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Jimmy Graham injury update: Seahawks TE close to return

NFL: Seattle Seahawks-Training Camp Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham (knee) started training camp on the PUP and was set to be re-evaluated before Thursday’s practice. While Graham was not reactivated for practice on Thursday, head coach Pete Carroll said that both he and Thomas Rawls (ankle) are closer to returning.

Graham tore his patellar tendon last season against the Pittsburgh Steelers, a devastating knee injury that has ground the careers of players like Victor Cruz to a halt. There’s been speculation that even if Graham is ready by Week 1 (as the team has been insisting he will be), he won’t nearly be the same player.

The player that he was: 89 catches, 1,099 yards, 12 touchdowns per season with the New Orleans Saints from 2011-2014. Last season, his first with the Seahawks, Graham had 48 catches for 605 yards and two touchdowns in 11 games. Those numbers weren’t quite up to par with some of the seasons he had in New Orleans, but actually pretty close to his 2014 season; Graham averaged 55 yards per game in both his last season with the Saints and his first season in Seattle.

The Seahawks open the season on September 11 at home against the Miami Dolphins.