The receiver has career highs in catches (43) and yards (613) with two games to play, but there have been games in which he barely was involved.

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RENTON — Seahawks receiver Jermaine Kearse is having the best season of his four-year career, even though he has three games with zero catches. That is what makes Kearse’s season interesting.

He has career highs in catches (43) and yards (613) with two games to play … but there have been games in which he barely was involved.

Kearse has two games in which he had only one target. He has three games in which he had two targets. In those five games, he has three catches for 94 yards. And in the nine other games, he has 40 catches for 519 yards.


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He has played his best in the past two weeks, including his first 100-yard game of the year Sunday against the Browns.

It’s sort of a chicken-or-egg question: Is Kearse playing better because he’s getting more chances, or is he getting more chances because he’s playing better?

“It’s been a trying season for him at times,” receiver Doug Baldwin said. “He’s continually pushed forward, but he’s stayed in it. He’s stayed focused. His work ethic didn’t change. Even when he was frustrated, he didn’t allow that to deter him from working hard. It’s a testament to his resilience and his mindset and his work ethic to push through the frustration and make the best of his opportunities.

“And you saw that (Sunday). I couldn’t be happier for him to get his first 100-yard game of the season.”

Kearse admits he sometimes got frustrated because he wanted to help more, but he tried to stay engaged. When he watched film, he looked to see if he was getting open, if he was available, even if the ball didn’t come his way. It was a small carrot on the end of the stick.

“That’s what really drove me to still keep going,” Kearse said. “I could easily have shut it down. But I just looked at it as an opportunity to say, ‘Are you open on a play?’ ”

Kearse has had eight targets in each of the last two weeks. He had that many targets only once before, in the season opener against the Rams. He finished with eight catches for 76 yards that game.

Kearse will be a free agent after the season, and his future with the Seahawks is unclear. But right now, he is trying to reach 700 yards for the season, which is something of a milestone for a Seahawks receiver.

Before this season, only six times had a receiver had more than 700 yards in the past five years. Golden Tate did it only once in four seasons. Sidney Rice did it once in three years.

“I’m happy for it, but you know me, I’m always trying to do way more than that,” Kearse said. “Whenever my opportunity comes — you know the spiel — I just try to be effective and available and be open. And when I get my opportunity, try to make the play.”