The Seahawks announced Sunday that second-round pick Malik McDowell was injured in a vehicular accident prior to the start of training camp and as a precautionary measure remains in Michigan under the care of doctors there.
"Our medical people have been in constant communication with [McDowell's] physicians and have been monitoring the situation," a Seahawks spokesman said in a statement. "At this point it is important for Malik to stay at home and rest. We consider this a long-term relationship and will do whatever is in the best interest of Malik. We look forward to Malik's return to Seattle and will update you with any changes."
NFL Network's Mike Garofolo reports that McDowell was injured while riding an ATV, and suffered a concussion and facial injuries. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters Sunday that McDowell could miss the 2017 season.
Seattle selected McDowell with the 35th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Widely considered one of the best defensive linemen coming out of college, skeptics pointed out that the Michigan State standout took plays off and wasn't nearly as dominant as he should have been. Carroll clearly wasn't concerned by the pre-draft criticism, probably because the coach has a long history of getting the most out of his players.
For now, McDowell's first order of business is recovering from an accident that may have already ended his rookie campaign. On Sunday afternoon, he released this statement on his condition:
"I appreciate the concern regarding my health," McDowell said in a statement posted to Twitter. "I just want to clear the air. I am doing well and expect to rejoin my teammates in Seattle in the next few days. My injury is not life or career threatening as some have speculated. I am grateful for the support I have received from the Seahawks organization, my doctors and my family. You will see me back on the field in the near future."