20 Most Interesting Seahawks: #10 Earl Thomas

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 16: Free safety Earl Thomas
SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 16: Free safety Earl Thomas /

We are just 10 days away from the start of Seahawks Training Camp! It is fitting for us to reveal our #10 Most Interesting Seahawk for 2017. A healthy Earl Thomas is crucial for the success of the defense.

Earl Thomas, the likely future Hall of Fame safety, did something in 2016 that he had never done before. He missed games. Five games to be exact. Before his broken leg injury against he Panthers, the Seahawks defense was giving up just over 16 points per game. After his injury, they gave up an average of over 23 points per game.

Shortly after he broke his leg to end his season, Earl Thomas scared thousands of Seahawks fans with a tweet. In the tweet, he proclaimed that he was considering retirement. Thomas has since quelled those fears, and is actually ahead of schedule in his rehab.

There is a good chance he will be ready to go by Week 1.

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What makes Thomas so interesting is the way he bounces back from his injury. You may remember that after Super Bowl 49, Thomas had surgery on his shoulder. The injury kept him from doing any off-season work, and limited him in training camp and the preseason.

While Thomas played well, it was still a down year. Thomas pointed to his lack of work in the off-season as the primary culprit.

The major difference between that injury and now is the location of it. Earl Thomas is a player who needs his speed to play at a high level. This  is the first major leg injury of his career. The Seahawks need him to return to the defense.

His presence alone stops team from going over the top and attacking the deep third of the field.

Next: A Look at the Competition in the NFC West

It is always dangerous to assume that a player will come back from injury at 100%. Thomas is so critical to the Seahawks identity, he must be close if the team hopes to win a Super Bowl.