Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll talks to cornerback Tariq Woolen (39) Aug 26, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll talks to cornerback Tariq Woolen (39) in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

If not for Sauce Gardner, a case could’ve been made for Tariq Woolen being the best rookie cornerback in the league. Despite being a fifth-round pick, Woolen came in third place in the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award voting and even received one first-place vote.

Woolen was a vital part of the Seattle Seahawks’ secondary in 2022. He emerged as one of the best cornerbacks in football and helped the Seahawks clinch a playoff berth.

But as the Seahawks move through their offseason workout schedule and look to get ready for the season, they’ll be without Woolen for a while.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Tuesday that Woolen underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and that he is expected to be sidelined until training camp. According to Schefter, Woolen injured his knee while walking on the practice field for OTAs just a week ago.

The news of Woolen’s surgery was originally met with a lot of angst, but once fans realized the recovery timeline puts him on track for training camp, they were suddenly relieved.

The second-year cornerback out of UTSA had a huge year for Seattle in 2022. Woolen was tied for the league lead with six interceptions— as many as the New York Giants and Las Vegas Raiders had as a unit— while also recording 16 passes defended, 63 total tackles, a forced fumble and three fumble recoveries.

Teams are going to be cautious with players during off-season workouts, especially when those players have secured roster spots. If Woolen’s ready for training camp, this injury will be nothing more than a speedbump, and a fairly minor one, at that. If, however, this is something that lingers, it could be a huge factor for Seattle.

[Adam Schefter; photo from Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.