Seahawks safety Jamal Adams will make his 2023 season debut against the Giants on “Monday Night Football.”
But after tearing his left quad tendon in the first game of the 2022 season, Adams told reporters Friday that he contemplated retirement while on the road to recovery.
“It was tough. I thought about retiring,” Adams told reporters on Friday, recalling how he felt after his 2022 season cut short, leaving a game the Seahawks went on to win 17-16 against Russell Wilson in his Broncos debut.
“I thought about a lot of things,” he continued. “Is this going to be it for me? I didn’t know. But I knew eventually, after I got that MRI, I told myself I’m going to be back. I didn’t know when or how, but I was going to figure it out.”
A follow-up question was asked why Adams, who’ll turn 28 on Oct. 17, thought of retiring after the setback.
The LSU alum, who spent his first three seasons with the Jets from 2017-19, highlighted the array of injuries he has suffered over the last three years.
Adams has dealt with multiple torn labrums and other injuries to his elbow, groin and hand, and said they weighed on him mentally.
“I was having all types of thoughts running through my mind, but at the time when I did tear my knee, that was definitely something I was considering,” Adams said of retirement. “I was considering everything at the moment. I was in a dark place. Not on anything suicidal, but definitely in a lot of dark times as far as getting away from the game of football, getting away from people.
“At the time, I wasn’t really talking to many people, wasn’t answering my phone. So you go through real-life situations in this game of football.
“Just getting up and knowing that it’s not attached, it was devastating,” he added, of the injury, in particular. “I walked off, or I tried to run off as best I could. But I knew something was wrong when I got to the sideline and I seen my kneecap to the right of my knee. They told me the news. That was hard. That was a low moment for me, man.”
After being drafted by the Jets No. 6 overall in 2017, Adams quickly ascended to becoming one of the elite safeties in the NFL, making three straight Pro Bowls from 2018-20.
Adams was memorably traded by the Jets ahead of training camp in 2020 along with a 2022 fourth-round pick in exchange for first and third-round picks in 2021, a first-round pick in 2022 and safety Bradley McDougald, who started seven games for the Jets that 2020 season.
Adams then agreed to a four-year, $70 million extension the following summer, which expires following the 2025 season.
Monday night against the Giants won’t only be Adams’ return to football, but it’ll be his first game at MetLife Stadium since being dealt by the Jets.
“Obviously, it’s a special place for me, being back in New York and being back home,” he said. “I haven’t hit anybody in a long time. I’m looking forward to it, man, I’ll tell you that. I won’t take a play for granted. I won’t take a moment or a second for granted. Just to be able to fly on a plane with my teammates is going to be big for me.
“Just to be able to come up here and speak is big for me. Just to be able to sit down in the seats when [head coach Pete Caroll’s] up here in team meetings is big for me. I wasn’t able to sit down in a seat for 20-plus weeks, so it’s a real humbling experience that I went through.”
After only missing two games as a Jet, Adams has only logged 25 and missed 26 — regular season and playoff — games since joining the Seahawks.
Game No. 26 isn’t something Adams will take lightly, he said.
“It’s definitely something that I don’t wish on anybody, but I made it out,” he said of the experience. “I’m just looking forward to the journey. I’m looking forward to the season. I’m excited to be back.”