Cornerback Walter Thurmond Activated from the PUP: What It Means for Seattle

Tyson LanglandNFC West Lead WriterNovember 8, 2012

August 27, 2011; Englewood, CO, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond (28) before the start of a preseason game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field. The Broncos defeated the Seahawks 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

This move appears to be one that has been in the works for awhile. Walter Thurmond started practicing again with the Seahawks on October 22—a much later date than the team had originally expected.

Thurmond suffered a broken leg during Seattle's Week 7 game against the Browns in 2011. 

Head coach Pete Carroll knew that the injury would keep him out until the end of the season, but he figured to have him back for the beginning of training camp this year—at the latest. However, a setback in March caused the 'Hawks to put him on the shelf all through training camp and the preseason. 

Unfortunately for Thurmond, he re-broke the same leg he was rehabbing and had to start the rehab process all over from the beginning. By placing him on the physically unable to perform list, there was nothing the team could do until Week 6 of the 2012 season. 

When a player is eligible to come off of the list, the corresponding team is given 21 days to decide what it wants to do with him. The player can practice with the team during that 21-day period, but if he is not activated during that time, the team must place him on injured reserve. 

Essentially, that window of time gives the team the opportunity to evaluate the returning player. It will either give him the green light and say he's good to go or he's being shut down for the season. 

Based on the concession that he is healthy, all signs point to the Seahawks making the right decision of activating Thurmond. He is a fourth-round draft pick out of Oregon in 2010, who at times dominated at the collegiate level. 

During his four-year tenure in Eugene, he tallied 12 interceptions and returned three of those 12 for touchdowns. Not to mention he also returned his only fumble recovery of his collegiate career for a touchdown back in 2007 against Fresno State. 

Here's a fun fact for you: Thurmond may only be 6'0" tall, but he has the same wingspan as Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (H/T to Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times).

Even though he really hasn't had a chance to show off his overall skill set in the NFL because of injury, Pro Football Focus has him as an above average corner in pass coverage. Of the 569 snaps he has logged over his first two years in the league, opposing quarterbacks are only completing 57.4 percent of their throws for 509 yards. 

In 2010, he spent time at left cornerback, right cornerback and in the slot in large part due to the injury of other players. But in 2011 he spent almost all of his time in the slot.

When he finds himself on the field for the first time in 2012, I could see him sliding into the No. 4 cornerback position, which is currently held by Jeremy Lane. 

Lane hasn't even been on the field for one defensive snap this season. He has been making a living on special teams. When opponents go to four and five wide receiver sets, Seattle deploys its "bandit" package. Instead of having a fourth cornerback, a third safety is deployed. 

At this point, there is no telling as to when and where Thurmond will make his first appearance of the season. The only thing we do know is that he has flashed talent more often than not.

Let's just hope a twice-broken leg doesn't hamper him from continual progression throughout his career.


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