Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin said he expects to enter the season with his knee at less than 100 percent.
The injury isn’t likely to stop Baldwin from competing in the season opener against the Denver Broncos on Sept. 9. The 29-year-old returned to practice this week after being shut down for the past month with the injury.
“I haven’t felt 100 percent since I was born,” Baldwin said Tuesday, via the Tacoma News Tribune. “I’m probably about 80-85 percent right now, and the truth of the matter is that it won’t be 100 percent. It’s something I’ve got to deal with for the rest of the season.”
Baldwin said he first noticed the injury during organized team activities in May. He practiced for the first few days of training camp and didn’t feel right, prompting the team to shut him down.
“It’s nice to be back to feeling myself, running again,” Baldwin said. “I’ve been playing this game since I was 6 years old. I don’t know what it’s like to not have football in my life, so to be out this long … it was hard. It was hard emotionally. So I’m glad to be back out there.”
Fellow wideouts Jaron Brown, Tyler Lockett and Brandon Marshall would all see more targets should Baldwin miss time this season.
Baldwin was named to the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement after he recorded a team-leading 75 receptions for 991 yards and eight touchdowns in 2017.
It marked the third consecutive season with at least 75 catches for Baldwin, who set career highs with 94 receptions and 1,128 yards in 2016 while also earning Pro Bowl honors.
Baldwin emerged as one of the league’s top wideouts in 2014 when he had his first 1,000-yard season (1,069) on 78 receptions while establishing a career best with 14 touchdown catches.
An undrafted free agent out of Stanford, Baldwin has spent his first seven seasons with the Seahawks. He has 443 receptions and 44 touchdown catches while starting 77 of 110 games.
Baldwin has appeared in 12 postseason games with Seattle, hauling in 55 catches for 702 yards and six touchdowns.