to unrest from fans who were upset in the first place when the Seahawks traded two first-round picks to the New York Jets to acquire the former All-Pro.
Seattle believed in Adams enough to sign him to a $70 million, four-year extension before the season. But with the Seahawks sitting at 4-8, what would currently be a top 10 pick in the 2022 draft belongs to the Jets.
Still, the Seahawks have backed Adams and his overall play has improved.
“It’s going to be a lot, from his leadership, his energy, his passion for the game. We’re definitely going to miss him a lot,” linebacker Bobby Wagner said.
Last season, Adams set an NFL record for sacks by a defensive back with 9½, but struggled badly in pass coverage. This season, Adams improved significantly in his pass coverage but Seattle was using him far less as a blitzing pass rusher.
Adams will finish this season with 87 total tackles and two interceptions, but just four tackles for loss, two quarterback hits and zero sacks.
Carroll said opponents learned from last year and had specific blocking schemes for when it appeared Adams would blitz. It became obvious that rushing Adams didn’t make sense.
“We saw him be targeted so much in protection, which is classic. It’s an obvious thing that teams were doing,” Carroll said. “We weren’t able to get as much out of it. It had nothing to do with him. It was just schematically people changed the way they went about it, so we just adjusted to that.”
There also seems to be growing concern about his durability after two straight major shoulder injuries along with groin and finger injuries that have limited his availability to 24 of a possible 33 regular-season games in Seattle. Adams missed two games his first three seasons with the Jets.
Versatile backup Ryan Neal will step in as the starter as he did a year ago when Adams missed four games due to injury. Neal has 23 tackles and one sack this season, but having to put him into the starting lineup will impact Seattle’s ability to play packages with five or six defensive backs.
Neal said the four games he started a season ago gave him experience and confidence since he had never started before.
“It taught me a lot of things. I learned a lot from the game then. Things happen fast. You got to be ready to rock and roll,” Neal said. “Those four games I had to just figure it out real quick and I had to rely on the guys around me. … The difference this time around is I’ve had the experience.”