Carroll said he believed Adams' surgery would take place Thursday and that this labrum tear isn't as bad as last year's, which was in the same shoulder and also required surgery.
"Unfortunately he got hit just the wrong way and he's going to have to get fixed up. He's been through this before. He's really rocked by it, of course. We're all pulling for him to come out and get out of this thing, get back as soon as possible. But really disappointed for him as well as us," Carroll said.
Carroll said Adams "was really emotional about it last night because it means so much to him to keep playing and he's been through this before and to have to go through it again. He was much more forward-thinking, I think, this morning in the note that I got from him. So he's going to make the most of it."
Adams suffered the injury in the second quarter of Sunday's 30-23 victory against the San Francisco 49ers. When he returned to the sideline wearing street clothes in the third quarter, he shared a long embrace with his position coach, Andre Curtis.
Carroll initially referred to the injury as a "sprain" after Sunday's game. Adams suffered a similar injury to his left labrum last season but continued to play through the postseason prior to having offseason surgery.
Adams, 26, had yet to record a sack in 2021 after setting an NFL record for a defensive back last season with 9.5 in 12 games. He had two interceptions in a three-game span this season, including one off Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in Week 10 that was his first with the Seahawks.
His 87 total tackles are third on the team, while his four tackles for loss are tied for second.
The Seahawks acquired Adams in July 2020 in a blockbuster trade with the New York Jets, giving up a package of picks that included their next two first-rounders in arguably the boldest personnel move the franchise has made under Carroll and general manager John Schneider. They signed Adams to a four-year, $70 million extension this August that made him the NFL's highest-paid safety.
The package of picks the Seahawks sent to New York included their 2021 and '22 first-rounders. Seattle also gave up its 2021 third-rounder, threw in veteran safety Bradley McDougald and got a 2022 fourth-rounder along with Adams. In defending the early returns the teams has gotten from the trade, Carroll noted that Adams made an immediate impact last season and was continuing to do so this year, whereas a 2021 draft pick would have been an unproven player finding his way.
With the Seahawks at 4-8, the 2022 first-round pick they gave the Jets is currently No. 5 overall.
"All the hype is about sacks. Well, when is the last time somebody is hyped up a safety's sack numbers and made a big deal about it? Well, it's because he had such a phenomenal year last year. We weren't able to capitalize this year as much as we like. We came out trying. But he's meant a tremendous amount," Carroll said. "He's physical. He's tough. He's got great energy. He practices like crazy. It's really important to him. The leadership that comes from a guy who plays that hard and throws his body around like he does, it's hard to measure that. So I think he's been a fantastic get for us."
A big reason Adams wasn't making the impact he did last year as a pass-rusher is that Seattle wasn't blitzing him as often. Adams was only averaging four pass-rush snaps per game, down from 8.25 last year. According to Carroll, the Seahawks dialed back his blitzing because all the attention that opponents began paying to him in pass protection meant that Seattle was "wasting him" by running him straight into offensive linemen.
Adams missed only two games over his three seasons with New York but will have missed nine over his first two in Seattle. A groin injury sidelined him for four games last year. He played through injuries to both shoulders in 2020 -- including the torn labrum that needed surgery -- as well as two broken fingers that also needed surgery and a hyperextended elbow.
Ryan Neal, a fourth-year player, replaced Adams at strong safety last year and again in the second half of Seattle's win over San Francisco on Sunday.
With Marquise Blair on injured reserve, the only healthy safeties on Seattle's active roster are starting free safety Quandre Diggs, Neal and Ugo Amadi, who is listed as a free safety but primarily plays nickelback. Carroll said there are a couple of things the Seahawks are doing "internally" to account for the loss of Adams. He also said McDougald, a street free agent after being released earlier this season by Tennessee, is among the names the Seahawks have discussed.
Neal had two interceptions while stepping in for Adams last season and has been used regularly this year as the sixth defensive back in dime packages.
ESPN's Brady Henderson contributed to this report.