Seahawks second-round pick Darrell Taylor practices for first time
Seattle Seahawks defensive end Darrell Taylor went the entirety of the 2020 regular season without being able to see the practice field with the team that drafted him this spring.
But with the Seahawks in the playoffs, Taylor finally took to the practice field for the first time on Tuesday.
Taylor was designated to return from the non-football injury list on Tuesday. The former University of Tennessee standout has struggled to get back from offseason surgery to address ongoing stress fracture issues in his leg. Seattle selected Taylor with the 48th overall pick in the NFL Draft in April and hoped he could help bolster a pass rush unit that seems lacking on paper entering the season. With the addition of Carlos Dunlap in trade at midseason, the group has actually become a potent rush unit despite Taylor having to watch from the sidelines. Taylor had a metal rod inserted into his leg to help address the issue.
Taylor went for follow-up consultations in early December with head coach Pete Carroll saying he had an injection to help as part of the treatment process. When asked if the issue was a matter of long-term concern for Taylor last week, Carroll didn’t want to entertain that idea.
“I’m trying to not go there,” Carroll said. “I’m trying to keep holding a good thought like we’re going to be OK if given enough time here and all of that. I don’t know what to say for the long haul of it. We’re just trying to get him back now and see what he’s able to. It will certainly help him to have another offseason. It will certainly help.”
It seems a long shot that Taylor will actually see the field this year before the end of the season. With win-or-go-home games ahead in the playoffs, there isn’t much chance to experiment and Seattle’s rush rotation is plenty deep at the moment. But it will give them a chance to see Taylor on the field for the first time and get a sense for what he is entering the offseason. The caveat would be if Seattle makes a deep playoff run or someone gets hurt then maybe Taylor will get a chance to suit up.
Given another former Seahawks second-round defensive line pick, Malik McDowell, never saw the field with the team due to injuries sustained in an ATV accident, there’s been apprehension about Taylor’s struggle to return to action. Getting a chance to return to the field before the end of the year will be a nice boost heading into 2021.