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Doug Baldwin injury: Seahawks star WR admits left knee “won’t be 100%” for 2018 season

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Arizona Cardinals v Seattle Seahawks
One of the best players in the NFL, and also Patrick Peterson
Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks have been very fortunate that wide receiver Doug Baldwin has been incredibly healthy throughout his seven-year career. He’s missed only two games, both in 2012 (when he was Seattle’s #3 option), and has established himself as Russell Wilson’s top target since 2014.

With the 2018 regular season just 12 days away, there are concerns about Baldwin’s sore left knee, which has kept him out of the entire preseason. He did return to practice this week ahead of Seattle’s preseason finale against the Oakland Raiders, and is expected to play in the team’s season opener at the Denver Broncos.

Baldwin spoke to media about his knee issue for the first time, and admitted that he won’t be at full strength at all this year.

“I haven’t felt 100% since I was born,” Baldwin said. “I’m probably about 80-85% right now. The truth of the matter is that it won’t be 100% [for 2018]. It’s something I’ve got to deal with the rest of the season.”

Oh yes, there’s also this.

Obviously 80-85% Doug Baldwin is much better than no Doug Baldwin at all, but this is still a major concern for the Seahawks. Outside of Wilson, Baldwin is the only consistently reliable offensive performer on the team, and among the receivers, he’s a superb route-runner and has by far the best hands. If he’s going to be hampered throughout the year, that means it’s more important than ever for the rest of the Seahawks receiving corps to step up their game.

Again, all signs point of Baldwin being well enough to start against the Broncos, but his knee is something to pay close attention to, as he’s one of the handful of guys this team absolutely cannot afford to lose.