Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III appears to be out indefinitely following hernia surgery.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll told reporters Sunday that the rookie is "still tender" from his surgery and there's no timetable for his return.
The Michigan State product is entering his first NFL season after amassing 1,636 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns in 12 games last year. He earned Walter Camp Award and Doak Walker Award honors for his efforts.
The Seahawks selected Walker, who transferred to MSU after two seasons playing for Wake Forest, with the No. 41 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft.
The rookie had 30 total yards on six touches in the Seahawks' preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Aug. 13, but his preseason soon came to a halt because of injury concerns.
Carroll told reporters Tuesday that Walker had a "little hernia thing" and was aiming to have him ready for the team's Sept. 12 regular-season opener against the Denver Broncos.
However, the story on Walker's injury changed the following day, with Carroll saying it was not a hernia. It was unclear what the injury was, but the coach sounded optimistic he would be good to go for Week 1:
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network provided more context and reporting:
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
My understanding is that <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Seahawks?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Seahawks</a> RB Kenneth Walker underwent surgery to repair a hernia — not what is sometimes called a “sports hernia” or core muscle injury — and he’s expected to make a full recovery. The plan is for him to be out there Week 1 if all goes well.
Now, it's looking like Walker will not be on the field for the season opener. Without Walker, the top three running backs on the Seahawks' depth chart are Rashaad Penny, Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas.
Penny, who ran for 6.3 yards per carry last year (119 rushes, 749 yards), is entering his fifth NFL season. He amassed the most touches among all Seattle offensive players last season.
The 26-year-old had a groin issue that kept him out of the Steelers game but returned to practice the following week.