Former Seattle Seahawk receiver Kevin Norwood returns to CenturyLink Field Sunday with the Carolina Panthers hoping to get on the field.
Sunday’s game marks something of a homecoming for Kevin Norwood, a receiver who was a fourth-round pick for the Seahawks in 2014.
After it became apparent that he might not make the final roster, the Seahawks traded Norwood to Carolina for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2017.
Norwood, though, has had trouble finding the field with the Panthers, who will play the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field Sunday at 1:05 p.m. Norwood has been active in just one game, and does not have a catch. In the only game in which he has played, against Houston in week two, a pass bounced off his hands and was intercepted.
He has been inactive in the two games since then and it’s unclear if he will be active for the Panthers on Sunday.
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Norwood told the Charlotte Observer this week that he didn’t have strong feelings about returning to Seattle but instead just wants to get on the field.
“I don’t really care who we’re playing or where we’re going, I just want to play,” said Norwood, listed third on the depth chart at one receiver spot behind Ted Ginn Jr. and Devin Funchess.. “Sitting on the sidelines is no fun.”
Carolina coach Ron Rivera said in a conference call with Seattle reporters this week that Norwood was still finding his way in the Panthers’ system.
“The thing about Kevin is he’s a young man that we liked coming out of the draft,” Rivera said of Norwood, who played at Alabama. “We saw a lot of things that fit our system, our style, the things that we do. He had some pretty good tape from Seattle, so the opportunity to bring a guy in that we liked to begin with, we wanted to see if he could fit for us, and we feel good about him. We really do. He’s got a lot to learn and right now he’s trying to work his way through a lot of things. He’s had a couple of good opportunities and he’s done some nice things. It’s just been a learning process for him right now. But we’re pleased with him.”
Rivera said the Panthers were preparing to possibly draft Norwood before the Seahawks took him with the 123rd overall pick.
“I think somewhere around a fourth, fifth rounder, pretty much where Seattle took him,” he said of what grade the Panthers had on Norwood. “I know we had talked about him, and the next thing you know Seattle had just picked him. For the most part, I think we kind of saw him the same.”
Norwood caught nine passes for 102 yards last season for the Seahawks with a long of 31 in the season finale against the Rams, which proved a key in pulling away late for a 20-6 win that assured Seattle homefield advantage through the playoffs.
Norwood was active for only one of three playoff games, the NFC Championship against Green Bay, but did not have a reception.
And while he said this week he was more concerned with finding a way to get on the field than playing again in Seattle he offered an interesting perspective on the Seahawks’ season and the importance of Sunday’s game.
“They’re looking for that one victory that can take them over the top and get them their confidence back,” Norwood said. “This is going to be the game that probably determines whether they’re going to be successful or not, in my eyes.”