As if the Seahawks didn’t have enough chaos, being 1-2 and needing to straighten out their defense and get their offense to sustain its play over a full game, they are doing a ton of roster juggling as well.
The big news Wednesday was that Gerald Everett became the first Seahawk to test positive for the coronavirus in the NFL’s two pandemic seasons. He seemed confident he would return “soon,” but the Hawks have to be prepared in case he doesn’t pass the test. Pete Carroll said Friday that he was vaccinated and feeling fine but had not tested negative on consecutive days yet.
Colby Parkinson, on IR with a foot injury, returned to practice this week and is expected to be activated. The Hawks also signed Jace Sternberger, a former third-round pick of the Packers, to their practice squad. Otherwise, Will Dissly and Tyler Mabry are the only eligible tight ends on the 53.
Let’s take a look at all the news and analysis of each position (UPDATED FRIDAY) as the Hawks get ready for the 49ers and a tough three-game run that finishes with the Rams and Steelers.
News: Jake Luton was moved from the roster to the PS.
Analysis: The Hawks were never going to keep three all season, and they are now running into roster juggling scenarios that mean time is up on that luxury. … Over the first three games, Russell Wilson has played well in the first half but done almost nothing in the second. He is just 7 of 17 on third downs, just 3 of 9 on third-and-4, 5 or 6 – an area he clearly needs to fix. He has thrown too many deep balls in those situations.
News: Rashaad Penny (calf) is still out.
Analysis: Alex Collins has looked good as the No. 2 RB, and DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer have both seen action on offense in the first three games. Penny’s injury is one of the least impactful on the team.
Pete Carroll on Penny: “He’s just not quite there yet with all of the football moves that he needs to show that he can stay and be part of it.”
News: With reinstated Josh Gordon choosing Kansas City over Seattle, the Hawks instead brought back Phillip Dorsett, who will start out on the practice squad. … Meanwhile, Dee Eskridge is still in concussion protocol after getting hurt in the opener, and he was listed as doubtful Friday. … Tyler Lockett suffered a twisted knee in Minnesota, but it is a hip issue that is bothering him this week. Carroll still expects him to play. … DK Metcalf is dealing with a foot problem (the same one he has had all season) but was not on the final injury report.
Analysis: Freddie Swain has done well as the No. 3 receiver, with six catches on eight targets. With Eskridge doubtful and Lockett and Metcalf banged up, we could see Dorsett right away. Dorsett, who was on IR in Seattle in 2020, didn’t last long in Jacksonville, but Carroll said Friday that he “jumped right back out there” in his return to Seattle.
News: Everett is the first Seahawk to test positive for COVID during these two pandemic seasons. He still had not cleared COVID testing protocol on Friday. … Parkinson was back at practice this week after missing the first three games on IR with a broken foot, and Carroll expects him to play. … The Hawks also signed Sternberger.
Analysis: Everett has played well when given chances (eight catches on nine targets). They need to use him more in the second half of games — once he returns. He has little time left to test negative in time to make it back for the 49ers. … Parkinson is expected to come off IR for the game against the 49ers, but will we see him do anything? … Sternberger could offer some nice depth from the PS.
Carroll on Parkinson (and Cedric Ogbuehi): “Both guys will be ready to go, mentally. We have to see how they look and how they can fit in.”
News: Ogbuehi (biceps) has returned to practice and now has a 21-day window to be activated off IR. … Brandon Shell (ankle) is out for a second straight week but should not be sidelined much longer.
Analysis: The Seahawks really need one of their top two right tackles back. Jamarco Jones and Jake Curhan split reps evenly against Minnesota. The Hawks actually pulled Duane Brown to the right side on a couple of plays in the first half – a left tackle pulling to the far opposite side of the line is almost unheard of.
News: Robert Nkemdiche has bumped L.J. Collier from the rotation, and Nkemdiche has been promoted permanently to the 53-man roster. … Kerry Hyder (concussion) did not practice Wednesday but was not on the injury report Friday, so he should be active. … Benson Mayowa (neck) is questionable after missing Week 3. … Poona Ford is dealing with ankle and shoulder injuries, and Alton Robinson has a knee issue that has him questionable.
Analysis: Collier might be active due to injuries this week, but the Seahawks should look to trade him for something/someone. He looked bad in Week 2, but he has played well in the past and might have some trade value. Nkemdiche has played a lot the past two weeks (41% and 59%) and showed some of the talent that made him Arizona’s first-round pick in 2016.
Ken Norton Jr. on Nkemdiche: “It came down to competition, came down to being able to play and being able to make quick decisions. Right now, we decided Nkemdiche was a little ahead of (Collier).”
News: Bobby Wagner said he has talked to the defense and everyone is focused. He also said they are aware teams are beating them with the screen game and “we’ll be ready for them” this week.
Analysis: Wagner and Jordyn Brooks have played OK, but they need to tighten up the middle of the field – on runs, screens, dump-offs, tight ends. The Vikings hit 8 of 11 passes in their coverage zones. The Hawks definitely miss K.J. Wright.
Wagner: “We’ve just got to get out of our own way.”
News: The watch is on for a change at cornerback, with many expecting Tre Flowers to be benched for Sidney Jones. … Tre Brown (knee) may return to practice next week; he has missed all three games while on IR. … Marquise Blair missed the Minnesota game with a knee injury but should be back this week, Carroll said. … Richard Sherman signed with the Bucs, ruling him out as an option for Seattle. Wagner said he thought Sherman would have ended up back in Seattle if not for his legal trouble in July.
Analysis: Bless Austin also is an option at corner. He and Jones both have been learning the playbook; the problem is they have not gotten enough reps in practice for Carroll and Norton to be comfortable with them playing with the first team. But there clearly is no chemistry in that secondary now anyway, so a change can’t possibly hurt.
Norton on Jones: “He’s spent a lot of time learning his playbook. I think every day is a big day. He gets closer and closer to being more competitive every day he comes out.”