Here's a look at five players particularly interesting to keep an eye on tonight when the Seahawks play Arizona.
Here are five players to watch and why when the Seahawks take on the Cardinals Thursday night:
Safety Bradley McDougald: With Earl Thomas not expected to play for a second straight week, the Seahawks will again rely on McDougald at free safety. McDougald played well enough last week against Washington but could get more tests tonight from an Arizona team that likes to take as many deep shots as it can. Arizona took great advantage of the absence of Thomas in a 34-31 win in Seattle last December, one of the games that helped convince the Seahawks they had to do more to beef up the depth in their secondary.
Running back Thomas Rawls: With Eddie Lacy out, the tailback duties tonight figure to fall mostly to Rawls (C.J. Prosise is expected to play, too, but his snaps may be limited and mostly in his usual third-down, two-minute back role). Rawls hasn’t often been able to replicate the way he played as a rookie in 2015 since the ankle injury he suffered at the end of that season. But there were some flashes last week when he gained 39 yards on nine carries in playing the final three quarters in place of Lacy. And maybe knowing that he’s going to get the bulk of the carries will help.
Wide receiver Amara Darboh: Paul Richardson showed up on the injury report this week with a groin injury and is listed as questionable. While Pete Carroll said Wednesday that Richardson was all right, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported Thursday morning that Richardson will be a gametime decision. If Richardson can’t play, or is even just a little limited, that would figure to mean more snaps for Darboh (and Tanner McEvoy as well), a third-round pick out of Michigan who has yet to make a real impact with five receptions for 55 yards this season. Darboh hasn’t played more than 21 snaps in any game but might get more opportunities tonight.
Defensive end Dwight Freeney: Freeney is proving to be an ageless wonder at 37 having made three sacks in his two games. “Three, already?’’ teammate Bobby Wagner said with mock amazement this week. Freeney has done that in 43 snaps, 25 coming last Sunday against Washington. Should Freeney play more? The Seahawks will likely keep a close watch on his snaps so he doesn’t wear down — he’s undoubtedly benefiting a little from coming in at mid-season and having fresh legs. Freeney will play on familiar ground tonight having played 11 games for the Cardinals in 2015.
Kicker Blair Walsh: It’s impossible not to wonder about the psyche of Walsh after the three missed kicks against Washington, and with the knowledge that it was just over a year ago that he lost his job in Minnesota after some big misses — he was 12-16 last year with Minnesota and is 12-16 now with the Seahawks. The roof will be open in Glendale tonight but the conditions should be perfect for kicking and the Seahawks could use getting Walsh back on track heading into the 11-day break that will follow.