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Jimmy Graham might be out for Seahawks' opener

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The Seahawks are finally ready to admit that tight end Jimmy Graham's rehab might spill into the regular season.

Coach Pete Carroll had a hazy response to questions about Graham's readiness Wednesday, which seemed to dance around the central point: A ruptured patellar tendon is a rough thing to come back from quickly and there is a lot of work involved in doing so.

"We've had no issues at all in the work he's doing on the field," Carroll said, via ESPN.com. "That will continue to increase throughout the next few weeks. Really we're shooting for: Where is he at the start of the season? And we'll evaluate then on how much longer it may take, or he may be ready. We don't know that yet. But he feels good."

Carroll added: "There's some evaluation to be done going into next week, but I don't have any expectations for that right now. We'll just wait and see. We don't have a timetable for this; that he has to meet any schedule at all. We're just working him back, and he's gaining confidence, and it's really important not to have any setbacks. So we're being careful.

"With three really big weeks coming up here, we'll see how he goes. We'll be continuing to progress him more with the action around him and stuff. He's doing fine running routes and catching balls, and he looks good doing all that stuff."

Making a start on opening day matters dearly in the eyes of fans and fantasy owners, but the Seahawks are wise to play the long game here. With their offense humming on autopilot a year ago and Russell Wilson taking a massive leap forward skill wise, Graham represents the cherry on top and not the mortar holding this thing together.

As tough as it will be to squeeze Graham into a season already in motion, it will be just as difficult for teams to figure out how exactly Seattle will use him. Should Graham be 100 percent healthy at that point, the advantage is clearly in Seattle's favor.

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