RENTON -- It was an experience Will Dissly was all too familiar with.
For the second straight year, Dissly found him laying on the turf in an opposing stadium with his season immediately over due to a major injury. While it was a torn patella tendon during his rookie season against the Cardinals in Arizona in 2018, Dissly's 2019 season ended via a torn Achilles tendon in Cleveland against the Browns in October.
"Unfortunately, Will is really good at rehabbing. He's had two big challenges back-to-back," head coach Pete Carroll said on Tuesday.
Dissly has been highly productive in the 10 games he's played for Seattle over his first two seasons in the NFL. However, he's missed 22 games because of the injuries. Dissly caught 23 passes for 262 yards and four touchdowns in just six games for Seattle last season before the injury in Cleveland ended his year.
"He's a remarkable person and the character that drives a guy to overcome those kinds of obstacles, sometimes it breaks guys down, they can't find the motivation. But Will has been able to do that," Carroll said. "He's a wonderful player. He can do everything. Blocks and catches the football, runs well after the catch, he's really smart. He's a great (special) teams guy, great team guy. He's a terrific part of our team so it's great to have him back. I know he's thrilled that he's back out here. But he's got something to prove. He wants to stay out here so he's going to do everything to get that done."
Dissly did most of his rehab in the Los Angeles area alongside running back Rashaad Penny, who is recovering from a torn ACL this offseason. Carroll gave a glowing response at the outset of training camp in discussing how Dissly had done in his rehab in order to be ready for the start of the camp and not require a stay on the physically unable to perform list.
"Kind of the number one response I got was 'oh you you've done it once you can do it again.' And that was kind of my mentality, man," Dissly said. "You know I knew a ton about the process, kind of the ups and downs and the grind that it takes to get back, the daily commitment, and that really carried me through this one. You know, we worked tremendously hard and, you know, again I wasn't alone on this one just like the last one. Tons of support from, you know, the Seahawks, my friends, my family, fans so it was a group effort to get to this point. I'm really excited to get rolling here play some real football."
Dissly did admit that in the days after the injury in Cleveland there was some frustration and despondence over a second lengthy rehabilitation ahead for another serious injury.
"As prepared as I was to complete this rehab process when you went down for the second time, I was on such a high. We have done a great job with my knee and and worked tremendously hard and was super prepared and the team was winning and we're having success and then to go down again on kind of a fluke deal it was kind of crushing for sure," he said.
"I don't want to say that lightly. There was a you know a good week or so where I was in a bad place mentally. That was the beauty (of it). I was able to talk about it. I think that's one thing, you know, if you're in a bad place you should be able to talk about with your friends and family and lean on those to kind of bring you up. You're isolated a lot when you get hurt. You're removed from your team, your environment that you're so used to. You're not allowed to exercise to kind of stress relief and it's hard emotionally. But you know that's one thing you're able to talk about and work through those things with those close around you that helps a ton."
Dissly was excited to be able to be in pads for practice on Monday after all the work put in since last October.
“It felt like Christmas morning,” Dissly said. “I was excited to hit somebody again.”
With the addition of Greg Olsen via free agency and Colby Parkinson and Stephen Sullivan during the draft, Dissly is bullish on what the tight end group can do this season and eager to contribute.
"We're going to be able to move pieces around," Dissly said. "I think it's gonna make it really challenging for defense and I'm excited to see what this room can do I think it's gonna be a special year."
The Seahawks added defensive tackle P.J. Johnson to the roster on Tuesday.
Johnson was a seventh-round pick of the Detroit Lions last year and ultimately spent the season on the practice squad of the Los Angeles Chargers. He was waived by the team earlier this month. He played collegiately at the University of Arizona.
Addition, the team claimed quarterback Danny Etling off waivers from the Atlanta Falcons.
Etling was waived by Atlanta on Monday. He was a seventh-round pick of the New England Patriots in 2018 and has spent most of his career on the practice squads of the Patriots and Falcons. His only game in uniform came against Seattle last year as a backup when Matt Ryan was sidelined.
The Seahawks face Atlanta in the season opener next month.
Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 03: Tight end Will Dissly #88 of the Seattle Seahawks makes a 25-yard catch against Troy Reeder #51 of the Los Angeles Rams in the first half at CenturyLink Field on October 3, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)