Seattle Seahawks QB Drew Lock back at practice after exiting COVID isolation, set to play 'a lot' in preseason finale

RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks quarterback Drew Lock returned to practice Sunday after his bout with COVID-19 and will play "a lot" in the team's preseason finale Friday against the Dallas Cowboys, coach Pete Carroll said.

Sunday marked the first day Lock could return after testing positive Tuesday, requiring a five-day isolation in accordance with CDC guidelines for vaccinated individuals. He handled a normal workload while sharing first-team reps with Geno Smith.

"He did OK today," Carroll said. "He seemed to bounce back. He's six, seven days into it now so he's in good shape as far as getting back. But you never know until you get out there and start running around. He hung in there tough, so it was good."

Carroll wouldn't reveal who will start Friday at Dallas but said Lock needs to play. Lock, who's been competing with Smith to replace Russell Wilson as Seattle's starter, had been set to make his first start of the summer Thursday against the Chicago Bears until his positive COVID test thwarted that plan.

"This was really frustrating for him," Carroll said. "Here was his day and he just felt terrible on the practice field. That was his day to start and get going with all the guys and all that in a regular practice schedule ... and he couldn't finish the post-practice work. He was just a mess. So it's a shame.

"So I still need to see him play and need to see him fit in with our guys and all of that. He's done really well until now. That opportunity was going to be a big one. Even though I knew the preparation for it wasn't great [due to a short week]. ... But we'll see how he goes this week and we'll plan on playing him a lot this week. He'll play a lot."

Carroll still considered Smith to be leading the competition despite the plan to start Lock last week. With Lock sidelined against Chicago, Smith missed an opportunity to widen his lead, going 10-of-18 for 112 yards on seven scoreless drives in the first half. At least three of his incompletions were drops, however.

The Dallas game won't necessarily be the final piece of evaluation Seattle uses to decide on a starter, Carroll said. With only three preseason games now instead of four, there's an extra week between the Friday finale and the start of the regular season.

"I'm going to take the time it takes to figure it out and make sure that we have all the information that we need," Carroll said. "I've got to wait and see what happens in this game. Geno's done a good job. Geno needs a little more help from some guys. Guys need to catch the football for him a little bit better. But he's handled it well. Drew's had three drives. He had two touchdown drives. So he's put some stuff on the résumé out there, so we'll see what happens this week.

"And we do have really, really good weeks of practice coming up. This is a great one. Next week is a great one. And the one after is a great one, so we'll use all of that if we need it."