Here are nine questions for the Seahawks entering Thursday night's preseason finale at Oakland against the Raiders.
For the final time this year, the Seahawks play a game that doesn’t count Thursday night in Oakland.
What does matter is answering a few questions about the roster and depth chart.
Here’s a regular look at one question per position group as we wait for kickoff at 7 p.m. against the Raiders.
Will Trevone Boykin make a final convincing case to be the backup?
This has really been the only question at this spot all preseason. Boykin appears to have calmed fears about the position. But he should get significant playing time tonight which will come with a heightened expectation from coaches that he can avoid mistakes, both pre- and post-snap. A few veteran QBs will likely become available over the weekend and how Boykin does tonight will make a final case for how seriously Seattle needs to peruse that list.
Will Thomas Rawls play?
The guess here — based in large part on John Schneider’s comments a few weeks ago that they’d like to get him in the game tonight — is that he probably will get a series or two and a carry or two (also worth noting is that Pete Carroll didn’t rule him out, as he has previously in the preseason, instead simply saying that everyone will have to wait and see). Rawls has not had a live carry since suffering a broken and dislocated ankle last Dec. 13 at Baltimore.
Will Kasen Williams play?
Times columnist Matt Calkins reviewed the frustrating preseason so far for Williams, who may have to get on the field a little bit tonight to prove he’s healthy enough for a roster spot. Said Carroll on Wednesday of Williams: “He’s barely making it back right now if he does play we’ll see,’’ Carroll said. “We love the way he plays and what he’s been on our team He did a fine job for us last year and it’s unfortunate for Kasen as it was for Kevin (Smith) as well, guys who were on our roster last year they didn’t’ get the work they normally need to show special teams as well to contribute in all of those ways. It’s been a difficult competition for him and he’s just barely making it back. I hope he can play in this game.’’ It was in the final preseason game a year ago (pictured above) when Williams made a touchdown catch that helped solidify his return to the team via the practice squad which led to being on the roster late in the season and playoffs.
Will Tanner McEvoy be able to play?
Carroll said “he could’’ and if he can he has a chance to show the team he could legitimately help as a depth player at that spot, which would also go a long way toward getting him on the roster. McEvoy, an undrafted free agent officially listed as a receiver, suffered a groin injury in the Dallas game.
Will Jahri Evans make the final roster?
I addressed the right tackle spot earlier, and that will obviously be a key spot to watch. But also intriguing is the future of Evans, the 33-year old vet signed early in camp. At this stage, Evans isn’t making a run at a starting job and is playing only right guard and the team may have to decide if it’s worth keeping a roster spot for a backup at just one offensive line position.
Can Brandin Bryant show enough to get a roster spot?
The undrafted free agent tackle was an early camp star but has been a little quieter in recent weeks. Carroll also said to expect Jordan Hill to get a lot of work tonight as the team tries to get a sense of where he is after missing much of camp with a groin injury.
Are any of the backup spots still in play?
Mike Morgan appears set as the starting strongside linebacker joining stalwarts Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright. Brock Coyle and Kevin Pierre-Louis appear to be in line as the backups to Wagner and Wright. But Steve Longa (MLB) and Kache Palacio (who has played both MLB and WLB) figure to get a lot of work tonight. Also worth watching is Eric Pinkins, who projects as a backup to Morgan. Linebacker, though, could be a spot where the Seahawks heavily peruse the waiver wire to add depth.
How will the last cornerback spots unfold?
Four cornerback spots seem pretty solid — Richard Sherman, Jeremy Lane, DeShawn Shead and Tharold Simon. The fifth spot, though, appears still in play — assuming the Seahawks keep a fifth, which has been the usual course — between Marcus Burley and Tye Smith (undrafted free agent DeAndre Elliott remains on the roster, as well). Burley may have an edge due to his experience at nickel but he also has been battling a hamstring issue of late.
Can Nolan Frese shake off his shoulder injury to have a clean game snapping?
The long snapping position has become a significant topic of discussion the last few weeks with Frese uncorking a few off-target snaps. Carroll revealed Wednesday that Frese has had a shoulder injury the last two games that has impacted his snapping. Carroll, though, said that should be less of an issue for Frese tonight and that he hopes to see a clean game snapping to go along with an ability to get downfield quickly that has enamored coaches.