If a few unexpectedly good performances made projecting the Seahawks’ 53-man roster that much tougher after the first week of preseason, injuries and a few staggers at Minnesota added to the challenge following the second preseason game.
But projecting is what we do here.
So here’s our best guess at putting it all together after Sunday’s 25-19 loss to the Vikings.
Keep: Russell Wilson, Geno Smith.
Cut: Paxton Lynch, J.T. Barrett
Comment: Lynch didn’t have a ton of help against the Vikings, but also missed a few things that were there, and this didn’t feel like the big taking-advantage-of-an-opportunity that it could have been. I had the team keeping Smith after last week, anyway, since one week seemed like too little to make a change just yet. Smith didn’t play against the Vikings, but it sounds like he’ll be back for the Chargers. This week could allow him to solidify the job — or leave it that much more open for the final week of the preseason, when Lynch and Smith will probably get all the snaps. Barrett isn’t a factor yet.
Keep: Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, Bo Scarbrough, Nick Bellore, Travis Homer.
Cut: C.J. Prosise, J.D. McKissic, Xavier Turner.
Comment: I’m adding Homer this week after he got healthy and showed a few things late in the game against the Vikings. For now, he may be the leader in the race for the third-down/two-minute back spot with the inability of Prosise and McKissic to get healthy. Scarbrough didn’t play against the Vikings. But he was off to a nice start early in the Denver game and for now, I’m keeping him.
Keep: Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Gary Jennings, David Moore, Jaron Brown.
Cut: Jazz Ferguson, Amara Darboh, John Ursua, Terry Wright, Malik Turner, Keenan Reynolds.
Comment: I’m back to five receivers, cutting Ferguson this week after what was somewhat of a struggle of an outing against the Vikings — just two receptions on seven targets, including a drop and a fumble after one of his two catches. And I’m also going with the idea that Ferguson, Ursua and Wright could all make it through to the practice squad. In fact, the rotations Sunday indicated that if there were to be a sixth receiver kept it would be Turner. The one big complication here, suddenly, is Metcalf’s health. Coach Pete Carroll said there’s a chance he’ll be ready week one. But if not, the Seahawks will have to think about how they put the roster together to make sure they have enough weapons for Wilson. Darboh, a third-round pick in 2017 for whom there was some momentary excitement in the spring, hasn’t played in the preseason.
Keep: Will Dissly, Nick Vannett, Jacob Hollister.
Cut: Ed Dickson, Jackson Harris, Wes Saxton.
Comment: No change here, though much will depend on Dickson’s health. Seattle can save some money releasing him. But if he’s healthy and given some of the issues at other spots, they may want to keep around a proven playmaker.
Keep: Duane Brown, D.J. Fluker, Justin Britt, Mike Iupati, Germain Ifedi, George Fant, Ethan Pocic, Jamarco Jones, Joey Hunt.
Cut: Marcus Martin, Demetrius Knox, Jordan Roos, Elijah Nkansah, Jordan Simmons.
Physically unable to perform (PUP) list: Phil Haynes.
Comment: Here’s another position where health issues are suddenly really complicating things. Jones has had trouble staying healthy and didn’t play against the Vikings, it’s unclear exactly when Fant will return and Iupati remains sidelined with a calf issue after already battling a nagging foot injury. The health issues are one reason I’m again keeping nine. They are going to need to know they have at least seven healthy for week one. But it won’t be a surprise if the Seahawks try to add some bodies here to beef up the healthy depth.
Keep: Ezekiel Ansah, L.J. Collier, Poona Ford, Al Woods, Quinton Jefferson, Rasheem Green, Cassius Marsh, Bryan Mone, Branden Jackson, Jacob Martin, Barkevious Mingo.
Cut: Jamie Meder, Nazair Jones, Jay-Tee Tiuli, Earl Mitchell.
Suspended list: Jarran Reed.
PUP list: Demarcus Christmas.
Comment: The one switch this week is keeping Bryan Mone and cutting veteran Earl Mitchell. Mone’s roughly 350 pounds gives the Seahawks a unique size dimension that Carroll spoke enthusiastically about this week. There’s been much discussion about Mingo. But he had one nice rush against the Vikings as well as a solo tackle on special teams, where it looks like he’ll be needed. And Mingo also serves as depth at the strongside linebacker spot, if needed (as does Martin, to a lesser degree). Health issues regarding Collier and Ansah and how much depth Seattle needs to keep around for week one should become a little clearer this week.
Keep: Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Mychal Kendricks, Austin Calitro, Cody Barton
Cut: Shaquem Griffin, Ben Burr-Kirven, Justin Currie, Jawuan Johnson, Juwon Young.
Comment: I’m back to just five true linebackers, with the caveat noted above, that both Mingo and Martin can also play linebacker. And for now, that means making what I know is the unpopular choice of waiving both Shaquem Griffin and Burr-Kirven. Griffin suddenly has a knee issue and that might, unfortunately, help solve the roster logjam somewhat if it is something that would keep him out for a while. Calitro can back up both inside spots, and Barton is healthy now and got a lot of work at MLB this week.
Keep: Shaquill Griffin, Tre Flowers, Akeem King, Neiko Thorpe, Jamar Taylor.
Cut: Jeremy Boykins, Simeon Thomas, Kalan Reed.
Comment: I’m keeping five cornerbacks this week, which allows me to retain both King and Taylor. Taylor was the leader of the week at the nickel spot. He gave up a TD against the Vikings on a play in which he was also called for a penalty. But on further review it also seemed as if the penalty could have gone the other way. King has played both outside and the nickel, and Thorpe continues to make it as a special-teams dynamo and reserve corner.
Keep: Bradley McDougald, Tedric Thompson, Marquise Blair, Ugo Amadi, DeShawn Shead
Cut: Shalom Luani, Jalen Harvey, Lano Hill.
Comment: For now, McDougald and Thompson seem entrenched as the starting duo. Blair is suddenly battling a back issue and if that’s significant then that could change the roster composition here. Amadi has a lot of versatility and a seemingly big future and had another great special-teams play. The really tough call here is Shead or Hill for the final spot. I’m going with Shead this week with Hill still having had yet to play. Shead had another big play with the 88-yard pick-six a week after scoring on a safety. He also got beat a few times. But his experience and versatility — and appearing to show the knee isn’t an issue — give him the lead this week.
Keep: PK Jason Myers, P Michael Dickson, LS Tyler Ott.
Comment: These are the only kicker, punter and snapper the Seahawks have on the roster, so the special-teams battery is set.