CARSON, Calif. — That the Los Angeles Chargers of Carson didn’t play many of their starters — specifically, quarterback Philip Rivers, who is the player who makes them go — makes the evaluation of the Seahawks’ third preseason game that much more difficult.
But if what Seattle’s starters did in a 23-15 win probably has to be largely thrown out — they’d better at least have done some good things given the opposition — the Seahawks’ coaches will dig into the film deeply for information on how to fill out the end of the roster.
Here’s my weekly update on how I think it might all come together.
Keep: Russell Wilson, Geno Smith.
Cut: Paxton Lynch, J.T. Barrett.
Comment: No change here after what was a solid game from Smith, and one that showed that maybe he was a little more bothered by his knee in the first game against Denver — as well as some of the Broncos’ starters — than was thought at the time. But Lynch will get his shot against the Raiders in four days to try to sway Seattle’s opinion.
Keep: Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, C.J. Prosise, Nick Bellore, Travis Homer.
Cut: J.D. McKissic, Xavier Turner, Bo Scarbrough.
Comment: OK, so I’m back on the C.J. Prosise bandwagon after his game against the Chargers. What Seattle saw in that game is why they have held on to Prosise through all the injuries, and will likely convince the Seahawks that if they waive Prosise he will get claimed. Players such as McKissic and Scarbrough probably wouldn’t be (and Scarbrough has practice squad eligibility, as well as having been injured of late).
Keep: Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Gary Jennings, David Moore, Jaron Brown, John Ursua.
Cut: Jazz Ferguson, Amara Darboh, Terry Wright, Malik Turner, Keenan Reynolds.
Comment: Another week, another change here as I’m back to keeping six receivers, adding Ursua, in part due to Seattle’s injury issues. But this is also a complicated position. If Moore’s shoulder injury is going to keep him out into October or so, then the Seahawks are likely to put him on injured reserve. But if they want him to return at some point this season, they have to keep him on the active roster to start the season, then put him on IR a day or so later. That’s where it could get tricky. They might want Turner, Ferguson or Darboh to replace Moore but they might have to waive them and then hope they can re-sign one or more of them after they place Moore on IR. Also, are we sure Jennings makes it? His status as a fourth-round pick has led to the idea that he is safe, and I still think he is (and his catch that wasn’t ruled a catch will undoubtedly be viewed pretty favorably by the coaches). But it doesn’t seem a guarantee.
Keep: Will Dissly, Nick Vannett, Jacob Hollister.
Cut: Ed Dickson, Jackson Harris, Wes Saxton.
Comment: No change here. I’m not sure exactly what they are going to do with Ed Dickson — they can’t just cut him if he’s not healthy. But that he’s not healthy — and Carroll gave a pretty tepid summation of his situation this week — seems to make it only more likely he’s not going to be on the active roster week one. For what it’s worth, Saxton sure played a lot with some of the first- and second teams Saturday. But that might also be simply because Vannett didn’t play (it’s unclear if he had an injury).
Keep: Duane Brown, D.J. Fluker, Justin Britt, Mike Iupati, Germain Ifedi, George Fant, Ethan Pocic, Joey Hunt.
Cut: Jamarco Jones, Marcus Martin, Landon Turner, Brian Wallace, Jordan Roos, Elijah Nkansah, Jordan Simmons.
Physically unable to perform (PUP) list: Phil Haynes.
Comment: Carroll said this week that he expects Iupati and Fant ready for week one. So that has me back to keeping just eight offensive linemen with Fant in his hybrid role, Pocic able to back up basically everywhere, and Hunt also kept as a trusted reserve. Jones is a tricky one. But he’s been hurt lately and also missed all of last season with an injury and the thought here is that the Seahawks can get him back and keep him around. And none of the other reserves appear to be players the Seahawks can’t get back if they want.
Keep: Ezekiel Ansah, L.J. Collier, Poona Ford, Al Woods, Quinton Jefferson, Rasheem Green, Cassius Marsh, Branden Jackson, Jacob Martin, Barkevious Mingo.
Cut: Bryan Mone, Jamie Meder, Nazair Jones, Jay-Tee Tiuli, Earl Mitchell.
Suspended list: Jarran Reed.
PUP list: Demarcus Christmas.
Comment: I’m down to 10 defensive linemen this week, leaving off Mone, who I had on last week. But the Seahawks may also be able to keep Mone around, and also maybe can get Mitchell back if they want. And Carroll seemed optimistic this week that Ansah will be ready week one and that Collier will be back sooner rather than later, which has me thinking they can get by with one fewer player here. Mingo has been the topic of much discussion. But the thought here remains that he’s really valuable as a special teamer and backup SLB and also will be needed as a pass rusher, especially until the Seahawks know exactly what they are going to get out of Ansah. Mingo has a $3.4 million salary But the Seahawks also don’t really have cap issues.
Keep: Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Mychal Kendricks, Austin Calitro, Cody Barton, Ben Burr-Kirven.
Cut: Shaquem Griffin, Justin Currie, Jawuan Johnson, Juwon Young.
Comment: In another change, I’m back to keeping Burr-Kirven. Whether the Seahawks keep him or Shaquem Griffin — or maybe don’t keep either —- will be one of the most intriguing things to watch. But I’m back to thinking that special teams may be enough to keep Burr-Kirven on the roster to start the season. And there’s no doubt that the Seahawks would want to keep Burr-Kirven and Griffin on the practice squad if they cut either or both, though they each might be attractive to other teams to claim.
Keep: Shaquill Griffin, Tre Flowers, Akeem King, Neiko Thorpe, Jamar Taylor.
Cut: Jeremy Boykins, Simeon Thomas, Kalan Reed.
Comment: Suddenly, this spot seems to be clearing up. Kalan Reed has a neck issue that it sounds like might mean he’s out a while. So, Seattle keeps Taylor as the nickel and third corner and King as the next corner, and Thorpe as a special team maven and fifth corner with Ugo Amadi — more on him below — also able to play the nickel. And there you go.
Keep: Bradley McDougald, Tedric Thompson, Marquise Blair, Ugo Amadi, Lano Hill.
Cut: DeShawn Shead, Shalom Luani.
Comment: And another week, another change here as I’m back to keeping Lano Hill and releasing Shead. That’s a really tough call — I’ve gotten your emails on this. But, Hill is on a rookie contract and might be attractive as a waiver wire pickup. Shead is a vested veteran and was available in early August to be signed and might still remain available if Seattle needs him down the road. But, waiving Shead would also mean that this is a really young position, with two rookies and a player who has two career starts as the backups. Shead played some cornerback Saturday night which might have been the team further exploring his versatility. Safety is as important as any spot on the roster to Carroll. But Carroll has seemed really enamored by what Hill did at the end of last season and it’s sort of hard to figure how what he will see in a couple of games against backups will change that. And as mentioned above, Amadi seems a given at this point, able to back up both at safety and corner and also with a suddenly enhanced role as a returner.
Keep: PK Jason Myers, P Michael Dickson, LS Tyler Ott.
Comment: As we have said on every projection, these are the only kicker, punter and snapper the Seahawks have on the roster. So, the special-teams battery is set.