RENTON, Wash. -- It isn't quite official, but it may as well be: Malik McDowell won't play this season.
The Seattle Seahawks rookie defensive lineman has been sidelined since he suffered what the team called "a really bad concussion" during a summer ATV accident. The possibility of McDowell seeing the field in 2017 has seemed more and more remote with each week that he's remained out, but coach Pete Carroll hadn't shut the door on that until he essentially did so Monday.
"I don't think that's happening," Carroll said. "It doesn't seem like it is. There's not any progress being made in that direction."
And so McDowell will remain on the non-football injury list. Asked about his long-term outlook, Carroll said, "I don't know. I don't have any updates for you."
McDowell was Seattle's top pick, chosen in the second round out of Michigan State with the expectation that he could provide immediate help for the Seahawks' pass rush in a rotational role. But that changed with his his accident, which occurred in Michigan in mid-July.
After the Seahawks revealed on the first day of training camp that he had been involved in an accident, McDowell released a statement on Twitter saying that his injuries weren't life- or career-threatening. He also said he'd be back on the field "in the near future." But he hasn't so much as practiced with the Seahawks since his accident and was only cleared to resume working out with trainers in early October.
When the Seahawks traded for Sheldon Richardson just before the start of the season, the team said not having McDowell was a motivation for making that move. And while Carroll had publicly held out at least some hope that McDowell could return this season, it never seemed at all likely.
That's why Carroll all but ruling McDowell out on Monday was only confirmation of what was already assumed.