RENTON — Training camp practice 12 for the Seahawks on Thursday was the last significant one before they play their first preseason game in almost two years Saturday night in Las Vegas against the Raiders.
It featured some worry for tight ends and another good day for one of the team’s 2021 draft picks.
Here are our daily observations:
Tight-end corps thinning out
Second-year tight end Colby Parkinson, who has been one of the standout players of the first two weeks of camp, was not at practice Thursday, a day after he appeared to suffer an injury late in Wednesday’s practice.
It was unclear what happened to Parkinson Wednesday, but after catching a short pass and turning upfield, he signaled that he needed to be replaced. He was tended to briefly, and then practice ended. Parkinson walked off the field under his own power. But since coach Pete Carroll was not scheduled to speak, there was no update Wednesday or Thursday.
Parkinson suffered a foot injury in June of 2020 that limited him to 51 snaps in six games as a rookie, so the hope is this is not related to that or anything significant.
A fourth-round pick out of Stanford in 2020, Parkinson has emerged as the clear No. 3 tight end in camp and a player who could have a significant role in the offense in 2021.
The tight end corps got thinner Thursday when Tyler Mabry walked off the field with a trainer halfway through. It was also unclear what his injury may be.
But that left just four available tight ends — Gerald Everett, Will Dissly, Cam Sutton and Dominick Wood-Anderson.
Sutton made the most of his increased playing time by catching a TD pass from Geno Smith during a team drill.
Tre Brown continues to stand out
For a week or so, 2021 fourth-round pick Tre Brown has seemed to be making a move up the depth chart.
Thursday might have been one of his best days as he made a handful of highlight plays in individual and team drills.
In team drills, Brown — who was typically working with the second unit at left cornerback — leapt high to bat away a Russell Wilson pass intended for DK Metcalf. During individual drills, he made two good plays, including knocking away a Smith pass for Darece Roberson.
D.J. Reed and Damarious Randall remained out with injuries and as such may not play Saturday against the Raiders, which would give Brown that much more of a shot to prove himself.
Brown also may get some work as a kickoff returner against the Raiders.
Brown wasn’t the only cornerback named Tre who continues to impress. Tre Flowers, who is starting at right cornerback with Reed out, had tight coverage on Metcalf a couple times. Once, Metcalf outfought him for the ball as each went to the ground. Another time Flowers was in perfect position to knock a Wilson pass away that was intended for Metcalf on a comeback route.
Barton back to bolster LB corps
Carroll said in the spring this would be a big preseason for third-year linebacker Cody Barton, who the Seahawks can use as a backup at any of the three spots.
Barton got off to a nice start in camp but suffered a quad injury that held him out much of the past week, including Sunday’s mock game.
Barton has been one of three LBs sidelined recently — the others being Nate Evans and Jon Rhattigan — that have forced the Seahawks to switch fullback Nick Bellore back to his old linebacking position to add depth.
That Barton was back in pads Thursday could indicate he is on track to play against the Raiders.
Evans is also back, so the Seahawks’ linebacker depth is returning. Still, Bellore remained in a defensive jersey Thursday and saw ample snaps at linebacker, at one point helping deflect a Wilson pass to Metcalf at the end zone (the ball appeared a little off target).
QBs spread ball around
With just three preseason games instead of four due to the addition of a 17th regular-season game, it’s unclear if how the Seahawks divvy out snaps to starters in the preseason will change.
The starters have typically played only a series or two in the opening game, with the most significant playing time usually reserved for the second and third games.
In either case, starting receivers Metcalf and Tyler Lockett figure not to do much Saturday night. Lockett has appeared to be getting rest days the past few practices. On Thursday, he was present and in full uniform but did not see action during team drills.
Second-round pick Dee Eskridge remains out, and Penny Hart again did not practice Thursday, apparently due to an ankle injury suffered in the mock game.
So, that could mean lots of snaps for some receivers who are fighting for a roster spot, such as Cody Thompson, John Ursua, Travis Toivonen and Aaron Fuller.
Thursday, Ursua caught a touchdown pass from Wilson during a team drill on a play when Wilson was flushed from the pocket, scrambled and found Ursua in the end zone.
Toivonen, an undrafted free agent from North Dakota, has also continued to be a consistent playmaker and caught a deep pass in a team drill.
Aside from the return of Barton and the absence of Parkinson and Mabry, the injury situation was largely the same as it has been the last few days.
Marquise Blair sat out for a second day but said he was just getting a team-mandated rest day and that he wished he could practice. The team is obviously being careful with Blair as he continues his way back from an ACL injury last September.
Damien Lewis also got another rest day. Gabe Jackson returned, but the Seahawks often used Jordan Simmons and Phil Haynes at guard with the starting offensive line again.
Cedric Ogbuehi and Jamarco Jones remained out, so Stone Forsythe again worked as the left tackle with the ones with Brandon Shell on the right side. Ethan Pocic remains out with a hamstring injury, meaning Kyle Fuller worked with the ones again at center.
Also remaining out were defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche and running back Rashaad Penny.