The Seahawks plan to put Adams on injured reserve on Thursday and will sign defensive back Teez Tabor off the Atlanta Falcons‘ practice squad to take his place on their 53-man roster, a source confirmed.
Adams and the Seahawks believed the three-time Pro Bowl selection was in for a bounce-back after a disappointing 2021 season in which he was held without a sack in 12 games. But any chance of that ended in the second quarter of Seattle’s 17-16 victory over the Denver Broncos on Monday night when Adams was carted off the field after he was hurt while blitzing former teammate Russell Wilson.
Coach Pete Carroll called it a “serious” injury postgame and said on his weekly radio show Tuesday morning that Adams would “have to get some work on that,” though he stopped short of declaring then that Adams’ season was over.
NFL Network first reported Thursday that Adams will have season-ending surgery and that Seattle will sign Tabor.
“Yeah, he’s hurt,” Carroll told Seattle Sports 710-AM on Tuesday. “He hurt his knee and he’s going to have to get some work on that. I don’t know the extent of it yet, but I know it’s serious. It just breaks your heart. He loves the game so much. We’re going to miss him so much.”
Adams limped off the field in obvious pain, heavily favoring his left leg, after delivering pressure and a hit on Wilson that helped force a third-down incompletion. After being examined in the medical tent, he was helped onto an injury cart. Adams was visibly upset, at one point appearing to burst out in frustration, as he was driven into the locker room.
Carroll has said the injury is to Adams’ quadriceps tendon, which attaches the quad muscle to the top of the kneecap.
“The fact that he is such a heartthrob about the game of football, he loves playing and he just can’t deal with it right now about ‘how could this keep happening?'” Carroll said on his radio show. “It was good he had his mom and dad in the locker room really during the game when he was in there to kind of help him through it and all that, but it was really tough. So I hope everybody sends the love to him.”
Adams had three tackles and defended a pass before his injury. Josh Jones replaced him for the rest of the game. Seattle also has Ryan Neal as a safety option. Neal made four starts in 2020 while Adams was sidelined by a groin injury. The 26-year-old Tabor played safety last season with the Chicago Bears under defensive coordinator Sean Desai, who’s now on Seattle’s defensive staff.
Adams missed only two games over his first three seasons with the New York Jets but then missed nine games over his first two seasons with the Seahawks — four in 2020 and the final five last season after he suffered another torn shoulder labrum that required surgery. Adams missed time early in training camp this summer after rebreaking the middle finger on his left hand, another injury he has dealt with in the past. He had finger surgeries in each of the past two offseasons.
Adams and the Seahawks were hoping that Seattle’s new defense — with its emphasis on split-safety looks — would put him in position for a bounce-back. During his stellar debut season in Seattle in 2020, Adams set the NFL record for sacks by a defensive back with 9.5, earning him his third straight Pro Bowl nod. But then came his zero-sack 2021 season, which ended after 12 games when he re-tore his shoulder labrum.
Speaking last week for the first time since his latest finger injury, Adams said Seattle’s new defense puts him “in position to make plays.”
“I’m back in my element, man,” he said. “I feel like I’m back playing defense.”
The Seahawks acquired Adams from the Jets in 2020 for a package that included first-round picks in 2021 and 2022. They signed him to a four-year, $70 million extension last summer that made him the NFL’s highest-paid safety at that time.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler contributed to this report.