Coach Pete Carroll told reporters Sunday that the accident happened a couple of weeks ago. McDowell was placed on the reserve/did not report list. The Michigan State product remains in Michigan recovering from the injury.
Carroll did not specify the type of injury, but NFL Network's Mike Garafolo and James Palmer reported McDowell suffered a concussion and facial injuries. Carroll said "we'll see" when asked if the rookie could miss the entire season.
The team released the following statement on McDowell's situation:
"Unfortunately, Malik McDowell was involved in a vehicular accident in which he suffered an injury during the NFL break period. As a precautionary measure, Malik has remained back in Michigan under the care of physicians there. Our medical people have been in constant communication with his physicians and have been monitoring the situation. At this point it is important for Malik to stay at home and rest. We consider this a long-term relationship and will do whatever is in the best interest of Malik. We look forward to Malik's return to Seattle and will update you with any changes."
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport adds there is no guarantee McDowell will play the 2017 season. As the team noted in its statement, the team is focused on McDowell's recovery and handling the situation with caution. Rapoport says the team hopes to get him to Seattle soon but will not do so if it sacrifices his health in any way.
"I appreciate all the concern regarding my health. I just want to clear the air. I am doing well and expect to rejoin my teammates in Seattle in the next few days. My injury is not life or career threatening as some have speculated. I am grateful for the support I have received from the Seahawks organization, my doctors and my family. You will see me back on the field in the near future."
McDowell entered the NFL as a beef-moving, penetrating defensive lineman. He was expected to play a role in the Seahawks' deep D-line rotation as a rookie. Those plans are now on hold.